Friday, April 25, 2014

Driveway succulent bed aglow with California poppies

This has been the year of the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica). Last fall I liberally sprinkled poppy seeds over the driveway succulent bed that separates our property from our neighbor’s. Since our winter was abnormally dry, it took a while for the seedlings to get going, but the intermittent rains we’ve had in March and April really helped. To borrow a popular saying, right now it’s difficult to see the succulents for the poppies!

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Agave ‘Sun Glow’ dwarfed by the California poppies

I like the ratio between poppies and succulents/perennials so I won’t let them all go to seed. In fact, next fall I plan to sow Mexican gold poppies (Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana). They’re shorter than the species and have more golden flowers.

By the way, the white poppies are a cultivar called ‘White Linen’, and the red ones are called ‘Red Chief’. The orange ones, of course, are the species itself, Eschscholzia californica.

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Eschscholzia californica ‘White Linen’ and species

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Check out the little guy growing in a crack! California poppies actually prefer inhospitable situations.

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Agave ‘Sun Glow’

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Aeonium hybrid

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Extension of the driveway succulent bed. The agave all the way on the left is Agave desmettiana ‘Joe Hoak’.

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Eryngium agavifolium (bottom left), Agave montana (center left), Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Margarita BOP’ (purple, top), Penstemon gloxinoides ‘Firebird’ (red, top), Dioon edule ‘Palma Sola’ (right)

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Eryngium agavifolium (foreground), Agave montana (center left), Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Margarita BOP’ (purple, top left), Penstemon gloxinoides ‘Firebird’ (red, top right)

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Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Margarita BOP’ and Cistanthe grandiflora (formerly known as Calandrinia grandiflora or rock purslane)

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Aloe cryptopoda (left), Agave ovatifolia ‘Frosty Blue’ (right)

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‘Desert Museum’ palo verde (Parkinsonia ‘Desert Museum’). All our palo verdes are setting buds; I’ll have a separate post once they are in bloom.

Today it’s been raining on and off since early morning so I expect the poppy bloom to last for another couple of weeks. It’s been a weird winter and spring, but ultimately a very rewarding one.

7 comments:

  1. Looks great. In the Uk you don't see succulents planted in among other plants like that. May have to try it.

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    1. I'm becoming more adventurous myself when it comes to combining succulents with other types of plants.

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  2. Lovely poppy assortment, and Joe is looking good too...

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    1. I hope 'Joe Hoak' will have a massive growth spurt this year. I gave him quite a bit of room in that corner.

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  3. They look great interspersed with spikies, looks naturalistic even.

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    1. I love how it turned out--especially since I had so little control in terms of what would come up where.

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  4. Looks fantastic! For the first time ever my California poppy seeds (sprinkled around) have started to grow, so hopefully I'll be seeing this sort of thing (on a smaller scale) soon. I guess I got the timing right this year, although they can still be nibbled so I shouldn't get ahead of myself.

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