Far Out Flora

Oh My Organic Mechanics

July 15, 2014 by Megan Speckmann | 5 Comments

Succulent Crazyfest

A couple weeks ago we hopped on MUNI and headed downtown to check out a couple of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days gardens. Both gardens we visited were by the fantastic Organic Mechanics team of Sean Stout and James Pettigrew, including their own space. The first garden we checked out was at Hotel Mark Twain. These wonderful succulent containers were part of the rooftop garden.

More rooftop succulent insanity

Funky fountain

This space is called The Humming Bird garden and it would make a fabulous place to hang out with a drink from the adjacent bar. We even saw a hummingbird while we were there.

Checking out the fountain and looking cute

Zoe loves water and throwing things in to water.

Feeding the fish

Sadly, I didn’t get many pics with my crappy iphone from the designer’s great garden. Zoe had tons of fun feeding the fish.

Oakland Gardens Part II (Floradoraland)

October 29, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 2 Comments

Aloe marlothii looking huge

Matti and I walked over to Floradora’s former house to check out her super rad garden from the past. I pretty much freaked when I saw this Aloe marlothii while walking Zoe and Max earlier. It’s only two or three blocks away. Kelly (Floradora) immediately identified this guy via instagram as her old place and plant. It looked kind of big in my instagram pic of it, and a little more big above… but check out the pic below.

It’s HUGE!

It’s so crazy huge someone needs to stand next to it to see how crazy huge it really is. Kelly brought this home as a wee little four incher from Annie’s many a years ago, kept it inside for a bit and then let it go all awesome in front of her house.

Salvia canariensis var. candissima

I was excited to see a full grown Salvia canariensis var. candissima looking happy. We planted one back in July that’s looking good.

Fig, Cussonia and friends

Euphorbia & friends

Agave attenuata & friends

p.s. Check out this link for tons of sweet blog posts from the 2013 SF Garden Bloggers Fling that Kelly put together. They went to all the cool garden spots in the Bay Area.

All kinds of awesome crazy

This garden is only a block away or so. I think it might be one of Floradora’s designs, but I’m not sure.  Love all that hot pink and silver action.

Looking back

Here’s another fantastic garden next to the previous that I think Floradora may have designed. I have to admit that there are many crappy front gardens in our parts, but there are a few good ones sprinkled around. Check out this link if you missed out on part one of the neighborhood tour.

Our Neighborhood Oakland Gardens

August 20, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 12 Comments

Salvia confertiflora looking pretty with the purple trim

I’ve been collecting pics of the neighborhood gardens via Instagram since we moved to Oakland in early July. The above is a garden on our block and I LOVE it. It’s a little edible and a little ornamental with lots of purple plants to match the house. We live in the Frick neighborhood near Mills College and Maxwell Park. Some directions are better to walk than others.

Love the Eriogonum grande var. rubescens

I’m not 100% sure, but I think this is one of Kelly Kilpatrick’s (Floradora) gardens. Love all those bright colors and contrasty textures!

Shady succulents

Don’t forget that lots of succulents don’t mind shade. Especially if you live somewhere that gets crazy hot. Our new neighborhood is very warm and sunny. Almost a little too warm, we’re missing life close to the beach.

Front yard veggies

Hurray for lots of people growing veggies out front! I see tons of front yards with food on my walks.

Fake grass and Agaves

As weird as this combo is, I actually kind of like it. The pineappled bases of the agaves are the perfect match for astroturf.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/faroutflora/9530092215/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Unfortunately placed agaves

Ooops! We did this when we first moved to California. No one tells you how huge some of these guys get, especially if it’s free on craigslist. Great for under your kid’s bedroom windows, but not next to the front door.

Agave attenuata

Happy Agave attenuatas.

Flowerfest

Last, but not least the flowerfest house. I freaked out when we walked up to it. It’s a huge party of big honking Zinnias, Tithonia rotundifolia (I think) and a bunch more. Thanks for reading!

Pitcher Plant Project’s Gorgeous Greenhouse

August 16, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 5 Comments

Pitcher plant insanity

A couple weeks ago I had the good fortune to visit our plant nerd friend Rob from The Pitcher Plant Project and his amazing greenhouse space. We first met Rob three years ago when he offered us a free Gunnera. Check out the blog post from back in the day, there’s a super cute pic of the three of us. While Rob thinks this is kind of a crappy time of the year appearance wise for his huge Sarracenia collection, I have to disagree. Check out the pics below.

Pitcher plant insanity

Pitcher plant insanity

Pitcher plant insanity

Cutie babies

Aloe polyphylla family

Rob grows more than pitcher plants. Love these!

Fenestraria freak out

Sweet, sweet succulent land

Thank you so much for all the fab plant presents and the great visit Rob! Check out all the crazy cool pics I took at the greenhouse here. If you scroll to very end you’ll see a few shots of our old sunset garden. As I was driving home through SF, I went by the old place and our next door neighbor happened to be taking out the trash. Got a few minutes of viewing over the fence.

Garden for the Soul

August 2, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 5 Comments

Wonderful waterfall

Two weekends ago we took a little break from unpacking our stuff (yeah, it took over three weeks to get our crap) and headed over to garden designer Raul Zumba’s fabulous Garden for the Soul, part of The Garden Conservatory’s Open Days program. I can’t find a website for him, so let me know if there’s one out there I’m missing.

Stairway to Everywhere

Here’s the little blurb from the Garden Conservatory: “Step into Raul Zumba’s garden and you will immediately forget the stresses of daily life. As you explore the garden’s labyrinth of paths you will notice the experimentation with unorthodox plant combinations, colors, and textures. You will also notice that the garden is composed of many elements, some related to gardening, but most stemming from both traditional and nontraditional art. And, like all living things, the garden evolves and changes, currently emphasizing plants that attract wildlife and create a sense of magic. The result of a visit to Raul Zumba’s garden is a feast for the senses and enchantment for the soul.”

Sexy sculpture

It’s pretty insane.

Playing under the Fuchsia boliviana ‘Alba’

Zoe approved the of the mass plantings of Fuchsia boliviana ‘Alba’.

Flying around the garden

Kale and friends

Cool container

Floweryland with a big sphere

Practice walking

Zoe had tons of fun practice walking. Big thanks to Raul for sharing his wonderful garden!