Thursday, October 16, 2014

Foliage Follow-up - Celebrating Succulents

Summer here in Southern California takes its toll.  At this time of year, most of my plants are looking a little worse for the wear.  That's especially true this year as we're in a severe drought and, like many people, I've reduced my supplemental irrigation in response to pleas to conserve water.  2013 was our driest year on record and 2014 isn't shaping up to be much better.   Under these conditions, it's the perfect time to celebrate succulents, which generally get by with very little water or attention.  So, for this month's foliage follow-up, an event posted by Pam at Digging, I'm focusing on a few of my ever-expanding succulent collections.

I had very few succulents at my former house - all I can recall is a scattered planting of Aeonium 'Kiwi' and Calandrinia grandiflora (aka Cistanthe grandiflora) along the driveway.  Now I have succulents in pots large and small, as well as borders.

I put this first planter together 2 years ago this month, using a container that formerly functioned as a friend's fountain, and it remains one of my favorites to this day:

This planter contains Aeonium haworthii 'Kiwi,' Aloe 'Delta Delight,' Crassula 'Ivory Pagoda,' Dyckia 'Burgundy Ice,' Echeveria 'Violet Queen,' Graptoveria 'Fred Ives,' and Senecio radicans glauca



This next pot, which sits on the same patio, was planted in March of this year:

It contains Aloe deltoidonta, Cotyledon orbiculata (aka Pig's Ear), Senecio vitalis and 2 other succulents for which I have no record



Another, assembled that same month, sits along a path on the other side of the house:

This pot, and its twin on the other side of the path, contains Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid' (not a succulent), Graptoveria 'Fred Ives,' Portulacaria afra, and Rhipsalis ewaldiana



My biggest succulent planting effort yet is a long street-side border.  It's still a work in progress - there's a lot of blank space yet to fill.  I'll provide an update soon but I thought I'd highlight one recent addition, an Agave desmettiana 'Variegata,' acquired at a very reasonable price of $20 complete with 11 usable pups!  In these parts, that's what we call a bargain.

The mother plant is surrounded on the left and right sides by 2 of her pups



My thanks to Pam for hosting this celebration of foliage plants.  Visit her blog page to see what foliage is grabbing her attention right now and to find links to other gardeners' foliage picks.


All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party



29 comments:

  1. Love your succulent containers. I put several together a couple of years ago, and only one continued to look good after a winter indoors, so this spring I repeated all those same plants in two more. That worked well. I love that so many Agaves come with extras, it makes them such a bargain.

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    1. This is the first time I really scored on getting an ample supply of pups with purchase, Alison. Know, when I go shopping, I'll be on the look-out for those extras.

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  2. The pot on image No. 2 is very nice!
    my favorite!
    I would like to share some of Sweden's rain with you, it rains a lot here.
    best regards
    Mariana

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    1. I wish you could share your rain, Mariana!

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  3. I especially love that Aloe deltoidonta in the second photograph. A beautiful arrangement! I'm very fond of succulents myself these days. Love their ease of culture. They do well in the south facing window of my living room as well as under lights.

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    1. I'm glad you have the opportunity to enjoy them inside during the cold months, Deanne. A friend gave me succulents in a decorative pot for my kitchen window but that's the only one I have in the house. I should remedy that situation.

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  4. Yay for succulents! Such versatile plants and a perfect choice for water wise planting in your location. Your mixed succulent pot planting looks good, especially the ones in the bright green pots.

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  5. Succulents are so gorgeous! Great score on that agave - That's a bargain anywhere! Funny, we love succulents here as well but must protect them from the wet and cold of winter.

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    1. I saw your "danger gardenette," Peter - hauling all those plants inside has got to be a chore but at least you have a good place for them to over-winter now.

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  6. I'm becoming more and more attracted to succulents for the same reasons as you. Your planting has been an inspiration to me and I have planted up a couple of containers myself. I would like to devote a border or area of the garden to them but many are not hardy in our winters and all are difficult to source locally. You have also placed your containers very thoughtfully, I especially like the one placed close to thyme.

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    1. I imagine that growing succulents in the ground in your area of Italy could be a challenge, Christina. Perhaps you can evaluate the degree of risk based on a few pots first. I know that people north of here dig some of their in-ground specimens up and move them inside for the winter but that's a lot of work!

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  7. "11 usable pups"...I love how you wrote that! I can't help but think that means there were more but they were either 1) too small to plant/bother with or 2) impossible to separate with out damaging. I've had both issues...

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  8. Wait until the agave blooms and you have 500 plantlets! Looks like you have at least 5 years until then, though.

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    1. I hope I have 5 years as you've predicted, Hoover Boo! I have enough on my garden plate at the moment.

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  9. It' s funny how one' s taste changes as a gardener. I used to hate succulents and now I absolutely love them. I have several friends who are new to gardenening and they hate them. Perhaps succulents are like coffee or olives, they are an acquired taste.
    I love your containers planted with them. You are so lucky having the sort of climate where you can have an outside bed devoted to them. That bed is just going to get better and better.
    I struggle to get mine through the winter , even in the greenhouse.

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    1. In my case, I think my affection for succulents grew partly from increased exposure and partly from recognition that I need to grow plants that like this climate, Chloris. My early concept of gardens was largely based on English garden books but much of what grows across the pond isn't happy in southern California.

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  10. I love the container with the Aloe deltoidonta in it. Great combo! I see two Dyckias, too. Wish I could grow those in the ground. Even in Washington that was but a wish.

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    1. Fortunately, both make good container specimens, Evan!

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  11. Kris I enjoy seeing succulents especially now that mine are going to bed and will be snow covered within a month or so...

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    1. I may have said it to you before, Donna, but, just a little, I envy the down time that comes with gardening in colder climates. It's sometimes a little tiring to garden year-round - I'd like some time sitting in front of a fire, reading garden books and planning next year's garden.

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  12. I adore the colorful tapestries of succulent pots, and you have some beautiful combos! Your Senecio is to die for... My collection of succulents grew quite a bit this year. I started bringing a few inside, and quickly ran out of usable room (my house is so darn dark...). I still have my little garden shed which has good, bright light, but is completely unheated. I have a feeling it is going to be a crapshoot as to what survives the winter. Fingers crossed... :)

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    1. I hope your plants make it through the winter, Anna! I count myself lucky that we don't get freezes and I can leave the plants outside where they are.

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  13. I am just beginning to discover succulents. Yours are wonderful! I especially love the second pot you show. I have a single pot of succulents and another pot with yucca, which I think qualifies as a succulent but am not sure. Probably we are too humid for most of them, but so far my few are doing well.

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    1. Yucca are often grown with succulents because they have similar needs. I hope they do well for you - you can't beat succulents for their sculptural shapes.

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  14. That agave was definitely a bargain. I love your succulent arrangements, they're all beautiful - but I especially adore the one in the second photo!

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    1. That pot has become a favorite of mine too, Amy. I moved the aloe from another location, where it was getting sun-burned - it seems much happier now.

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  15. I wasn't very familiar with succulents before visiting your blog, but I am a fan now. They come in so many different shapes and colors that their foliage is as beautiful as flowers.

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