Update on Kyle's garden in Sacramento and Tahoe Park Garden Tour

If you’ve been following Succulents and More for a while, you’ve probably seen the garden of my geologist friend Kyle in Sacramento (here, here, here, and here). It’s been 10 months since my last post. Kyle is a very active gardener, and things have changed – a lot. There are more rocks and more plants, not just succulents, but also California natives and perennials. Let’s take a look.

In the front, Kyle expanded the planting strip by converting more lawn. I joke about the lawn disappearing altogether some day. That isn’t likely to happen because the two trees in the front yard need to be watered; irrigating the lawn also provides water to the trees.

Look at the way the echeverias at the front are tucked into the rock

Closer to the house, there are a few surprises, including a Leucospermum 'Starlight' and a Japanese maple with burgundy leaves:

One thing ties everything together, both in the front yard and in the back: the rocks. Kyle’s garden has more rocks than any other I know, and Kyle uses them brilliantly, both to raise the soil level for improved drainage and to create pockets for succulents that prefer to grow at an angle. You’ll see many examples in the photos below.

Dudleyas typically grow on rock faces and therefore prefer to be planted at an angle so water runs off

You'll notice many aloes in these photos. Kyle loves aloes and has 100+ species and hybrids.

Aloe cameronii

Aloe lukeana

Echeveria agavoides ‘Lipstick’

Hechtia argentea

Kyle’s 1946 Ford pickup is permanently parked next to the house:

From spring to fall, Kyle fills the truck bed with potted succulents, like he did in the summer of 2022 when I took this photo:

This winter, the truck bed serves as a cozy greenhouse for seedlings and smaller plants:

Walking around the side of the house into the backyard, the first thing you notice is the metal artwork on the wall. Both pieces were created by Kyle and feature either core samples or slices cut from core samples. As I mentioned, Kyle is a geologist by profession so a love of rocks in any shape or size comes with the territory.

Like the front yard, the backyard is heavy on succulents, but there are plenty of flowering annuals, perennials, and bulbs to add color throughout the year.

A metal trellis against the fence...

...is a perfect, if unexpected, place to display succulents planted in hollowed out lava rocks:

More plants in metal containers attached to the fence, making good use of otherwise unused vertical space:

Bamboo in a found metal drum:

Wide view of the southeastern corner of the backyard:

The wooden propeller was another lucky find.

A few more examples of Kyle’s exquisite rock work:

Echeveria agavoides ‘Lipstick’

Dudleya cymosa

Wide view looking south, towards the house:

The shed that Kyle designed and built from scratch is surrounded by plants:

Photobombed by Rusty

Hechtia ‘Wildfire’ and Opuntia monacantha make a great pairing. I would never have thought of putting the two together!

Yucca gloriosa ‘Bright Star’ and Baja pitcher sage (Lepechinia hastata)

×Mangave ‘Purple People Eater’, variegated Plectranthus neochilus, and Aloe tomentosa

×Mangave ‘Man of Steel’, the largest and most pristine specimen I’ve seen

Built for vegetables, currently used for herbs

Containers on the patio – many containers:

Mature unidentified hechtia

A few more vignettes on my way out:

Kyle’s garden is far more than succulents although they do play a central role. This photo is a good example.

Mexican fence post cactus (Lophocereus marginatus) in a tall container

With his untiring energy, his boundless creativity, and his laser focus on making his garden the best it can be, Kyle continues to be an inspiration. I see his garden pretty regularly, and yet I find something new each time I visit. Somehow he always comes up with things that make me go wow.

Speaking of visiting: If you’ve ever wanted to see Kyle’s garden in person, you’ll soon have a chance. It will be on the Tahoe Park Garden Tour on May 18, 2024 together with a dozen other gardens in Sacramento’s Tahoe Park neighborhood. Tickets are $10 per person. The proceeds will go to the Tahoe Elementary School Garden. For more information, or to buy tickets in advance, go to the Tahoe Park Garden tour website.

© Gerhard Bock, 2024. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. Wonderful to see the fruits of years of collecting, designing and evolving.

  2. Wow, Kyle is a very talented gardener and plantsman. There are some incredible plants in his collection. The huge mangave with cascading Senecio something by the shed is amazing. Interesting your comment about the rocks: we have a retired geologist neighbour with an incredible alpine rock garden. His wife always says geologists love to garden rocks. Very true.

    1. Love of rocks + love of plants + eye for design = fantastic garden

  3. I love when you share Kyle's garden! The rocks, rocks, rocks are glorious. I'm inspired every single time I see photos of his work. And all the levels he's created. Just great!

  4. So many beautiful plants, all perfectly placed. Using the old truck as a temporary greenhouse was an inspired move. As always when you show Kyle's garden, I find myself thinking I still need more rock!

  5. Fantastic he made such a huge collection of interesting plants into a beautiful garden.

  6. The metal trellis with hanging hollowed out lava rocks is such a cool idea; each planted rock is a work of art!
    Dudleya cymosa in the rock: perfection. I love it!

  7. A delightful jewel box!

  8. One of my favorite gardens, Gerhard! I love every time you go. How far do you live from Kyle?

    1. On a good day with normal traffic, I can get to Kyle's house in under 30 minutes.

  9. Excellent! I would have spent a few hours there. Fantastic use of rocks and metalwork.


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