Far Out Flora

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.


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.


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!

September Strybing

September 7, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 7 Comments

Bomarea caldasii

It’s been over a month since we were last at the SF Botanical Garden, so we headed up last Sunday afternoon in the fog. I was hoping to see some nice Meso-American Cloud Forest action, and was sweetly rewarded. I have no idea why we don’t have a Bomarea planted out back. I think I’m secretly afraid they’re finicky, but in reality they don’t seem that tough to keep alive. One would be right at home in Fuchsialand out back. There’s a trellis with a half-dead sweet pea and sad looking, heat/sun deprived pitiful Mina lobata that could use a new plant.

Foxy Fuchsia boliviana

The Fuchsia bolivianas were going nuts. Huge trees are covered in blooms which means I’ll most likely be hanging out near these fabulous plants next Saturday from 1:30-3:30 at my Interpretive Station as a docent. Wanna be a docent? Get more info and sign up for the upcoming fall training class here.  It’s a fun way to learn more about plants.

Deppea splendens

Just a short stroll down from Fuchsiaville is a Deppea splendens getting ready to bloom like crazy. It’s covered with buds. Anyone know if there’s another Deppea besides this guy? I’ll most likely be setting up my Interpretive Station very near this plant on September 24th from 11:30-1:30 for the show.

Geranium 'Rozanne'

I have to admit, I didn’t understand what the all the fuss about this plant was for earlier this spring at Annie’s (there are a bunch available right now). Customers were getting into fist fights for the few we had available. Well, maybe not that extreme. I get it now. I’ve been watching a mass that’s been blooming its head off for months now. It’s impressive.

Haemanthus coccineus

At first I thought someone had thrown some trash in this bed, but it was really full of fiery little red flowers. They’re cute little South African natives related to the Naked Lady pictured below.

Amaryllis belladonna

Eucomis bicolor

Eriogonum giganteum

We took a little stroll through the California native section where we caught this ginormous Erigonum giganteum going crazy.

Eriogonum grande var. rubescens

The little native/dry section in front of the County Fair Building is starting to fill in. To check out baby pictures of this garden check out our post from last October when it was first installed. All our pics from Strybing are right here on flickr.





October 14, 2010
by Megan

New Natives at SFBG

    Last week while at Master Garden training at the County Fair Building in GGP we watched all day as a bunch of dudes and a very happy dog worked on this project. The dog was more of a … Continue reading