how to plan a succulent garden

how to plan a succulent garden

Repeat colours and varieties

By combining agaves with yuccas, the designers used similar-but-different vegetation to create continuity. The Yucca rostrata at far proper repeats the darkish inexperienced starburst shapes of slender-leaved agaves at center left. These in flip echo an intriguing facet of one another: white filaments that curl from leaf margins.Succulent garden design essentials

Incorporate textural vegetation

Texture is each what’s seen up-close, like fuzzy purple kangaroo paw flowers, and what’s seen from a distance, just like the mounding jade at center proper and ‘Sticks on Fireplace’ past. Additionally extremely textual are barrel cacti and any plant that shimmers within the breeze-like the Yucca rostrata at left.

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Succulent garden design essentials

Sculpt the terrain …

… with berms and valleys. Mounded soil is extra fascinating than flat and top enhances drainage. Tip: Herald a number of yards of topsoil amended with pumice and mound it atop your former garden or a difficult-to-dig space of compacted grime. The succulents you plant in contemporary soil will shortly take root and thrive.

Succulent garden design essentials

Group vegetation with various heights and sizes

In Nancy Dalton’s backyard, Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fireplace’ serves as a backdrop for medium-sized succulents akin to barrel cacti and variegated elephant’s meals (Portulacaria afra ‘Variegata’). Low-growing blue Senecio mandraliscae and Othonna capensis full the high-medium-low vignette.

Succulent garden design essentials

Place vegetation in line with water wants

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These most susceptible to rot, akin to cacti from to the desert Southwest, are likely to do greatest atop a berm that enables water to empty away from their roots. Finer-leaved succulents are likely to dry out extra simply and might be happiest across the base of the mound or in a swale. See my article, “The right way to Water Succulents.”

Develop rangy non-succulents in pots

As an alternative of within the floor, Nancy’s herb backyard occupies giant terracotta pots close to her kitchen door. This retains the vegetation beneath management (some, like mints, are invasive) and makes them simple to water, have a tendency, harvest, and replant.Pot grouping of herbs

Add a fountain

The sound of splashing water on a patio or adjoining to a backyard sitting space blankets neighboring noise and enhances even a small yard’s sense of privateness. It additionally attracts songbirds.

Put complementary colours to work

Succulents are available in all colours, as do glazed ceramic pots, so have enjoyable with them! Right here, Nancy contrasted blue and orange. Coppertone stonecrop (Sedum nussbaumerianum) within the mattress serves as a floor cowl, frames the point of interest, and flows round pots of Kalanchoe orgyalis (copper spoons) at left and Agave colorata. Succulent garden design essentials

Show dynamic succulents towards partitions

Nancy lent curiosity to a white stucco retaining wall with three brightly-glazed pots. They include a tall, columnar cactus, a clustering euphorbia, and star-shaped Agave lophantha ‘Quadricolor’. Discover extra concepts in my guide, Succulent Container Gardens.

Succulent garden design essentials

Showcase the symmetry of succulents

Small agaves look nice in pots that body and name consideration to their elegant, geometric shapes. Right here, Agave victoria-reginae graces a hexagonal pot close to Nancy’s entrance door. Succulent garden design essentials

Embody a dry creek mattress

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In a drought-prone local weather it is soothing to recommend the presence of water. To create the look of dashing water, designer Michael Buckner lined Nancy’s dry creek mattress with cobbles turned sideways. Such enhancements can channel water from gutters into the backyard and supply entry to hard-to-reach areas. See the part in Designing with Succulents on dry creek beds, pp. 56-59.

Succulent garden design essentials

Prime-dress naked soil …

… with crushed rock. It might appear minor, however this usually ignored facet of design makes an enormous distinction. A layer of gravel lends a completed look, discourages weed development, and helps maintain moisture within the soil. See my articles, “Ten Causes Why You Actually Want Rocks” and “Why Prime Dressing is Important for Succulents.”

Particular due to Deeter-Buckner design for these “earlier than” images of Nancy’s entrance yard:




Nancy Dalton’s s backyard gained the town of San Diego’s drought-tolerant landscaping contest and was on the San Diego Horticultural Society’s Spring Backyard Tour. Positioned in Carmel Valley, the backyard has a light, frost-free local weather. Panorama designers Samantha Owens of Barrels and Branches nursery and Michael Buckner of Deeter-Buckner Design helped with soil amendments, plant choice, placement, and set up. Nancy herself is educated about vegetation and is a hand’s-on gardener.

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