Sunday, January 31, 2010


Blame it on my recent trip to California but I now have a big love affair with succulents. I think it has been growing over the last year, as more of these plants make their appearance in our nurseries. I wonder if it will turn out to be a fad; like the Victorians and their love of grasses, which eventually went out of fashion only to return again at the end of the 20th. Century.

I'm dreaming of something like this. I have the perfect spot for these Woolly Pockets I saw at Descanso Gardens. A hefty price for a display like this so I am busy thinking how I could achieve this with less expensive materials.

I have never seen such beautiful displays of succulents everywhere.

In true conservation style, this business on Balboa Island had converted their fountain into a succulent garden.

We stopped by Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach and that was where I made one of my first purchases.

This Delosperma sphalmanthoides, tufted ice plant. Hardy to 0F ! This one will be going into my rock garden.

This magnificent display of Aeonium 'kiwi' growing in the ground at Quail Gardens had me hooked.

I found it for sale in their garden shop, along with a couple more must haves. I always head to the garden shop at the end of the visit and rarely leave empty handed. Who can resist a few little pots of succulents.

I couldn't leave California without an aloe. This one Aloe 'David Verity' and

Aloe marlotti with its distinctive spines on the center of the leaf. Just a little 2" pot so I don't know if it will ever flower for me. Both these aloes will stay in pots as will the aeonium.

Here's the rest of the collection now tucked away in the greenhouse and potting shed until these freezing temperatures go away. Meanwhile, I'm getting my planters cleaned out and my hanging baskets relined.

I bought 8 of these coir liners in the fall when Walmart was cleaning out. I had to cut them to fit but they did the job.


  1. One of the succulents in the first photo looks just like a hibiscus flower.

  2. Succulents are so tempting; there are so many colors and unique shapes. I'd go bonkers in CA nurseries probably.

    What I want is some of those colored concrete-tube plinths for a succulent dish or two. Hmm, I wonder if we could prevail on Jeff Pavlat to give the Austin bloggers a tutorial...

  3. Pam- I think it would just be a matter of buying a sonotube and mixing up a bag or two of concrete. Then staining it. An easy afternoon project!

  4. You got some beautiful succulents.
    I received a wall pocket for Christmas. I'm thinking some kind of succulents would be good in it.

    I love your energy. Mixing easy afternnon project!

  5. Those succulents look wonderful. Your planters are going to be lovely this summer.

  6. Boy have I got a soft spot for succulents as well. Thing is, I may buy a bunch to create that overflowing look but it never looks the same. I guess I just don't squeeze them in there like I probably should. That Aloe marlotti you got is so very cool looking. I look forward to checking up on them later.

  7. For local inspiration, you might want to check out Articulture, Monique makes some very cool terrariums and other installations using succulents.

  8. Wow, that's a lot of lovely succulents in one haul! I had to learn about succulents and xeric gardening after moving to a dry island (though most people here are still gardening solely with tropicals, which are either expensive to water or simply die in drought). I do so love those nurseries in california.

  9. I wonder if you couldn't repurpose one of those over the door shoe pocket/holders as a succulent planter? As long as you provided for proper drainage it ought to work at a much lower price... Maybe.... : )

  10. Good thought Deb. I must pop to the container store to see what I can find. All the wonderful projects i have in my head and I'm not doing any of them.

  11. I can't wait to see what you do with all this wonderful plants. I am enjoying them in public gardens here but probably won't be able to do much in my shady yard.