Far Out Flora

Sprucing up Shiny

December 7, 2011 by Matti | 11 Comments

Shiny Succulent Container - Nov 27, 2011

Shiny Succulent Container - Nov 27, 2011

A tad past two years ago, I found this shiny object which I jammed packed with a ton O succulent cuttings. Well, it’s been way over due for a little sprucing up. Above is the result. Check out the side by side at the end.

Shiny Succulent Container - Nov 2009

Shiny Succulent Container - Nov 2009

Here’s how it looked 2 years ago…it’s really more if a game of survivor. Cruising the Mission hood for funky stuff, I found this UFC (Unidentified Found Container. 35 cuttings from our backyard later, it was filled with hope, dreams, and promise. Our Thrift Store Succulent Storage post tells more of the story.

Shiny Succulent Container - Nov 27, 2011

Shiny Succulent Container - Nov 27, 2011

Why did it need a replanting? Well, rarely do plants look superb forever, unless you’re using plastic. Here’s a recent pic how it’s been looking. That’s what a year of total neglect looks like. Shocking anything is still alive.

The cool thing is that I have a better idea which of these succulents can handle a some stress. Taking a peek above, looks like the tough guys are a couple of aeoniums, some Sedum rebrotinctum, a sempervivum, Crassula tetragona, and some other crassula & sedum.

Feb 2010ish on Left -- Nov 2011is on the Right

Feb 2010 on Left -- Nov 2011 on the Right

Check out this before and after (clicking our pics make them big). There’s about an 18 months span from left to right. Game on, let’s see which will endure thru 2012.

— Far Out Flora

Bloom Day September

September 14, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 24 Comments

Bee & Mystery Succulent

Happy September Bloom Day! Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting the monthly bloom-a-thon. Summer has finally arrived in Outer Sunset. For the first time in several weeks it hit seventy five degrees and was sunny!  This little bee was pollinating its little heart out on a cutie mystery mesemb. Anyone have any ideas as to what it is? I don’t even remember where we got it.

Cuphea 'Strybing Sunset' action

Matti brought Cuphea ‘Strybing Sunset’ home from the pitiful pile at work, and it’s made a full recovery. I threw it in there to give Fuchsia ‘Fanfare’ some leggings to cover up some of its skinny leg show.

Linaria reticulata 'Flamenco'

Linaria reticulata ‘Flamenco’ is one of my favorite annuals. I’d even say it’s even in my top five. We planted one last Spring, and it bloomed like a crazy thing for months in a big container. I loved it so much, this time I planted three. It’s well on the way to being a giant ball of red-orange flowery goodness.

Petunia exerta fun

Crazy rare Petunia exerta from South Eastern Brazil is still going strong despite being trampled by a dog. We trample it, too trying to get to plants in the far corner. Greensparrow Gardens‘ blogger Joseph Tychonievich hooked Annie’s up with the seeds for this super unique Petunia. Joseph is so cool he actually tricked his tree dahlia in to blooming using a trash can this summer.

Plectranthus neochilus

Some folks don’t like this funky little groundcover’s herby odor, but I think it smells nice. The purpley flowers aren’t bad either.

Sempervivum starting to get crazy

We’ve got semps in all shapes in sizes, bursting with sea creature like blooms right now. Matti’s been addicted to semps for quite some time, but I was slow to jump on the bandwagon. We had one back in Wisconsin that I loved, but I was weirdly not in love with them when we moved here. I think one might have gotten rotty during the winter. While I still can’t rattle off all the cultivars like Matti, I do love them again.

Impatiens nyungwensis

Matti picked out mega-rare Impatiens nyungwensis, a native to Rwanda from Annie’s last winter/early-spring. It’s loving life next to the beach. We now have two thriving colonies of this hairy little guy, from a couple chunks of plant I shoved in the ground after it was looking sad in a container.

Brugmansia sanguinea

Pretty soon our Brugmansia sanguinea will have some flowers facing the garden where I can take a picture of it without sticking my head next to the fence. This guy has really taken off. It’s covered in buds right now, and getting huge.

Eccremocarpus scaber 'Tresco Gold'

Finally, after quite some time of not doing so much Eccremocarpus scaber ‘Tresco Gold’ is causing hummingbird brawls in the garden. We literally have over ten Fuchsias out back, and the hummers don’t give a crap about them compared their beloved Chilean Glory Vine. Earlier this week I saw my first full on hummer battle above this vine.

Verbena bonariensis and fluttery friend

The butterflies have been digging the Verbena bonariensis big time latey. Anyone know what this one is?


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!




Rearranging Rocks

March 8, 2011 by Megan | 18 Comments

Max and succulent containers.

Max and succulent containers.

It’s cleaning day in the garden and Max the Border Collie is always ready to help.  Last summer, Megan cranked out a bunch of succulent containers which we arranged on a homemade bench.  Every time it rains or the wind blows…the neighbor’s big Myoporum laetum tree drops debris on, underneath and in between all these succulent containers.  It was time for a good cleaning.


Succulent bench.

Succulent bench.

BTW, these wooden boards were found way back in the day when we excavated the patio.  There was so much sand in the backyard that we didn’t know where the concrete ended and the potential garden could begin.  After digging out all the extra sand, we kept finding bizarre stuff…a 20 foot plank of wood here, some rebar there, bricks, broken glass, and even some beef shank bones.


Succulent container.

Succulent container.

Here’s one of our favorites of the pots.  Nice hodgepodge of succulent cuttings…Crassula lycopodioides, Sedum rubrotinctum, some sedums, and aeoniums.


Mix and match.

Mix and match.

Now the fun part, rearrangement time.  Also tucked in are a couple of rock containers we spray painted silver which we like to call moon rocks.  BTW, they are not really made of rock…they appear to be some sort of ceramic made to look like a rock.


Max back to helping.

Max back to helping.

Max knows just where to drop his ball, strategically right where I am working.  He does that until we chuck it for him.  Ahh…you got to love a dog’s determination.


Max chasing his ball.

Max chasing his ball.

Amazing how crisp and clean the bench looks AND how quick Max can build up speed.  I know this photo makes him look like he’s doing some business, but he’s actually sprinting for his ball.  Check out more pics on our Flickr.

— Far Out Flora