This past weekend we headed to a part of town we rarely frequent, Fisherman’s Wharf. After a quick stop at the Ferry Building to load up on an assortment of free samples at the Farmers’ Market we headed down to Pier 39 to check out the Tulipmania. Warning there is nothing very “Far Out” in this post, but we saw lots and lots of tulips, spring bloomers & tourists.
Hooray for Icelandic poppies (Papaver nudicaule), too!
Back to tulips
Even more tulips
They planted parsley to fill in some of the beds, which looked fabulous.
More gosh darn tulips
Through the twitter world we found out that Denise Dirickson has been the gardener at Pier 39 for thirty five years! She rocks it. Check out my blog post from last year’s summer bloomfest at the wharf here. I have to admit I was a little shocked at how awesome the gardens were. If you find yourself in Fisherman’s Wharf make sure you don’t miss out on the coolest thing there, the Musee Mechanique. Here’s the link to all our pics from Tulipmania on flickr.
Taking advantage of our warm weather here in SF, we headed to one of our GoTo spots for dazzling displays of color…the SF Botanical Garden at Strybing. Speaking of gorgeous, this yellow bell-shape bloom above is a Bomarea species. It seems to meander in and out of the other cloud foresty shrubs while showing off its dense umbel of flowers.
Bomarea sp - Climbing Alstroemeria
Here’s another Bomarea buddy in a shade of reddish-orange. They have tuberous roots and belong to the Peruvian Lilly Family (Alstroemeriaceae). Odd tidbit about Bomarea, the leaves are resupinate…that is, each leave twists from the base so that the top of the leaf is actually the underside.
Colletia ulicina - Cunco Rojo
Colletia ulicina is another cloud forest bloomer found in Chile where locals call it Cunco Rojo. Those aren’t lime green leaves you’re seeing, they’re short spiny thorns…ouch. Oh…check it out, J.G. in S.F. has the sweet pic of Colletia ulicina. Wow!
Ribes - Flowering Currant
Ahh, the Ribes are starting to pop…Cactus Jungle has a recent pic. It’s a sure sign that spring is just around the corner.
Roldana chapalensis – Groundsel
Roldana chapalensis is an intriguing shrub. Frankly, I can’t remember ever seeing it before, but the large-scale blooms and odor caught my attention. It had one of those guilty pleasure scents…I thought it smelled a little off, but couldn’t stop sniffing it.
Puya coerulea var. violacea - Dark Purple Puya
The succulent section was looking glam. These Puya coerulea var. violacea (Dark Purple Puya) were standing proud with their stiff, sharp and silver leaf blades.
Agave parryi var. parryi mescal and friends
Can’t get enough of this Agave parryi var. parryi mescal (on the bottom right). Yes, the drought tolerant peeps are looking lush.
Wollemia nobilis - Wollemia Pine
Okay, we’ve searched a couple times at Strybing looking for this Wollemia nobilis…aka the Wollemia Pine. Well, we finally found it! Yeah, we could have asked for directions, but that takes all the fun out of it. BTW, the Wollemia Pine is pretty rare. Check out an early post of one we found in the East Bay.
One last adorable show of color during our hike. We couldn’t find an ID for it, but thought somebody probably knows what it is. Any guesses on this purple bloomer? Before we forget, Strybing is having a plant sale this Saturday Feb 11, great time to load up.
We’ve wanted to visit Big Daddy’s Antiques forever and final made it this past weekend during a mini SF roadtrip. This place has all our favorites…rusty old objects, outsider art, flea market finds, and even a couple of succulents scattered about. Speaking of plants, this wall of shelves cool. What a great way to dress up a plain wall along a patio.
Big Daddy is that place where you can find monstrous objects…the type of ‘goto’ place where your designer shops for focal point pieces. Check out these macabre paper mache animals. Part folk art, half creepy…I bet these creatures have quite a story to tell.
Don’t know why, but I’m drawn to birdcages. We see them every so often at flea markets, but it was sweet to see a ton of them on display all in one place. Big Daddy even has a couple of resident doves that were born and raised on site.
Scrap wood Art
Here’s another reclaimed lumber project that I want to tackle. What a fab architectural object to add to the living room.
Their warehouse hosts many vignettes comprised of salvaged doodads spanning over many eras such as this fireplace mock up. Oh…and how about this 25-foot American flag hanging high above. Okay, maybe too over the top for my taste, or maybe I’m not thinking big enough.
Over the TOP
Rancho Reubidoux turned us on to Big Daddy after one of his treks in Los Angeles. Rancho always, yes always finds the coolest stuff. Thank you for doing what you do. Hey, wanna see more? You must pop over to Rancho Reubidoux and see Big Daddy through his eyes. You won’t regret it.
We’ve been eyeballing this project all last summer. Just down the road from us along the Great Highway, there are some old garden plots marked by narrow one-foot concrete borders. Most of them are abandoned and overgrow, but I remember that this garden circle was re-established about 2 years ago mostly with succulents. You can see above what a 30 minute cleanup can accomplish…below is what this succulent circle was looking like before we popped in.
Before...end of summer.
These garden circles have a lot of challenges to overcome. First, it doesn’t rain here in San Francisco during the summer. The only irrigation they see is the fog drip that rolls in around May and lingers until Fogust (August is the foggiest month). Second, salty winds can be fierce here. This garden is only a stones throw to the ocean and lots of salt spray can be found in the air. Lastly, it all sandy soil in these parts. Sometime so much sand blows in, that they close down the Great Highway until the sand plows can get it removed.
Car full of succulents.
We loaded up the car with some of our succulent cuttings and that giant agave baby from out backyard (mostly crassula, sedum, aloe and aeoniums). They all should do pretty well in the well draining sandy soil and summer drought. I’m not certain about the salt in the air, but we see these types of plants growing nearby. I’d say these new succulents have high odds of surviving.
In about 30 minutes, we weeded out the crap, shifted some of the existing plants around, and planted most of our cuttings and that big fatty Agave americana. There was so much sand piled up on this dune, that we really couldn’t get the concrete circle to expose…but that could be another project day.
Two months later.
After a slow start, it finally started raining this winter and this succulent circle should start looking lusher. We can’t wait to check in over the next couple of months to see how it’s coming along.
We popped in the Conservatory of Flowers to check out Playland at the Conservatory. Half blast from the past…half mini landscapes, 100% fun. Back in the day, a ton of attractions started springing up near the Sutro Baths down in our hood. Officially becoming Playland at the Beach in 1926 this boardwalk-esque amusement park peaked around the 50s and finally shut down in 1972. SF Conservatory does Playland proud bring back the essence of the fun and games.
The Fun House
Most of these miniature buildings and rides are created using found objects and reclaimed materials. Take a closer look at the Fun House. Looks like a couple of board games, including a chess board and a game of backgammon were used for the facade.
The buffalo and Windmill
These are two of my fav things you can still see in Golden Gate Park (GGP). First introduced to GGP in 1890s, you can still see bison hanging out in the Buffalo Paddock. It’s one of those bizarre sites when tromping around the park, and a great stop if you have visitors as it’s a mellow and always fun stuff to see. The Dutch Windmills are just down the road from the bison. One of the two has been standing in the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, but they just finished restoring the second windmill a couple blocks from our place.
The Cliff House
Pretty sure this is originally how the Cliff House used to look. Nice traveling tip, you can still explore the Giant Camera Obscura, which is adjacent to the Cliff House.
Big Dipper Roller Coaster
Gorgeous pink Cryptanthus and an assortment of Tillandsias popping out in the foreground of the Big Dipper roller coaster.
Can’t have an amusement park without a Ferris Wheel. Oh, forgot to mention all the toy trains and cable cars buzzing around too. We visited last year’s Garden Railway tour, and the Conservatory of Flowers did a great job changing it up since then.
Zoltar and a Laffing Sal
Bring a handful of quarters and dimes cuz there are games to play, including the Zoltar (I wished I was a kid again).
Matti in the Dodger Bumper Car
…and it came true. Hey, when you sit in this original Dodger bumper car, put the pedal to the metal…you’ll get a big treat. The exhibit runs until Apr 15, 2012. As you know time flies, don’t let this one get away.