Far Out Flora

Badass Bromeliad Society Tour

July 19, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 5 Comments


Bromeliads gone wild

Last weekend we hit up the SF Bromeliad Society’s super rad garden tour AND busted out the good old DSLR for the first time in almost a year. All the tour gardens were AMAZING! Brian Ransom’s garden pictured above and a whole bunch of pics below was my fave of the fab bunch. Anyone who mixes succulents, CA natives and bros rocks.

Brian’s garden

Zoe & Matti getting up close

Brian’s garden

Thunbergia & Tillandsia buddies on the fence

Seriously? How great is this?

Stags and more

The second garden we visited was by Armin Lindegger and Patrick Aaron. Love this vertical combo with the stags.

Babies like gardens!

Zoe was a good little trooper as we (mostly Matti) carried her all over the upper Market Street neighborhood. Check out those beautiful tree ferns in the background!

Anigozanthos love

Anigozanthos love

Hot tub garden

The last garden we visited was Richard Wigen’s. I wish I had a hot tub across from a big pile of awesome potted plants. Check out the trunk on that Aloe plicatilis!

Matti & Zoe hiding in the Senecio cristobalensis on the right

Musschia wollastonii maybe

Musschia wollastonii maybe

Can anyone confirm the ID on this guy about to burst with blooms? Looks like Muschia wollastonii to me.

Pretty path

Pretty path

Kniphofia, Verbena bonariensis, a ginormo Aloe plicatilis plus a bunch of other good stuff makes a gorgeous path. Zoe turned in to a pumpkin by the time the potluck started, so we missed out on the very last garden. It’s great to be back in California, surrounded by crazy awesome gardens filled with plants that most of the country can only grow as annuals or houseplants. Check out this link for all the sweet pics we took during the trip.

“The Domes” Tropical Time

January 6, 2013 by Megan Speckmann | 8 Comments

The Domes

Last Sunday we roadtripped over to Milwaukee to check out the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (The Domes) for some horticultural excitement.  I hadn’t been in years, but remember not being impressed the last time I was there. Built in the mid 60’s, The Domes were recently upgraded with new lighting and tons of great plants. Read all about it in a recent WSJ article. They did a great job! I think it may be only conservatory I’ve been to that offers alcoholic beverages at all times.  There are was a little cooler full of beers and single serve white wine for $4.00 a piece. Welcome to Wisconsin!

Ceiba pentandra

I’m not 100% sure that this is Ceiba pentandra… I was lazy and didn’t take pics of plant tags. Then I spent twenty minutes googling around to figure out what type of Ceiba I took a pic of.

Phoenix palm

Thanks to Jason the main man of The Palm Broker at Flora Grubb for helping me out in the ID department for these two.

Ravenala madagascariensis

A ginormous relative to the bird-of-paradise, Ravenala madagascariensis has freaky blue seeds with edible appendages.

Happy Tropical Land

Amorphophallus titanum

They have a big Amorphophallus titanum (corpse flower) hanging out next to a bunch of ephiphytes.

Zoe & the staghorn fern

The Domes are definitely worth a visit. Zoe slept the entire time we were there. You can check out all our pics on flickr.

Utilitarian Franchise Garden

May 13, 2011 by Megan | 21 Comments

Sweet new pillows.

Our Sweet new pillows.

You never know where the garden world is going to take you.  We were out and about looking at some cool indie crafts down in Hayes Valley (SF), and these awesome octopus pillows caught our eye.  That’s were we met Tin of Utiltarian Franchise.  Turns out that not only does Tin design the coolest pillows ever, he also is an avid gardener.

Staghorn Ferns with Succulent Wall

Staghorn Fern Grotto with Succulent Wall

A week later, we headed over to check it out.  OMGosh, hands down…Tin’s garden is incredible.  For the past two years, he has been filling every nook up and down with tons of succulents, bros and epiphytes.

Bros and succulents

Bros and succulents

Tin plays a lot with color and texture.  Also without the ability to chop up the concrete, he uses a bunch of containers and vertical wall panels.

Succulent Wall.

Succulent Wall.

Such as these sweet panels he made including the frames.  So what does Tin do with his old serography screens when they are past their prime?  He makes them into vertical walls.  Man, I really wish I would have come up with that…it’s brilliant.

San Francisco in succulents.

San Francisco in succulents.

Oh, and love the stags too.  Also, <3 those hanging letters.  He has collected enough letters to almost spell out San Francisco too…sans the F.

Sweet succulent containers.

Succulent containers.

BTW as always, there are more pics of Tin’s work on our Flickr.

Big, bad A succulent panel

Big, bad A succulent panel Bromeliad Tree.

Geez, I want this succulent wall.

Bromeliad Tree.

Bromeliad Tree.

Okay, so there’s a lot to take in at Tin’s garden…and can’t wait to head back.  Wanting more info on Utilitarian Franchise designs, check out this SF Gate article.  Hey Tin, we love the pillows and thanks for the tour.

Far Our Flora

October 23, 2010
by Megan

Houseplant Hootenanny

While making sure I spelled Hootenanny correctly I learned that besides meaning party it can also, “refer to things whose names were forgotten or unknown. In this usage it was synonymous with thingamajig or whatchamacallit“. I’m going to start saying, … Continue reading

Strybing Stags

October 21, 2010 by Matti | 2 Comments

Staghorn Ferns - Platycerium bifurcatum

Staghorn Ferns - Platycerium bifurcatum

I got a case of Staghorn Fern Fever and these guys hanging out in Golden Gate Park has the cure.  The top bunch can be found in the Primitive Plant Section in the Strybing Arboretum, but don’t touch…Don't touch….cuz they may have tracking devices.  I heard about this, but thought it was an urban legend.

Staghorn Ferns - Platycerium bifurcatum

Staghorn Ferns - Platycerium bifurcatum

You’ll also find Stags in the Australian section (above) and I remember seeing some near the old Redwoods.  Staghorns…also known as Elkhorn Ferns in some parts…will attach themselves to trees, but don’t actually leach any nutrients from their host tree.  It’s strictly just for support.

Staghorn Ferns - Platycerium bifurcatum

Mounted Staghorn Fern

BTW, I’m getting excited for the Staghorn Mounting Class we are teaching tonight.  Above is one of my old school experimental mounting techniques.  Now we use all sorts of reclaimed wood.

— Far Out Flora