Tuesday, March 29, 2016

More succulent sights in Morro Bay

My last post ended at the bottom of a set of stairs that climb from the Embarcadero, Morro’s waterfront, to Market Avenue a block up and east. Right where you come out, next to DiStasio’s Restaurant, is yet another beautifully maintained public succulent planting.

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The planter you see in the next few photos connects DiStasio’s with Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe:

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Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe itself has several tall planters filled with aeoniums…

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…and a few smaller pots also overflowing with succulents. According to a sign, the design for the planters was done by Gardens by Gabriel, a very successful local landscaping design firm headed by Gabriel Frank. They are also the masterminds behind the jaw-dropping residential succulent garden in Morro Bay I photographed during our stay (see here for a teaser).

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Leaving Dorn’s behind, we headed up the hill towards the downtown area. Because of the climb, it felt more like uptown to me. Here are some snaps along the way:

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Leucadendron salignum looking a bit out of place in this spot but still a welcome sight

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Agave attenuata growing like weeds in a narrow space…

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…as are these aeoniums. There cannot possibly be much soil there!

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Main Street has a number of planters sponsored by local businesses. All of them have at least some succulents; some are all succulents. I don’t know if or how they are watered, but the plants looked as happy as can be.

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I’ve seen people use colored glass as a top dressing, but never jelly beans!

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The whole family was gaga over the leashed dog sunbathing on the metal grate. I wasn’t going to take a photo but couldn’t help myself when this pug walked by. I thought of you, Danger Garden!

This shop window caught my eye right away: Guerrilla Gardening Thrift Shop?

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This article posted near the door tells the story:

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According to its website:

The Guerrilla Gardening Club Program allows young street-wise men & women an opportunity to learn about plants, biology, & community through the Learn-By-Doing process.

The club is a nonprofit organization that actively “Guerrilla Gardens” the local community, through many forms of cultivation.

What service does the GGC provide to the community? The club plans, plants, & maintains public & private property landscapes. The club provides labor, recycling, composting, & waste management services for businesses, productions, & events. The club provides urban farming products. The club provides composting services & education. The club provides laborers for hire.

What a fantastic effort! I don’t know of any other town that has anything like it, at least not as an organized entity.

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Equally interesting in its own way is Coalesce New & Used Books, a “Morro Bay Landmark since 1973.” Not necessarily because it’s a book store but because it has a garden wedding chapel in the backyard!

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According their website:

The chapel was designed by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo architectural students as a school project, and was built in 1973 by a group of local carpenters and fishermen willing to work for beer and pizza.

This structure has been the site of many weddings and musical events. The building, which holds approximately 60 people, has walls of great artistic design and is surrounded by a welcoming garden.

The chapel was in use at the time of our visit (not a wedding but some sort of meeting) but I was able to take a few photos in the garden. It’s so lush, you might think you’re in Hawaii.

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But there’s more. More. Always more.

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One of several massive jade plants next to this dumpster. Look at the trunk of that beast!

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Fan aloe (Kumara plicatilis) in front of Shine Café

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Fan aloe (Kumara plicatilis) in front of Shine Café

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Could people possibly be stealing plants? Surely not in Morro Bay!

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Aeonium plantings in memory of somebody’s mom

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Aeonium-filled wagon and stacked terra cotta pots

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California poppies seem to grow best in cracks!

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Plantings at the Morro Crest Inn

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Plantings at the Morro Crest Inn

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Plantings at the Morro Crest Inn

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Two varieties of Leucadendron

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Great contrast!

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Agave americana and Aloe nobilis

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Agave americana and Aloe nobilis

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Aloe nobilis

Now we’re almost back down to the Embarcadero, the street the runs along the waterfront. Morro Rock sure makes an impressive landmark!

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There’s plenty more to come. Check back soon.

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11 comments:

  1. Now, I really want to go there. These photos are all so inviting. Where did you stay? Any reccomendation?

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    1. Laura, we stayed at 456 Embarcadero Inn & Suites. It's conveniently located on the Embarcadero. The room was very nice and you can walk everywhere. Our balcony had a great view of the waterfront and Morro Rock.

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  2. As I reading down, I kept thinking, "Somebody is weeding this place, these planters." Then I came to the part about the Guerilla Gardening Club and I knew who.

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    1. I bet you're right. Everything looked so well taken care of. We walked by an empty lot full of weeds (the only one I saw), and the contrast was shocking.

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  3. Like Laura, I kept thinking "now I have to get up there to take a closer look." I've been through Morro Bay to have a look at the rock but have never lingered.

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    1. I had only ever driven by on Hwy 1 but never stopped. But friends have been vacationing in Morro Bay for 30 years and I figured it was time to check it out ourselves. I'm so glad we did.

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  4. Another beautiful post! (And cute pug)

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    1. Thanks! With your nack for discovery, you would have found even more hidden garden spots.

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  5. Looks like the gardening bug has been super-active in this community.

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    1. Maybe because growing stuff is so easy in such a gentle climate? In any case, it was wonderful seeing so many great plants.

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  6. The cooler temps mid coast make these plants look so fat and happy. Truly Succulentland!

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