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Square Hangy Thing

May 18, 2011
Complete, and will take some time to grow roots.

This is how it looked back then.

Almost a year ago, I planted this metal pot rack into a succulent hanging thing. Lots of little cuttings, lots of sphagnum moss, lots of potential. Well, it’s all grown up now. Not exactly what I expected, but enough to salvage.

Here's what it looks like now.


Here it is today. It has been neglected for some time now.  Definitively in need of a haircut and a little refill. Oh, another issue I have found. That hemp type twine I’ve been using to hold it all together? It has been failing…basically rotting away a little faster than expected. Like the time the mirror held up with the twine fell and crushed our Clianthus puniceus. I wasn’t too concerned at that moment because I really didn’t know what Megan planted, but I love the guy now that he has recovered.

Ever since, I’ve been systematically going around the garden and replacing that hemp twine with wire. At least it should take more than a year before the wire rusts away.

A little fluffing.

A little fluffing.

A little fluffing and it’s looking sweet again, better than ever.

Looking sweet again.

Looking sweet again.

I can’t wait for another 3-6 months to pass to see what happens next. Hey, these succulents are all alive and need the occasional haircut / TLC to get them looking all cool again. Same thing with our planted containers.

Excited that we made it.

Be somebody.

While I was spicing up this succulent hanging thing, Megan picked up this cool Petunia hybrid, the Phantom Petunia. Turns out it was the same Petunia on the cover of the Garden Gate magazine that showed up that day. No way!

Time for an obscure reference. Holding this plant along with the magazine instantly reminded me of a certain movie where Steve Martin held up a drink with a bamboo umbrella next to a magazine stating…”Be somebody”. Yeah, that Petunia made me feel like Somebody. Any takers on the movie? — Far Out Flora

May Bloom Day Merriment

May 14, 2011

Viola Village

Hurray for May Bloom Day! Thanks to May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! Our backyard is the bloomiest it’s EVER been. People at work have said I’ve crossed over to “Flower Floozy” land, and I think they might be right even though I keep denying it. This container is full of Viola ‘Tiger Eyes’, Viola nigra ‘Bowles Black’, Viola ‘Etain’ with Satureja douglasii (Yerba Buena) creeping around. There’s some Aeoniums hanging out, too.

Echium wildpretii continues to rock!

Container experiment

This is our blue/orange container I planted back in early April. I’m liking it so far. There’s a bumble bee checking out Linaria reticulata
. I’m hooked on the Cerinthe retorta and Cheiranthus x allionii.

Ageratum corymbosum

Echeveria amoena adorableness

Digitalis obscura "Sunset Foxglove"

Sedum angelina blooming

Fuchsia boliviana

Lathyrus odoratus 'Cupani'

Fuchsia 'Fanfare'

Papaver commutatum 'Ladybird'

Othonna capensis ‘Little Pickles’

Clarkia breweri

Phygelius capensis ‘Magenta’

Calendula officinalis ‘Bronzed Beauty’

Dudleya & Aeoniums

Utilitarian Franchise Garden

May 13, 2011
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,❤ 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

Natives Are Nice, Really Nice

May 10, 2011

Dudleya sp. (what is it?)

Way back in January we went a little California native crazy in our “center bed” (giant sand pit that was stuffed with Senecio mandraliscae and other wayward succulents). Dang I’m glad we did. Things are starting to get exciting in native land. Back in January I had plans for one more Clarkia and more Dudleyas. It’s interesting to look back at past blog posts to see what we were thinking at the time. We now have not one, but THREE Clarkias that are about to burst in to bloom any minute, and four new Dudleyas have joined the gang, too. I’m not even sure what the one above is, but I love them all.

Hurray for California natives (mostly)!

On the left is super yummy smelling Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum in orange. It’s buddy Erysimum franciscanum var. crassifolium is pretty flowered out right now, but rocked it for the last couple months. Next to that guy is Gilia capitata with some Gilia tricolor peeking out from the Agave. Love them both! The butterflies and bees have really been digging the capitata.

Gilia capitata love

The blue stamens of Gilia tricolor are too gosh darn cute on these guys! I made the mistake of bringing home this guy a little too big. It was already starting to bloom and went all lanky on me. I chopped him back a few weeks ago, and BAM now it’s covered with blooms and buds.

Camissonia cheiranthifolia chilled out “Beach Primrose”

Maybe three or four weeks ago I was updating the sign for Camissonia cheiranthifolia, and decided it would love life on La Playa. It’s native to the beach dunes from Santa Barbara all the way up to Oregon, so I figured it would feel at home next to Ocean Beach. It’s been pumping out pretty yellow flowers ever since.

Cramming them in

I’ve already had to pull at least ten California poppy seedlings I had started out due to space limitations. What was I thinking? On the far right up a little is a poor little Eriogonum grande var. rubescens that’s been moved around too many times for me to admit. I recently jammed it in way to close to Eriogonum ‘The Hub’ which is just starting to bust out buds. The plant in the top leftish corner is Madia elegans. I really hope the claims of “strongly pineapple scented” are true. It should keep the show going through summertime. Squashed between it and the Madia is Clarkia concinna. Dudleya pulverulenta is in the lower center spot.

The only California native we planted that isn’t loving life in our backyard is Mimulus puniceus. You can kind of see it being eaten by poppies in the top right hand corner. I’m not sure what its deal is, the poppy infestation is relatively new. I don’t water it very often, it keeps turning kind of brownish, umm maybe I don’t water it enough? It’s spewed out a few flowers here and there, but for the most part looks kind of pitiful. Perhaps we need to give Mimulus aurantiacus a shot instead?

Before working at Annie’s I had no idea there were so MANY super cool California natives out there, and that so many of them like being shoved in a sand pit with nothing fancy added.  Check out Annie’s vast CA native list here. Wanna learn more, check out these links:

Bay Natives Nursery


California Native Plant Society

Las Pilitas Nursery

Theodore Payne Foundation

Going Picture Crazy

May 7, 2011

Echium love

In April we uploaded 259 pictures of our backyard to Flickr. Dang!  The middle (mostly native) section is really filling in. I’m loving the Gilia capitata and Gilia tricolor. They’re both super bloomy right now. We have Gilia capitata ssp. chamissonis, too.  Our Eriogonom ‘The Hub’ is getting ready to pop soon, too! Our Dudleya collection keeps expanding thanks to Matti’s rescues from work.  Here are a couple more of my favorite pics from April.

Coreopsis gigantea getting gigantic

Alien Aeonium with poppies

Results from cleaning up the joint

Crassula corymbulosa and friends

Agave is Over

May 5, 2011

Before, Agave still intact.

Before, Agave still intact.

The sunny side of our garden is looking sweet. We do like to keep trying out new plants and tweaking stuff. We’re down to about three Agave americana succulents (Century Plant) left in the garden. There’s the mama which we don’t plan on getting rid of even though it is going to over take our back yard some day…and two of her pups still floating around.
Agave americana - Century Plant

Agave americana - Century Plant

Don’t worry, even though today’s title is “Agave is Over”, we still have a bunch of other Agave species…just slimming down on the americana. Oh BTW, as the title implies, we can’t get enough of Portlandia. So here’s one last look of this guy in our garden.
Matti's special tool

Matti's special tool

I’m the official Agave ripper outer in the garden. Strapping on my hori hori…time to get to work.
Clearing rocks.

Clearing rocks.

Back when a lot of these plants were just tiny guys, we put a bunch of beach rocks in on this side…mainly to help stabilize cuttings and also to dress up the side while they grow in. Now we’re finding that we need to pull out a lot of the rocks while shuffling plants around.
Ripping out the Agave.

Ripping out the Agave.

Couple strategic cuts, this baby is coming loose. Max is always there to help.
It's out.

It's out.

Hey, I am getting good at this. Oddly enough, the roots were not as big and deep as I thought they would be. It was a win win. I brought this pulled out Agave to the curb for somebody to take. Before I could even twitter about it, 30 seconds later someone was already hauling it away to plant in their garden. We love sharing.
Filling in the hole.

Filling in the hole.

So what to put into this bare hole. Against the fence and just to the left of the bald spot is an Athanasia pinnata…and to the right is a Leonotis menthifolia (Lion’s Ear).


We decided to pop in an Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’ that I picked up from my work. It looks small now, but all three of these mentioned get pretty big. It’s gonna be a battle royale to see who get all the air space. Seriously, I think that they’ll be happy as they fill in. Some like to snake around when they grow, some will get pruned every so often…and maybe just maybe one will get too big and will get ripped out in a year. Then we get to experiment with another cool plant. — Far Out Flora

Huntington Conservatory and More

April 30, 2011

The Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory

The Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory

Last of the Huntington Garden posts from our road trip (aka…Matti finally gets to see LA).  We hit the succulents, checked out the Aloes…what’s left?  The Rose Hill Conservatory.  Hey, don’t get me wrong…Huntington has weeks of stuff to see and you can only see so much in a day.

Cool blooms in the Conservatory.

Cool blooms in the Conservatory.

Like the Griswolds seeing the Louvre 10 minutes before it closed, today’s post is fast, down and dirty.  Check out this blooming guy?  NOID on it, anybody know it?

Nepenthe pitcher growth chart.

Nepenthe pitcher growth chart.

I found this development chart pretty sweet for the Nepenthes which I am a big fan.

Sarracenia Pitcher Plant.

Sarracenia Pitcher Plant.

This Sarracenia is for you Robert at The Pitcher Plant Project.

The bog.

The bog.

Garden of Flowing Fragrance.

Garden of Flowing Fragrance.

Holmskioldia sanguinea

Holmskioldia sanguinea

Ficus columnaris

Ficus columnaris.

Ficus columnaris is a monster with a gorgeous trunk on it.

Kniphofia 'Christmas Cheer'.

Kniphofia 'Christmas Cheer'.

Melaleuca huegelii - Chenile Honeymyrtle.

Melaleuca huegelii - Chenille Honeymyrtle.

Another fav of mine are the Melaleucas.  Hey, want more Huntington Garden action?  You need to visit Floradora…she has some amazing pics from a recent trip…a must see.

— Far Out Flora