What? 2011 is almost over….that’s crazy talk. Let’s rewind and take a look at our 5 hottest garden posts of 2011. We love traveling around checking out gardens, finding funky plants, and sharing them with you. We want to give a BIG shout out to all our Far Out Flora peeps. We <3 you guys! …now onward to your top 5 for 2011.
Simply Succulent = Sweet! was written shortly after our first visit to the Simply Succulent Nursery up in Fort Bragg, CA. This place is stuff to the hilt with fun plants, including this Senecio articulatus (Candle Plant, aka Hot Dog Cactus). Definitely recommend you swing by this place if you’re ever in the area.
DIY Succulent Pallet Table
Hands down, DIY Succulent Pallet Table was our reader’s favorite of 2011. Shortly after our succulent table was completed, it was on display at Sunset Magazine’s test garden for their summer party. They loved it too and put it in their Aug issue. Pretty sweet.
We packed in a bunch of new funky plants in 2011 including this rare Petunia exserta. Take a peek at October in Bloom, it really shows how our garden can shine.
Lobelia excelsa - Tabaco del diablo (Devil's Tobacco)
No surprise that we spend a ton O time at Strybing Arboretum. It’s just up the road from us and always something exciting to see in the plant world like this Lobelia excelsa (Tabaco del diablo). Of all the trips, Strybing Super Flowers was a fan fave.
After sick to death of looking at this crappy old Grill in our backyard, we finally cleaned it up and planted the sucker. I’m not certain who thought of it first, but Grilling Up Succulents is that perfect easy weekend project. Besides being easy to move around the yard, we keep planting new stuff in it all the time.
Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! We’ve got tons of cool stuff blooming right now including the tallest plant we’ve ever grown Dahlia imperialis ‘Double White’. There were a bunch of big babies in one gallons at Annie’s that needed a new home, so I took one home not knowing which tree Dahlia it was going to be (we’re usually pretty anti-white flowers). It’s pretty awesome, but I kind of want to try Dahlia tenuicaulis or crazy awesome Dahlia campanulata next year. There’s another shot of it in the container here (it’s kind of skinny).
Maybe a month or two ago I hacked this puppy back pretty hard since it was getting scraggly. Now it’s covered in flowers again. I think this is one of our very first Fuchsias. It loves a good hacking every few months.
Quite a few of our Fuchsias are blooming right now and Fuchsia denticulata is one of my faves. Hummingbirds are having brawls and it’s December. The Wisconsinite in me is still in awe that it can be sunny and 65 sometimes even 70 degrees in December. January through March used to be my most hated time of the year and now it’s my favorite. Bring on the rain!
While I love Fuchsia fulgens, I’m more excited about the Kalanchoe carnea growing behind the flowers. We started this guy from a stem we picked up on the ground in Santa Barbara last winter. I keep moving it around and pissing it off, but it seems to like the new spot.
Cyanotis somaliensis (Common Name - Furry Kittens or Pussy Ears)
A big shout out to Plants Are The Strangest People for helping us ID this purple poofy flowered thing several months back. I’m pretty sure this plant withstood dog pee in its not so great spot in the yard back in the day, but it now lives happily in a pee free zone. Everything I’ve read says it needs to be in zone 10 or above and I remember it dying back pretty hard after a frost. It’s been a great houseplant for us, too. We picked it up at Lone Pine Gardens a nursery that specializes in succulents and bonsai trees in Sebastopol. Cool place.
Matti picked up this bizarro Oxalis herrerae at Cactus Jungle last Spring. If we put it in the ground, kept it watered and fed it could potentially turn in to a three foot tall leafy shrub. We like the freaky succulent petiole action, so we keep it abused in a little pot. I wasn’t all that excited about it at first since Annie’s had some pampered plants leafy plants at the time. It’s pretty dang cool.
Eccremocarpus scaber 'Tresco Gold'
It took Eccremocarpus scaber ‘Tresco Gold’ a little longer to take off this year since most of it sprouted from the abundant seed of one crazy floriferous plants from last year. It seems to be lasting later in the season. Snip off the pretty seed heads if you don’t want lots and lots and lots of babies, but they’re easy to spot and pull, too. The hummingbirds go crazy for it. I’m convinced they like it more than any of our Fuchsias.
I planted this Anagallis monellii in a big container last May or June. It bloomed like a little trooper for a couple months, got rangy, hacked it back and it’s coming back. It’s seriously one of the prettiest shades of blue out there, but it’s tough to capture in photos. I severely abused (moved at least three times in a not so nice manner) a different plant last winter that olerated my cruelty no-problem. Annie’s almost always has them available, so I started fresh with this guy.
We’ve had a couple of Kalanchoe marmorata hanging around for at least a year. They haven’t loved life in our garden (honestly, they’ve usually been jammed in sub-prime real estate), but this one finally liked it enough to shoot out some crazy four inch long flower. One of our favorite succulent bloggers Candy got a great shot of it looking happy, but not as spotty at Huntington Gardens this fall. From what I’ve read it sounds like the more sun it gets to more pronounced its leopard spots are.
San Francisco, if I haven’t told you how much I love you lately I apologize. Gardening in Winter is one of my favorite activities, especially after checking the temp in Wisconsin and giggling. I’m going to shut up now and show some more pics of stuff that’s blooming out back. Hurray for December!
Froofy Fuchsia (don't really know what hybrid it is)
Helenium autumnale 'Helena Red Shades'
Crassula erosula 'Campfire'
Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'
Okay, I can’t keep my big mouth shut… Back in early October I was walking the dog around the neighborhood with the camera and took a pic of a house using Lotus maculatus as a ground cover in the middle of their driveway. It looks nice, check out the pic here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! A big shout out to May Dreams Garden for hosting the worldwide flower sharing fest. Lots of repeats from recent months past, but we still have plenty o’flowery action happening out back. We’re not really sure which Scabiosa this is (it was a mystery freebie from Annie’s I planted in a pot last winter). The dang thing hasn’t stopped blooming since May and the butterflies love it. I love how the little periwinkle dots on the wings match the bloom.
Our Brugmansia sanguinea has busting out the blooms left and right. We’ve actually had a decent amount of rain for October, which nearly collapsed the entire thing (I feel like a pruning failure). It’s super floppy… which means as soon as the flower fest is done I’m going to hack it back. Anyone have any advice about pruning it in to a lovely small tree?
Not really sure what this cultivar is, but it’s an Echeveria gibbiflora of some sort. I’m going to call it ‘Fancy Panties’ since I have no idea what cultivar it really and truly is.
Now I haven’t really looked at a donkey tail lately, but what’s up with the common name “Donkey Tail Spurge”? Nothing about this plant reminds me of an equine creature, but I do love it.
Look at that lovely flower! The actual plant itself is all spotty and weird. I’m thinking it’s getting too much water, not enough sun and is in a pot with probably sub-standard (crappy recycled so-so draining soil). We have a couple in the ground that have never been that happy either (they more sun and less water). I see them everywhere around town (even in the fog belt) looking huge and awesome. Perhaps we have the Calandrinia curse?
I’m still loving our Petunia exserta (almost extinct in its homeland of southeastern Brazil). When we look out over the garden from the living room, the flowers look like floating red stars. I dead head it religiously.
My fingers turn purple when I deadhead this one. I’m curious to see how things go for it this winter.
Grill looking pretty
We flipped the grill around a week or two ago, since the Lotus maculatus was putting on a show for the fence. Echeveria pulvinata is back in action again, too. Anyone else out there orange flower fans? I think we need more orange flowering friends.
Still looking good despite my half-assed transplant.
Dahlia ‘Dark Side of the Sun’
Oh geez, I just looked at our previous Bloom Day posts and back in August I posted almost this exact same picture. I’ll be honest. We almost spaced Bloom Day, so some of these pictures are a week or two, maybe three old. Right this very second there are no Dahlia blooms in action.
Are you sick of ‘Fanfare’ yet? It just keeps blooming and blooming and blooming.