On Christmas Eve we cruised down Highway One to Big Sur for the day. We love the Big Sur Spirit Garden. One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was about this sweet place. It’s a definite must-stop for the succulents alone. Rumor has it the owner has an amazing private garden, too.
Big Sur Spirit Garden
The leucadendrons are starting to go into their crazy bloom action. Love the Opuntia poking through.
Big Sur Spirit Garden
I’m a wee bit embarrassed to say I’m not sure which mega-cactus this is. Help!
Aloe speciosa maybe?
We always stop at Cafe Kevah at Nepenthe for lunch on the patio. Love their gardens, too.
Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' Nepenthe
Grevillea at Nepenthe
Gratuitous pics of CA natives, turquoise seas, amazing beaches & mountains coming soon.
You know the term, a man’s man? Well if there’s such thing as a gardener’s garden…this is the place. What a treat it was to visit Ted Kipping’s private oasis over in the Glen Park neighborhood. When Ted isn’t traveling to exotic locations seeking out rare plants in habitat or working his business at Tree Shapers, he’s constantly tweeking his garden.
Ted has several hypertufaesque containers tucked in throughout his space. After I stopped drooling over that first pic of the Dudleya attenuata, I saw his Scleranthus biflorus, which was looking lusher than ours.
I had a bunch of those…wow, why didn’t I think of that moments. Here’s a plant we have in our garden, but his Lewisia cotyledon looked way more cooler than ours. He does some amazing mini landscapes, and certainly influenced us to make our alpine container about a month back.
Dierama bee love
Megan tells me that Dierama are hot right now. The bee and me would have to agree. Sometimes called Fairy’s Fishing Rods, they fall in the same family as Crocosmia and put on quite a show.
Begonia foliosa var. miniata
Agave parryi, always a fav. Slow growing, its gray spiky foliage spans to about a 30-inch diameter. Stunning accent plant, indeed.
His Bro Fence was sweet. Ted shared with us a little trick. He uses a variety of Bromeliads to fill in holes and gaps within his garden until he finds just the right plant for that space. Since many Bros are easy to transplant and move around…they work well for his technique. Small potted plants work the same way. Brilliant.
Brugmansia & Blue Sky
Gratuitous Brugmansia and blue sky shot. It was one of those gorgeous fall days.
Score! Ted dropped us a couple cuttings including a pinch of this shady loving limy Plectranthus. It’s gonna look great on our shady side.
We’ve been kind of slacking on the blog front lately. It’s been way too nice out. Summer has arrived! It was sunny & 70 degrees at 5PM for three days in a row. The fog’s back, so we’re no longer lounging on the beach tossing the tennis ball for Max until sunset. Way back in mid-July we escaped the fog & hit up the UC-Santa Cruz Arboretum. Chuck B. at My Back 40 (feet) had his act together & posted about his visit within days here (lots of awesome pics). Mimetes cucullates is so gosh darn rare & difficult to propagate that Annie’s charges $50.00 for a 4″ pot. Sounds like making babies is challenging, but so worth the wait. It’s a South African native.
I usually don’t usually get super excited about Acacias, but this one made a gigantic trailing hedge of blue-green awesomeness. Maybe I’ve seen it around, but never really noticed it before? It’s not rare or anything, is it?
Grevillea 'Honey Gem'
The bees were going nuts for all the blooming Grevilleas.
The Banksias were in full freakout mode. I don’t think the flower show ever ends here. It was a flower fest last January, too.
Leucospermum burst of sunshine
Fuzzy wuzzy Leucospermum
The Leucospermums were by far the most bloomiferous of the bunch. I somehow managed to compile every picture we’ve ever taken at the arboretum during our two visits in to one giant set labelled July 2011.
It was as gorgeous morning when we cruised through the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. As you know we popped over to the Dudleya section first, but check out the color on this Shaw’s Agave (Agave shawii). BTW, Rancho Reubidoux has some excellent pics on the A. shawii flower spike.
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden (overview)
The garden is divided up in many regions and here’s an overview of their spiky succulent Desert Section. Lots of old growth plants live amongst these sandstone boulders.
Coastal Prickly-pear - Opuntia littoralis
Native to Southern California, this Coastal Prickly-pear (Opuntia littoralis) grows to about 3 feet tall, but can keep expanding far wider in dense clumps.
Agave parryi ?
No ID tag found on this guy, but think it may be the Mescal Agave aka Parry’s Agave (Agave parryi).
Giant Coreopsis - Coreopsis gigantea
This succulent has made our short list of our must have plants. Another native to CA, Giant Coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantea) gets yellow daisy-like flowers and a thick fleshy trunk.
Here’s something we haven’t thought of before. This Agave was planted on its side. Sorta like you just took the plant and chucked it in the garden. Well, it seems to be thriving. I wonder how it would look when it gets super big.
Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens
As we kept exploring the 5 miles of paths, we left the succulents and now headed over to check out some of those sweet perennials.
Are you sick of pictures of Mendocino yet? I posted about Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden’s fuchsias a little while back, then Matti posted more pics in his Hot, Loud, Proud post, but they’ve got oh so much more. It’s most … Continue reading →