In my latest video I show you three very different succulent gardens in coastal Los Angeles on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Each offers great plants and beautiful, practical ways to use and enjoy them. Many thanks to the owners for sharing their gardens!
Nancy's tapestry slope
Nancy Zinner's 125-foot-long, 25-foot deep slope slope serves as a textural patchwork and backdrop for her pool and outdoor sitting areas. It's also visible from her home’s windows. Bordering the slope at top are pepper trees and a privet hedge, and along the bottom, a lawn.
Low stacked-stone walls retain soil and give succulents something to cascade over. To create Nancy's easy-care living quilt, landscape designer Ric Dykzeul (firstname.lastname@example.org) specified succulents that spread, and mounding shrubs that stay small with occasional pruning. Nancy's gardener Alfredo Vigil expedited the installation.
Here are the plants' botanic names: Aeonium canariense; Carissa macrocarpa ‘Boxwood Beauty’ (dark green shrub with pinwheel white flowers, aka natal plum); Coleonema pulchellum ‘Sunset Gold’ (yellow breath of heaven); Coleonema album (white-flowering shrub with solid green foliage); Convolvulus sabatius (C. mauritanicus) ground morning glory; lavender; Loropetalum chinense (purple foliage); Phormium, dwarf variegated; Portulacaria afra ‘Variegata’ (variegated elephant’s food); prostrate rosemary; Westringia fruticosa.
June's red and blue view
Ceramics-and-jewelry artist June Treherne and husband Derek's canyon-top home overlooks the Pacific. But what I enjoyed most---perhaps because the day was overcast---was their gorgeous patio garden. Best of all, it could be duplicated anywhere, including my own succulent-stuffed deck.
In the video, June explains how she uses red and blue glass, and ceramic pots, to create an appealing patio sitting/dining area that visually blends indoors with out. Her secret? Stacked, multilevel displays on small tables.
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P.S. Don't do what I did, and put a glass paperweight outdoors that might magnify the sun's rays and potentially start wood smoldering. When I noticed a burned mark on my deck, I suspected my son or one of his friends had been smoking. (Bad Mom.)
Ron and Marjo's streetside garden
Ron and Marjo DeRidder transformed their quarter-acre streetside garden into a display of large succulents that reminded me of the Huntington Botanical Gardens.
Over the 40+ years that Ron and Marjo have lived in Rolling Hills Estates, they’ve torn out and redone their landscaping several times. When installed a decade ago, their cacti-and-succulents front yard was the talk of the neighborhood---and not necessarily in a good way. Not everyone liked it, Marjo recalls, "But now they come and take photos and tell us how beautiful our garden is!"
So what do you think? I enjoy hearing from you, and Nancy, June, Marjo and Ron would love it if you left a comment, too. -- Debra
Also on this site
See a colorful, professionally done garden of low-water, regionally appropriate succulents, some unusual, many large, and all thriving today, seven years after installation. Includes designer tips, specs and gallery of 40+ plants.
To make my my quick, easy and colorful succulent container garden, you’ll need a 12-inch container, “cactus mix” potting soil, a piece of window screen to cover the hole (optional), one large echeveria (like ‘Afterglow’) to go in the center, several nursery pots of Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’ (or similar), and a fine-leaved sedum for tucking…