It had been over a year since we last checked out UC Botanical Gardens Berkeley, so we decided to go cross a bridge to take a look recently. The Aloes were looking fine, along with a slew of other South African natives that get their freak on this time of the year. I’m not even sure which Aloe this one is. Anyone know? One of my favorite things about this garden is how well marked all the plants are, but in my plant gawking giddiness I must have forgotten to take a pic of the tag.
This was the first time I’d ever seen this Aloe all grown up and flowering in real life. Love the orangey gold blooms. We’ve got a itty bitty baby version out back. It’s been a slow poke in the growing department.
I’d never even heard of Aloe abyssinica before. It’s frolicking with the some purple Babianas.
I’m a big fan of Aloe speciosa even when it’s not in bloom, but dang those flowers are cool.
Aloe capitata var quartziticola
This is my new favorite Aloe I never knew existed. The floopy flowers are just too cute.
Aloe capitata var quartziticola
One last Aloe thats tag listed it as “Aloe sp.” looks like A. ferox but without a positive identification tag I’m not going to assume. If you’re an Aloe aficionado this is a great time to go check them out, plus tons of cool South African bulbs are starting to do their thing right now, too. There were Ferrarias going nuts all over the place.
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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
We’re starting to get a sweet collection of cresting succulents these days. Check out this Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’. Fab color and adds a lot of punch amongst the green and gray succulent. Parents of this cultivar are Graptopetalum paraguayense and Echeveria gibbiflora. Crazy how some plants can cross breed between genera.
Graptopetalum paraguayense crested
I believe this was the first cresting succulent that we had in our garden. Back in the day, we picked up some Graptopetalum paraguayense cuttings from a buddy. Turned out that a couple of them started to crest. We’re not exactly sure how, why or when cresting happens, but found this article from the Cactus and Succulent Society of America that explains some of it. Seems that the growing point starts to go a little funky where the single growing point turns into a growing line or plane. Then the plant may form a crest or fan shape. It’s not limited to just succulents, but can occur on a variety of other plants. Yesterday, we noticed that one of our Euphorbia flowers is starting to crest. Strange.
Echeveria 'Doris Taylor'
Here’s a cresting Echeveria ‘Doris Taylor’ which we added to our collection a couple of months ago. Recently, we saw one available over at Urban Bazaar, which was awesome. Sometimes known as the Woolly Rose, parents are thought to be Echeveria setosa and Echeveria pulvinata. It has hairy leaves and normally grows in a rosette.
Another fun succulent that I picked up from work is this cresting Aeonium ‘Sunburst’. You can really see the flat stem here caused from the growing point happening over a line. BTW, cresting is also known as Cristate.
Okay. These next two, we aren’t exactly certain what they are. Would love some help on IDing it…or even some guesses. If I had to take a bet, I would say this on above is some sort of Pachyveria.
Here’s another to we’re not exactly sure, but think it’s another Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’…just growing under different sunlight conditions in our garden.
Senecio vitalis crested
Here’s a crester we no longer have, Senecio vitalis. The succulent was growing in a container and I think it got tossed during one of our revamping our garden sessions…oops.
Echeveria 'Winter Sunset'
We just planted this last one, Echeveria ‘Winter Sunset’ crested form. It has a cool looking stem and the rosettes are curving more than I could hope for. Does anybody have some fave succulents cresting in their collection? Would love to hear about them. Post some pics on our Facebook.