Mass plantings of succulents for color contrast

bahia(SF Bay Area)December 17, 2011

Here's a photo of a garden I designed and installed over 10 years ago now, as a spec garden for a house that was being remodeled and flipped. It was quite fun to turn what had been a front lawn into a succulent fantasy land garden. This is probably the first time I used Senecio mandraliscae as a large scale ground cover, (not an original idea, I know), but I think it works visually here and makes the garden sizzle.

Would you believe the new buyer doesn't even particularly like succulents? Sad to say, I've had no further input on keeping this garden going, and it doesn't look quite this defined anymore, but at least it wasn't ripped out and replaced with something else...

Here is a link that might be useful: Massed plantings of succulents

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ctreeteac(Zone 8b; rain-spewing Oregon)

It's beautiful both in color and in shape...the masses of spirals! Who would like succulents after seeing that, sheesh. And all the 'Fred Ive's!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 12:55AM
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There is also a small form of this senecio, the stems don't grow as long, and the leaves are shorter, it hugs the ground more. You did a great job, I'm so glad that you posted the picture. Here it saves water, SF is cooler and you should get better color then we do down here in my valley. Norma

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 1:11AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Great landscape. Happy looking plicatilis there, too. Is that Johnson's hybrid grass aloe?

Perhaps the new owner will like the succulents better when the water bill arrives.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 3:02AM
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I'd buy the house just for the garden.
Wonderful job.
Any more recent pics?? I'd like to see how they faired without a "succulent-head" living there.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 11:19AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

No more recent pics, sorry, while the landscaping is still intact, it has lost the crispness of the look. Senecio mandraliscae, in particular as a large scale ground cover needs pinch tipping to maintain it at one height, and to weed out the bermuda grass that creeps in from the neighbors. You all know how Echeverias and Aeoniums also need thinning and replanting as well if you want to maintain a uniform look. This front garden gets absolutely no attention, and the new owner didn't wish to hire me to keep it up.

That is Aloe 'Johnson's Hybrid' in the foreground, and it generally thrives here in the Bay Area, blooms nearly all year round. I also used mass plantings of the dwarfer Senecio serpens in narrower planting areas adjacent the front walk, and in general now prefer to use this species for less maintenance requirements if I have the budget to use a slower growing/more expensive plant.

I don't think I could force myself to take more current pictures of this garden, as it makes me sad to see how it has been let go.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 12:14PM
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