Mariel's collector garden: more plant fun in the sun

This post continues where part 1 left off. It covers the area marked #2 in the satellite photo shown in part 1.

The side yard on the south side of Mariel and Ian's property gets full afternoon sun. To take advantage of this, Mariel created a couple of mounds planted with a wide variety of succulents:

Take a look at the slabs of stone framing this bed:

This is the nicest border I've seen. Far nicer than plastic edging like Benda Board.

The vertically placed rocks form the ideal habitat for Dudleya brittonii:

These cliff dwellers prefer to grow at an angle so water runs off instead of pooling in the center of the rosette, which could cause rot.

This is particularly important in the summer when most dudleyas go dormant. They need to be kept on the dry side since they're not able to take up much water in this inactive state.

Here's another look of the two mounds:

Mariel planted a wide variety of succulents in these beds:

Aloe elgonica

×Mangave 'Purple People Eater'

Agave × leopoldii 'Hammer Time'

Agave × leopoldii 'Hammer Time'

Agave oteroi

Agave oteroi

Agave 'Cornelius'

Hollow bricks are used as a border in a different area of the mound:

Sedums planted in the hollow centers of the bricks:

I think Mariel likes the color purple. I don't think it's an accident that there are quite a few purple-leafed plants in the garden!

×Mangave 'Desert Dragon'

×Mangave 'Desert Dragon' and Tradescantia pallida 'Purple Heart'

Agave lophantha

×Mangave 'Kaleidoscope' (and some dormant aeoniums)

Agave oteroi × titanota hybrid

Of all the rocks in Mariel's garden, this triangular one was my favorite

Racks against the house hold Mariel's collection of potted agaves and cactus. Shade cloth provides protection against the brutal afternoon sun.

Trio in back: Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner' (it turns more yellow in brighter light)

Agave schidigera 'Royal Flush'

Agave parviflora 'Pinpoint'

Agave parviflora 'Pinpoint'

Agave isthmensis 'Moon Disc'

Agave 'Snow Glow'

Agave victoriae-reginae, a heavily offsetting form

Mammillaria magnimamma

Mammillaria gracilis var. fragilis

Mammillaria plumosa

Monadenium ritchiei

Astrophytum ornatum (left), Astrophytum capricorne (right)

Trio of Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. friedrichii 

Cereus forbesii 'Spiralis'

Old man of the Andes (Oreocereus celsianus)

The three cactus on the right are all Tephrocactus

A small table holds potted cactus that don't mind full sun:

Mariel's aesthetic may not necessarily be your thing—after all, each of us has our unique taste—but she likes to have fun, and that's what gardening is all about it. 

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  1. Wow ! stunning arrangement of Succulents .It would be my pleasure if you join my link up party related to Gardening here at

  2. What a collection! I love that Agave × leopoldii 'Hammer Time'. The hollow bricks are a fabulous decorative/practical element too.

  3. An impressive collection!
    Mangave 'Purple People Eater' and 'Inkblot' are magnificent specimens. Although I'm not a huge Managave fan, those two just may make a convert out of me.

  4. I am very taken by 'Pinpoint' and 'Royal Flush'. Mariels 'Inkblot' looks so much like my 'Desert Dragon' that I went out to look at the tag just in case I didn't have what I thought I had. I wonder now if mine was mis-labeled.

    1. It may very well be 'Desert Dragon'. I'm waiting for confirmation from Mariel.

    2. Mariel believes that it IS a Desert Dragon after all.

  5. Oh, how I wish these plants could take afternoon sun in Phoenix! But no way. Mornings until about 12-1 pm here. I love Mariel's shelves for her potted plants. Excellent protection from hot sun in summer for them!


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