Public succulent landscaping in Costa Mesa

I was in Southern California last weekend for my daughter’s university graduation. On Sunday, we had Father’s Day brunch at Breakfast Republic in Costa Mesa. As we were waiting for our table, I walked down the street a little ways and came across this miraculous sight:

Agaves, aloes, fire sticks: This kind of landscaping is perfect for water-starved Southern California!

Aloe marlothii

Agave angustifolia ’Marginata’ with an emerging flower stalk

Another Agave angustifolia ’Marginata’ in front of a juvenile Aloidendron barberae

Variegated Sansevieria fasciata, Agave ’Blue Glow’, Curio repens, and red-flowering kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos hybrid)

Agave angustifolia ’Marginata’ 

Agave angustifolia ’Marginata’ 

A surprising sight: Furcraea macdougalii

Furcraea foetida ’Mediopicta’ and Euphorbia ammak ’Variegata’

Furcraea foetida ’Mediopicta’ and Euphorbia ammak ’Variegata’

Metal sinks with succulents

A magenta-flowering bougainvillea provides a vibrant pop of color

The bougainvillea is pruned to hug the wall without sticking out into the sidewalk

Agave desmetiana...

...with bulbils...

...forming on the flower stalk

Aloe marlothii and what I believe is Agave tequilana

The landscaping above is on East 17th Street in Costa Mesa, between Tustin Avenue and Irvine Avenue, in front of Playa Mesa, a Mexican restaurant, and Wild Goose Tavern.

Right next to Breakfast Republic is a bicycle shop called Two Wheels One Planet which also has succulent-heavy landscaping:

Agave ‘Blue Flame’

On Sunday morning, June gloom was in full effect, the marine layer causing a dense overcast. That’s the reason why the colors in these photos appear a little odd. The marine layer disappeared as the day wore on, but I was glad I was wearing a jacket as we were having breakfast.

© Gerhard Bock, 2023. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. What a lovely Father's Day gift you received when you turned the corner! The colors are fabulous, and the sinks are such a great addition. Congratulations to your daughter!

  2. The succulent display is well done and a perfect complement to that restaurant. The espaliered Bougainvillea was a nice touch too. Kudos to your daughter for completing her degree!

  3. The bulbil pics are nice. This type of landscaping is becoming the new normal.

  4. I love those fabulous metal planters on the wall: they are a very cool addition!
    The 'red brick' fire hydrants are perfectly matched with the color scheme. (The only thing out of place is the crispy Nandina...)
    Congratulations to your daughter!

  5. What a gorgeous combination of colours and shapes. For once a commercial landscape that is visually appealing and using appropriate non-run-of-the-mill plants. I do love Firesticks!

  6. That is a very nice assortment of succulents for a commercial area. Nice to see they are making wise and beautiful choices.


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