Designing with succulents is all about the versatility of these water-wise plants. From wreaths to residential landscapes, here are a few stunning examples of what you can create using succulent plants.
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Succulent gardening is the obvious forte of the owner of this central Florida home. Most of the foliage in this landscape is glaucous. The various blues, grays, and silvery greens harmonize well.
An interesting thing about this design is that most of the color is contributed by the plants' leaves, not their flowers. I am familiar with most of the plants used here, and they do bloom. Some of them have very bright, showy flowers, but they only appear for a short time each season. The leaves provide year round interest.
More interesting still is the riot of textures in this garden.
The big, blue lance-shaped leaves of the Agave are quite different from the thin, tubular stems of the pencil cactus behind it. The flat oval pads of the Opuntia cacti scattered around the yard add even more variety.
The blue leaves of the tequila plant Agave tequiliana, (back right) contrast beautifully with the silvery green pads of the Opuntia opposite it. The bright gold Aloe flower spikes add just the touch of hot color this cool color scheme needs.
Even the jelly palm planted here was chosen for its color-coordinated leaves.
On the opposite side of the yard, the huge, ruffled leaves of Philodendron bipinnatifidum, a green and yellow striped Agave americana, and a spiky Spanish bayonet Yucca add more color and texture near the fence.
This stark white, modern Australian home is surrounded by a landscape comprised entirely of raised beds filled with succulents and other water-wise plants.
The red rock from which the beds are constructed is native to area and adds so much color to the design that flowers are rendered unnecessary. The foliage colors of the plants used here have been carefully chosen to enhance the beauty of the rock.
The blue fescue grass in the bed closest to the patio is striking aginst the white concrete and the red rock.
Neat rosettes of Agave attenuata, upright spears of striped Sansevieria, and the creeping stems of the white-leaved succulent which wanders between them show the designer's deft hand at mixing plant colors and forms.
To make this garden design even more avant-garde, all the raised beds in this landscape have been set into the soil at an angle.
Notice how red gravel has been used to mulch the beds so as not to introduce another color into this restrained planting scheme.
Above left: A car covered in succulent plants was a big hit at a flower show. There was even a driver, also made of succulents, behind the wheel.
Above right: The small leaves and varying colors of many succulent species make them perfect for "drawing" the patterns in a knot garden.