Far Out Flora

Fisherman’s Wharf Flowers

November 24, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 4 Comments

Look over there! Flowers! From probably two months ago… we haven’t been the best at uploading pics in a timely manner and blogging in recent years. I do make real life Shutterfly books of Zoe’s adventures, but I feel bad about the whole not blogging much anymore. Some time back in August/September I took the ferry over to SF on a lovely sunny day and took some pictures. Love the orange Zinnias.

Succulent crab was looking pretty happy.

The dahlias were already starting to mildew out, but looked awesome anyways.


After wandering around Fisherman’s Wharf I headed up some insane steps towards Telegraph Hill and got this nice pic. Hopefully we’ll be blogging a little more these days now that we’re settling in a bit. Here’s a link to an earlier Fisherman Wharf flower posts (they do an awesome job).

Grand Lake Farmers Market is Grand

July 12, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 1 Comment

Dahlia freakout

The day before checking out the super sweet Gardens at Lake Merritt we hit up the Grand Lake Farmers Market. It’s pretty close to our new place. A few freeway stops down 580.

Grand Lake Theater

You can see the pretty Grand Lake Theater from the freeway.

Flower freakout

These cut flowers were pretty insane, but we ended up coming home with a giant bag of fruit.

The Alley

Lots of cute shops and stuff on our walk to the market.

Fruit loot

Bought this bowl at a really sweet thrifty shop called Urban Furniture along with a super cute new mug I need to take a picture of. I think we’ll be spending quite a bit of time in this neck of the woods, along with Lake Merritt. Oakland is HUGE, I had no idea…

Our Awesome August Garden

September 20, 2012 by Megan Speckmann | 15 Comments

Max in the flowers

We hit the backyard jackpot here in Madison. Our fenced in backyard is not only spacious, it has great bones. Lots of perennials were already hanging out, so we just filled in with some annuals. We didn’t move in until June 1st, so in May I was buying and potting up to 4″ any cool annual I could find on my friend’s front porch. The best nursery in town for non-shrimpy annuals was Kleins (I love you Kleins!). That’s where I was able to pick up Verbena bonariensis, Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’, Zinnia ‘Zowie’, Ageratum houstonianum and a few other good and tall annuals. Next year we’ll have time to start plants from seed, since I was severely disappointed with the overall annual selection in town. Seems like every nursery has the same stuff in these parts. Considering our circumstances and the insane heat in June & July I think things turned out pretty well.

Zinnia ‘Zowie’ & Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’

Who said you can’t plant hot pink and orange together? We’ll definitely be planting these two again next year. The bumblebees  LOVE the zinnias. I’m always finding them taking naps.

Amaranthus Alley

I posted about my love of Amaranthus earlier. We picked up these plants for fifty cents a piece at the farmer’s market, but they’re crazy easy to start from seed. Word is they re-seed like crazy, but I consider that a good thing. Next year we’ll be sure to stake them, as we’ve lost a couple in wind storms.

Warty Gourd Blooms

A total impulse buy, I’m not really sure what I was thinking when I planted this Warty Gourd. The bees LOVE the blooms and we now have a bunch of weird looking gourds we have no use for. I’m thinking we should glue some googly eyes on them and give them names.

Dahlia & Echinacea

I picked up some Dahlia bulbs at a really cute neighborhood garden club sale for a buck. Another plant we need to remember to stake next year…

Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate

I was really excited to find Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate at the farmers market for fifty cents a piece. Unfortunately they seem to be Japanese Beetle magnets. This one made through the attacks fairly well, but I was constantly picking them off and throwing them angrily in to a bowl of water.

Morning Glory ‘Heavenly Blue’

As a kid I helped my dad in our big flower garden and  always loved planting Morning Glories. There’s no need to worry about them taking over the world here in Wisconsin (there’s no way in heck I would have planted them in CA). I started these guys from seed and thought they’d never bloom, but they finally started going nuts at the end of August and are still going strong today. The blue really and truly is heavenly.

Asclepias curassavica

Totally in love with Asclepias curassavica, another score from the farmers market. It never stops blooming.

Zinnia ‘Zowie’

For a short moment Zoe’s middle name was almost Zinnia. I can’t wait to grow more big honking Zinnias next year. The just keep blooming and blooming.

Convulvus tricolor

Here’s another guy I started from seed in quite possibly the worst conditions ever. I jammed seeds in a crack in front of our basement window in a spot that often gets smashed with our gate. They look a little scrappy, but considering their crappy placement I think they look pretty decent.

Sunflower ‘Teddy Bear’

I started these guys from seed, too. Sadly they’re pollen free, which means bees don’t get anything from them. They’re still cute, but next year we’ll plant a bunch more big pollen filled sunflowers.

One more Zinnia ‘Zowie’ pic

Last gratuitous pic of the Zinnia. For more pics of our August garden check out this link. My pregnancy hormones made uploading pics to flickr seem like the worst torture I could possible put myself through, but now that they’re gone I’ve gone crazy uploading pics. The good news is we never stopped taking pics, just blogging and uploading.

Ripping Out Spring

July 1, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 13 Comments

Papaver 'Drama Queen' alive

Word on the street is that it’s officially summer. Ummm, it rained a couple days ago. That shouldn’t happen this time of the year in our parts. So far the fog hasn’t been too bad, but it’s not August yet. Above is sweet innocent ‘Drama Queen’ maybe a day before I ripped it out. I think it knew it’s time was coming. It suddenly put on the best flower show ever in an effort to woo me from killing it.

Compost heaven

It didn’t work. Look, I’m not even sad about stuffing it in the compost bin. When I pulled it out not a lot of root action was going on.  There was a gopher attack on Papaver ‘Greek’ right next to it and I think that it hit her, too. That might explain the sudden floppiness. Next year I want to give Papaver hybridum ‘Black Swan’ a shot.

Bright light, bright light!

This is the sketchy super sunny “after” shot. I’m giving three dark leaved Dahlias a shot. Everyone told me they’ll get powdery mildew being in the foggiest part of town, but I want to see which of the three holds up best out here in the outerlands. So far so good. I probably planted them too close together, and now I’m a little worried it’s not sunny enough. We’ll see what happens. That sad looking guy in the pot is Dianthus superbus ssp. speciosus (it was getting smooshed by the queen). Oh yeah, those sticks are puppy plant guards. The neighbor’s dog likes to mess with newly planted plants.

The three test subjects are:
Dahlia coccinea‘Orange Hybrids’

Dahlia ‘Dark Side of the Sun’
Dahlia x hybrida ‘Bishop’s Children’

Here’s a shot before I ripped out ‘Barry Dare’. Can’t say this was the best sweet pea choice I’ve ever made. I now know that I like the smaller leaved, old school sorts like ‘Cupani’ (best sweet pea ever) more. Barry had powdery mildew issues, and it’s flowers were more of a deep hot pink than red. Keep an eye out for the coolest new sweet pea ever from Annie’s next spring (I forget it’s name, but it looks like a purpley blue watercolor and smells great).

Matti and the Tropaeolum tuberosum

Matti and I had our eye on this nasturtium vine thing at Flora Grubb a few weeks ago, and then like magic it turned up in the loser (free for Matti) plant pile! After a little clean up Matti planted in the sweet pea spot.

Tropaeolum tuberosum

It sounds like Tropaeolum tuberosum (Mashua) can go crazy and take over the world, but we’re willing to take the risk. It’s tuberous roots are edible, and have been shown to reduce testosterone levels in rats in tests. If we end up hating it, we can always dig it up and eat it. It’s native to the Andes. I’m excited to see it in flower.

New plant excitement!

A week ago I posted about wanting Salvia africana-lutea.  Matti brought one home for me! Hope everyone has an awesome 4th of July weekend! We’ve got all kinds of gardeny projects planned.



August 31, 2010
by Megan

Hot, Loud, and Proud Flora

End of the month means it’s time for Hot, Loud, and the Proud.  Fellow blogger, Noel from A Plant Fanatic in Hawaii, has quite a show this August.  Comment your vote below…for the hottest, loudest, and proudest. Our Blue Passion … Continue reading