Far Out Flora

February Flowers

February 14, 2012 by Megan Speckmann | 21 Comments

Ferraria crispa

Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! We’ve got all kinds of sweet stuff blooming right now, but this Ferraria crispa is the freakiest. It’s our first fancy South African bulb. The foliage on this guy is what sold me. So often SA bulbs have lame grassy leaves, but this guy is almost succulent. Blooms are super fragrant, smelling like a combo of vanilla and butt. They’re fly pollinated, so the stank works for them. Check out all our pics of it here. Now for some of the California natives that have started to bloom.

Coreopsis gigantea & friends

During our first big rainstorm in what seemed like forever ago one of the branches took a dive, but it didn’t break off. We think it might help counterbalance the giant poofy top. It’s growing a with a bit of a tilt, but we’re going to get another big bunch of blooms soon. The Aeonium nobile above the bowling pin is going nuts! A shout out to Jenn at Dirty Girl Gardening for giving it to us last summer.


Phacelia viscida

Aristolochia californica

Three years ago I went on a mission to find this plant. I had seen cool pipe covered pictures of it via google and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Matti and I went to our first SF Garden show in 2009, where I tracked one down from Bay Natives. It was a little slow to establish and I thought it was dead the first year it went deciduous… right now it’s about to do the amazing thing I saw online. It put on a decent show last year, but this year is going to be nuts. If it wasn’t deciduous I don’t know if I could deal. Hopefully this is the year the Pipevine Swallowtails will sniff it out. They’re welcome to eat as much of it as they want.

Eccremocarpus scaber 'Cherry Red'

It’s the vine that won’t quit. Last year our Eccremocarpus died back quite a bit, but this year our masses of them (them reseed like crazy,  annoying cut off the pods crazy) are keeping the hummingbirds happy.

Fuchsia fulgens with Aeonium 'Cyclops' friend

Fuchsia boliviana

Brugmansia sanguinea

Senecio cristobalensis

Euphorbia wulfenii

Crested Euphorbia 'Tiny Tim'

Pretty much all the flowers on ‘Tiny Tim’ are cresting with bizarre monster like flowers. My crackpot theory is that aphids had something to do with it. They were all over this guy and I didn’t really do anything but blast it with the hose once. We have another big honking Euphorbia that’s currently under attack. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will have a bunch of freaky blooms in a few weeks, too.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for hosting Bloom Day!

November Blooms

November 14, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 17 Comments

Helenium autumnale 'Helena Red Shades'

Happy November Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! This is the time of the year when we start to feel a little guilty about having all kinds of stuff blooming, not too guilty. Maybe two months ago I stuck Helenium autumnale ‘Helena Red Shades’  in a container on the part shade side of the garden not expecting much, but I’m loving it.

Lotus maculatus explosion

It’s a waterfall of orangey goodness! We flipped the grill container around a month or two ago & the Lotus is going nuts.

Crassula falcata

We ripped out a big Crassula falcata last winter, but a kept a couple chunks around. This one’s looking remarkably clean. The old one was pretty spotty. Seems to be cool with part shade.

Crassula corymbulosa


Cestrum 'Newellii'

Aloe arborenscens

Tropaeolum tuberosum & Eccremocarpus

The hummingbirds have been going nuts for the Tropaeolum tuberosum. Just when I think that the Eccremocarpus scaber ‘Cherry Red’ is dead it busts out with another flower.

Asclepias physocarpa

I thought this plant was a goner back in August/September. It was getting beat to crap by light brown apple moths & pretty much looking pitiful, but it looks like we’re going to see some “Family Jewel” action soon. It’s happy & covered in flowers.

Faucaria sp.

Nemophila menziesii "Baby Blue Eyes"

I’m hooked on Nemophilas. I’ve heard snails love them, but so far we’ve been lucky.

Nemophila menziesii 'Penny Black'

Nemophila menziesii ‘Penny Black’ is one of my favorite annuals on the planet. I’ll be jamming this plant in to nooks and crannies forever. Tons of my favorite CA native spring annuals are back at Annie’s along with poppies & sweet peas.

Petunia exserta still looking sexy

Cuphea cyanea "Pink Cigar Plant"

Happy Blooms!







Happy August Bloom Day!

August 15, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 17 Comments

Echeveria shaviana hybrid

Happy August Bloom Day from the  Outer Sunset! A big shout out to May Dreams Gardens for hosting the worldwide bloom-a-thon blog fest! We’ve got some cool stuff happening in the flower department right now, including this Echeveria that Matti and I spent twenty minutes trying to identify online with no definitive answers. It’s ridiculously bloomy right now.

Madia elegans

About a month or two ago I thought the gophers had gotten to this California native, but a chunk of it had just broken off. We haven’t seen any gophers for a couple months!

Pretty Pelargonium

Aristolochia californica surprise

What’s up with the late summer pipe vine pipe? One section of the now massive vine is sprouting out flowers. I feel like it’s trying to take over the world right now. So far no Pipevine Swallowtail action. I heard they’re not typically found in these parts, which means if you grow it, they may not come.

Container of stuff

Hurray for surprise Lobelia seedlings from last year in places I don’t mind. My hack job on the Fuchsia ‘Fanfare’ is getting less awkward every week. I love my pot o’ violas. I would always plant them in Wisconsin forgetting every spring, that as soon as it started to get hot they’d shrivel up die in full sun. There’s some Satureja douglasii, “Yerba Buena” spilling out and spreading doing its groundcovery thing. I’m going to shut up and post some bloomy pics now:

Eccremocarpus scaber 'Cherry Red'

Fuchsia denticulata

Fuchsia 'Venezuela'

Echeveria nodulosa


Athanasia pinnata

Eriogonum 'The Hub'

Viola 'Etain'

Dahlia ‘Dark Side of the Sun’

Happy Bloom Day!




Blooming in July!

July 14, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 12 Comments

Pelargonium trigonum miracle flower!

Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! We’ve got some stuff blooming in the backyard. You might be thinking, “Hey, that’s a geranium flower. What’s exciting about that?”, but it’s a freak Pelargonium we picked up at a Succulent Society meeting. We still have the tag calling it Pelargonium trigonum, but I can’t find anything on the interwebs about it. I’m thinking maybe it’s Pelargonium tetragonum, it’s gotta be closely related. It has square succulent stems, might be confused for Euphorbia and is weird. I think it would be a lot happier in a different (sunnier/drier) spot, now that I’ve finally took the time to read about it. Here’s a pic of it back in May when it wasn’t getting eaten by a Calceolaria.

Calceolaria integrifolia ‘Kentish Hero’ & friends

You can barely see the poor Pelargonium between Calceolaria integrifolia ‘Kentish Hero’ and Cerinthe major purpurascens. The Calceolaria has been going crazy with orangey mouthed flowers.

Cotyledon orbiculata that keeps on giving

Cotyledon orbiculata has been blooming since early April. It just keeps pumping out flowers.

Dahlia 'Dark Side of the Sun'

So far my Dahlia experiment has been doing pretty well. No powdery mildew, yet! The cold, damp, drizzly fog is definitely here for Summer.

Keckiella cordifolia (CA Native) getting cuddly with the Agave

Gilia capitata chamissonis fluffy cuteness (CA Native)

Eccremocarpus scaber 'Cherry Red'

New Zinnia & Eryngium tripartitum

We’ve quite a bit more blooming all over the place right now. Check out our backyard flickr set for all the action in July. Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day!


July 17, 2010
by Megan

Annie's Annuals Part Deux

We had some pictures left over from our visit to Annie’s Annuals and Perennials last weekend.  If you’re looking for even more great Annie’s pics check out InterLeafings post from her visit. We were there the same day, maybe even … Continue reading