Having a theme for part or all of your garden is certain to spark your creativity. Nancy Englund's succulent mermaid's garden "has made going to nurseries more fun," she says, "because I'm not attracted to every plant. I can narrow it down...you know, to just the weirder ones."
Admittedly "a big fan of weirdo plants," Nancy has oddities that make guests look twice. These vary from bromeliads of all sizes (including air plants) to numerous succulents that thrive in her mild, maritime Southern CA climate. Nancy, president of the Laguna Beach Garden Club, says her goal is to create "the feeling that you're swimming underwater, past fish and seaweed and all the other magical things you would find in a mermaid's garden."
When she started her succulent mermaid's garden several years ago, Nancy chose "plants that had strange shapes or textures, and that looked like underwater plants or sea creatures." She uses them to "shift you out of the normal" into "an intriguing, freeing change of perspective." Accessories include weatherproof faux fish, mermaid statuary, ceramic sea stars and chunks of turquoise slag glass.
Below are captioned photos of the main plants shown in the 4-min. video I made when I visited Nancy: Explore a Succulent Mermaid's Garden. Learn more about any or all of them in my books, in particular Designing with Succulents (2nd ed.). Btw, cordyline, dichondra, tradescantia and bromeliads aren't succulents, but they make great companion plants because of similar cultivation requirements.
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Plant an Undersea Succulent Clamshell
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See step-by-step how to make this undersea-themed succulent terrarium in my online Craftsy class, "Stunning Succulent Arrangements."