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    Succulents in the Garden

    Your garden doesn’t have to resemble a desert to use succulents.  Succulents can add beauty and architectural interest to your garden.  They mix very well with other drought tolerant or water-wise plants such as Sage, Phormium, and some ornamental grasses.

    American Agave with Pineapple Sage and Mexican Bush SageFor areas with hard winter frost or a freeze, you do have to select your succulents carefully or be sure they have protection under a heavy eave.  Those that are ‘Frost Tender’ need to be under a heavy eave or planted in pots so they can be moved to protection during winter.  Usually the plant label will say ‘protect from frost’ if they are frost tender.  I have played around with that and found that some can handle a bit of winter chill if protected by another plant nearby.  However, plants known such as the Kalanchoes of all types, can not risk it or they are gone.Kalanchoe behrens is extremly frost tender. Shown here in a pot with a purple leafed sweet potato.The 'Snake Plant' has to be under protection from summer heat and winter frost and often used as a house plant. However under a deep eave with bright light works well as seen here.Echeveria 'Peacockii'Sedeveria hybrid 'Blue Elf'Echeveria 'Evening Glo'On the other hand, Sedums, Crassulas, Aeoniums and Sempervirens in general can do very well and generally are not frost tender.  There are a select few of Echeveria that can survive to come back beautiful in spring.   Here are shown Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy' and Sedum 'Blue Spruce' with a background of Blue Fescue which can make an interesting monchromatic display of textures.

    Sedum 'Autumn Joy' with Autumn Sage in red and purple just begining to bloom again for fall.

    Sedum 'Autumn Joy' have pretty pink flowers in summer that fade to an interesting rust in fall.  By winter, the plant goes dormant with baby plants sprouting at the base of the stalks.

    This Crassula (relative of Jade Plant) is frost hardy but the Echeveria 'Pink Ruffles' in this pot is not.  So they are in a pot to be moved for winter chill.

    This variety of Sempervirens, commonly referred to as 'Hen and Chicks' are very frost tolerant and look nice with the ground cover of Elfin Thyme.  In time, the babies growing around the base (the "chicks") will eventually fill in the space.  Plucking the "chicks" off and replanting them away from the parent is a faster way to encourage them to fill in.

    Plants that are frost tender can make interesting vignettes such as this Sedum that mimics the flowers on the pot.Flower like Aeonium 'Kiwi', Senecio 'Blue Chalk Sticks', Kalanchoe tomentosa and Sedum 'Pork and Beans" has color when exposed to heat and cold.Majority of these succulents can handle a chilly winter, however the felt like Kalanchoe in the back can not.  Therefore the entire pot gets protection in winter. Sedum 'Angelina' with Phormium 'Jester'Sedum 'Angelina' with Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'There are a lot of great succulent ground covers that can be very dependable for covering the surface with color and texture and work well with other plants.  The various sedums are great for this.In back, Sedum 'Americanum' with Hyacinth 'Muscari' (bulbs) and Lamb's Ears (Stachy byzantina)So have some fun and mix them up in a pot or plant frost tolerant varieties directly into the garden.  They add a different type of texture, architectural interest, and can have interesting shapes and colors.

    Reader Comments (1)

    These are really some great pictures for garden designs as well as examples for landscaping. Moreover, as concern as landscape design Melbourne, there are a lot of great succulent ground covers that can be very dependable for covering the surface with color and texture and work well with other plants. The various sedums are great for this.

    March 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRehan

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