Friday, June 9, 2017

Revisiting Sue’s succulent garden (June 2017)

Among the most viewed posts on Succulents and More are the two on my friend Sue's front yard makeover. In the spring of 2015, Sue and her husband replaced their front lawn with a thoughtful design consisting of two distinct areas: a public space anchored by a golden rain tree (Koelreuteria elegans) and featuring star jasmine, fortnight lily and variegated euonymus, and a private courtyard with a large L-shaped succulent bed and a pergola.

This is what the finished project looked like in May 2015. And this is what the succulent beds looked like a year later, in April 2016.

Curious to find out what it looks like now, in early June 2017? Scroll down to see!



The Echeveria 'Imbricata' have doubled and tripled, both in quantity and size. Many are blooming now.


Sue's succulent bed definitely has that undersea feel she was going for. (The inspiration were the succulent beds at the Sherman Library & Gardens in Corona del Mar, California.)


The plant palette includes Echeveria 'Imbricata', Sedum 'Angelina', Sedum nussbaumeraniumSedum rubrotinctum, as well as cactus, cotyledons, agaves, and that beautiful Aloe vanbalenii you see in the photos above and below.









Flowers of Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Flavida'

Let's not forget the hanging baskets with fishbone cactus (Selenicereus anthonyanus), golden rat tail cactus (Cleistocactus winteri), string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), string of bananas (Senecio radicans) and burro tail (Sedum morganianum).


In the next photo you'll see the shorter section of the L-shaped bed. Since it receives more sun, the Echeveria 'Imbricata' here are smaller, less open and more green instead of blue.



The signature plants in this section include Agave americana 'Medio-picta alba', Yucca aloifolia 'Blue Boy' and a purple Dyckia hybrid.




And finally a few "bigger picture" photos of the two areas of the front yard. This is the courtyard in front of the house:

  
Agave desmettiana 'Variegata', a pup from my plant that flowered and died a few years ago


On the left in the photo below is the "public" area that extends down to the sidewalk. This does give the courtyard quite a bit of privacy even though it's fully accessible from the driveway.



Note on irrigation: The soil in the succulent beds is pure decomposed granite, which ensures outstanding drainage. The plants are watered through buried Netafim driplines which deliver two gallons an hour. During the hottest parts of the summer, the drip irrigation runs 30-45 minutes twice a week. When daytime highs are below 90°F, Sue waters 45 minutes once a week.

16 comments:

  1. Fantastic! Love all the bunched up imbricata's.

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    1. Me too! Mine never look as good--but that's because they don't get much better.

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  2. Fabulous as expected! I'm just wondering how the plants get nutrients in that "soil" -- maybe it's the ones that reach deep below into the actual soil?

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    1. I believe Sue gives them some Miracle Gro occasionally. But none of them are heavy feeders anyway.

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  3. Looks amazing, the imbracta's have grown so well. The purple dykia looks interesting as well.

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    1. It's exciting to see more and more dyckia hybrids becoming available. I'm quite fond of them.

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  4. Oh this really turned out great, and I love Sues privacy panels.

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  5. Her design has looked great at every stage. It shows the value of using a limited palette of plants and repetition. There's enough diversity to hold one's interest but enough consistency to create a cohesive tapestry.

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    1. You're exactly right. That's why I like this design so much. Me, I'd never be able to limit myself to just a few species :-).

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  6. Looks really great, and meticulously well maintained also. Everything has grown in well, both the public and courtyard areas. The design is so good, with a public and private area well differentiated by plants and hardscape.

    They decided not to add a gate?

    Just a thought...Aloe vanbalenii is going to need a lot more room. Mine is at least 5' across (1 rosette).

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    1. I think they considered adding a gate but I forgot the reason why they didn't end up doing it.

      Sue has already promised the Aloe vanbalenii to me when it gets too big for the space :-).

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  7. This L-shaped bed is a work of art! I had to go back and check out how it looked in your previous posts. It has matured very quickly and beautifully. I hope she's not having a problem any longer with random people wandering through taking pictures (so rude).

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    1. I've stopped being surprised by what people do. And it's not just kids. Many adults seem to lack any kind of regard for others or common sense.

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  8. It looks fabulous! Was great then, even more so now!!

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  9. What a fabulous garden. The Echeveria are my favorite. Wish we could do that here, but we would need to move too much of it into the greenhouse for the winter.

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