Far Out Flora

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.

Spectacular Succulent Gardens

March 22, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 4 Comments

Aloe polyphylla

No trip to Monterey is complete without a stop at Succulent Gardens. The big Aloe polyphylla on the right was HUGE. It’s in a wine barrel.

Caution, Succulents

Matti’s been playing around, taking crazy pics with the panorama camera setting on his phone.



Echeveria ‘Cassyz Winter’ all cresty

That’s me on crutches…

Don’t miss out on the giant Succulent Globe by Succulent Gardens at the SF Flower & Garden Show this weekend (the nursery is closed during the show).

Gardens by Gabriel, Central Coast Gardening God

March 12, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 13 Comments

On the way to Wisconsin: Megan, Kaveh, Gabriel & Matti

Back in late April 2012 we were hanging out on the Central Coast checking out some of the coolest succulent gardens around with Gabriel (Gardens by Gabriel) & Kaveh (Plant Propaganda) on our way back to Wisconsin. We took tons of pics, but haven’t blogged much about our trip back to dairyland. It was too sad for me to look at all the plants I thought I’d never be able to grow again. Now that we’re moving back it’s fun to look at all our pics of plants again.  Big thanks to Kaveh for hooking us up with Gabriel’s totally rad gardens! We’ll be definitely be down for a visit once we’re back. *Not all gardens pictured below are Gabriel’s. The first two are Nick Wilkinson owner of Grow Nursery in Cambria. You guys are both gardening gods!

Beach succulents

I think those octopus like aloes are Aloe vanbalenii, but I’m not sure. I am really, really sure I want one. Here are a few more of my favorite pics from the tour below, but you can check them all out on flickr here.

Dudleya fun

Good-bye California, Hello Wisconsin!

March 31, 2012 by Megan Speckmann | 45 Comments


Good-bye garden! (click for bigger pic)

No, this is not an early April Fools joke. We’re moving back to Madison, Wisconsin at the end of April. After nearly five exciting years of living in San Francisco we’re heading home to have a baby at the end of August (we find out if it’s a boy or girl next Friday). We’re still going to blog and we’re still going to garden, it will just be sconnie style (more beer, cheese and warm weather flowers and veggies). We’re confident there will be plenty of far out plants to grow in the midwest and you can count on us to find every succulent that can survive in zone 5. We’ve been researching it for a couple months now and the selection is surprisingly large. All of our sempervivums and cold hardy sedums are coming with, along with the others that can deal with freezing temps. Expect to see lots of alpine plants and Matti’s dream moss garden can finally become a reality! To keep ourselves sane in the winter, we’ll be starting lots of plants inside.

Lewisia cotyledon ‘Sunset Strain’ (cold hardy and coming with)

You’re probably wondering what we’re going to do with our current garden. We always knew it would come to an end at some point, which is one of the reasons we started a blog about it. Well, we’re going to sell it off in little pieces, along with containers and other gardeny things we won’t need, to raise funds for the move back and baby stuff.  That’s right, on Saturday, April 14th you can come buy a little piece of Far Out Flora. There will be more info and pics coming soon.  Another way to help us raise funds is to buy an ad on our blog. Click here for more info, they’re cheap. Feel free to just throw giant wads of cash at us, we wouldn’t turn away an all expense paid trip to Santa Barbara to visit Lotusland on our way back to Wisconsin, too. Okay, that’s getting greedy, but honestly living in SF (really the entire Bay Area) is crazy talk expensive. We’ve made it work, but it hasn’t been easy. Why do you think we spend so much time in the garden and outside looking at plants? It’s free!

Aloe polyphylla as a houseplant?

People of Madison keep an eye out for a 2-3 bedroom, border collie friendly house, within walking/biking distance to Olbrich Gardens and Lake Monona for $1000 or less.  It’s possible, isn’t it?  A fenced in backyard for Max, dishwasher and basement are all high on the list of wants, too. So that’s our dream place. In reality we’ll take space over location. We’ll be living with friends when we get back, turning their ginormous (we’re talking football field sized) backyard in to a garden paradise this summer and over the years. Right now we’re dreaming about making trellis forts with cool climbing plants for the kids (maybe even grown ups) to play in and growing happy tomatoes along with other warm weather loving veggies we’ve had to forgo living on the chilly coast. Maybe a small sunflower field and cutting garden… the possibilities are endless. Expect way more cool summery DIY projects and perhaps a spin-off kids gardening blog down the road. We’ve been missing the rock star thrift stores and garage sales in Madison. Thanks so much to everyone for all comments and follows along the way!

Matti, Megan & Max

Where it all started

Here are some more pics of the garden we took yesterday. We’re going to start ripping it out today. It will be well documented and sad, but we’re going to have tons of fun gardening in Wisconsin.

Graptoveria 'Crested Form' going to get chopped up

Erysimum franciscanum var. crassifolium isn't going anywhere

Primula auricula 'Angelo Hayes'


Aeonium town

Kalanchoe prolifera has all kinds of babies

Gardeny awesomeness

September 25, 2010
by Megan

South Africa in Berkeley

After three years of living in San Francisco, we finally visited UC Berkeley’s Botanical Garden. I’m extremely embarrassed it took us so long go. We even had free passes, so there really is no excuse. It’s fabulous!  I took TONS … Continue reading