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!



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.


Eschscholzia californica ‘White Linen’ and species


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


Agave ‘Sun Glow’


Aeonium hybrid


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


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


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


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


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


‘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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

  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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