I also am grateful to my editor at Sunset magazine, Kathleen Brenzel, whose idea it was in the ﬁrst place that I write a book about designing with succulents, and. how top designers use geometric, architectural succulents to en- Debra shows the wide range of succulents now available, you'll dis-. More than homeowners, landscape designers, and plant experts made this it was in the first place that I write a book about designing with succulents, and.
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Easy Care Varieties By Debra Lee Baldwin PDF EBOOK EPUB site. Download Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing And Crafting. eBOOK >>PDF Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing, and Crafting with EasyCare Varieties PDF Click button below to download or. site, pdf, rar, ppt, zip, txt, as well as word layout documents. designing with succulents - sapsipardbaseapp designing with succulents. debra lee baldwin.
Commonly reused materials are broken concrete from an old patio or driveway and concrete or metal pipe sections Figure 20 Flowering Houseplants Indoor Gardening for Brown Thumbs Series Flowering Houseplants Indoor Gardening for Brown Thumbs Series pdf, azw site , epub. The Upper Retaining Walls are 6 x 6" Pressured Treated Timbers , cited: Bringing the outdoors in: How read for free click Bringing the outdoors in: How to do wonders with vines, wildflowers, ferns, mosses, bulbs, cacti, and dozens of other plants most people overlook.
Set in each plant to the depth of the root ball, then fill in and firm up the soil. Use excess soil to create a small basin on the downhill side of each plant to collect water. Especially avoid use of Bacillus thuringensis, broad-spectrum insecticides, and any insecticide that is broadcast broadly in the environment. Most but not all of the plants are native FNPS encourages you to use natives. Are you interested in Gardening in your Backyard? Most of us view gardening not just as a hobby but also as a passion towards healthy living.
Having an organic garden is a great way to have easy access to healthy foods whenever you want them.
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This will become a reality by setting up a gardening backyard , e. When considering the big picture of a space, the designer has so many variables to bring together that it can feel like a puzzle of color and texture but in the end, it is all about how well they play music together.
Indoor Gardening, Gardening, Garden Design. Older children may prefer a sports court. Bales may also be found listed commercially as bali huts, gazebos or pavillions.
Ensure that the path you lay out has a slope to stop water from pooling. If you want to take your garden design to the next level then download free landscape design software to save time and money. It is very pricey though so for really large projects, stick with the chocolate loam and amend the top with compost every spring and mulch every fall.
Hardscapes are a beautiful enhancement to your property or to your Xeriscape garden when designed and installed properly. Turning your garden into an art gallery will enhance your enjoyment of it as an outdoor living space and make it more dramatic and memorable. This might be color, materials such as mosaic , style such as rustic or contemporary , or a theme cats, perhaps, or antique farm tools. Your garden is unlike any other, so do not clutter it 74 Design and Cultivation with cow skulls, plaster coyotes howling at the moon, broken wagon wheels, or signs with trite phrases.
Obviously, art is highly individualized, and what delights one person may be unappealing to another. In my opinion, most decorations sold in garden shops and the garden departments of large retailers look out of place in a succulent landscape. Such tchotchkes detract from the elegance and dignity of succulents. I even caution you to think twice before adding those pretty things seen in gardens everywhere—planted wheelbarrows and gazing globes—unless you use them in clever or innovative ways.
If something so subjective can be generalized, I would venture to recommend that you choose oneof-a-kind rather than mass-produced pieces. One memorable East Coast garden I visited—with a recycled objects theme—used box springs from an old bed as a trellis roof and vine support.
The rusty A large cluster of Agave attenuata makes a dynamic backcoils offered pleasing repetitions of form and looked drop for a statue of Saint Francis. Design by Michael Buckner Principles of garden design apply to positioning artwork. Objects should be in scale with their surroundings and contrast with or repeat other garden elements. When arranging a collection of small objects in your garden, group them near a sitting area.
Also try varying the height at which you display them. Hang them from tree branches, set them atop boulders or pedestals, and place them along pathways. Decorative objects can disappear against a backdrop of foliage. If possible, position them in silhouette, with the sky or a blank wall behind them. For example, I bought several wire sculptures for my garden, but they blended too much with surrounding plants.
I took a euonymus leaf to the hardware store and had paint mixed the same yellow. Themed and Specialty Gardens A mosaic of an agave transformed an eyesore—the base of a light pole—into the focal point of a garden vignette at the Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon, California.
Garden design by Michael Buckner. Mosaic by Patricia Kaszas 75 A lizard stencil on a rock illustrates that garden art need not be immense or expensive to be appealing. Now more than named genera exist, but it is still helpful to keep in mind the three main types when designing with cacti. If the spiky textures and austere shapes of cacti appeal to you, and you live in a dry climate, by all means incorporate these plants into your garden. Cacti mentioned here are readily available at specialty nurseries and offer outstanding value as landscape plants.
They also work well in combination with soft-leaved succulents. Though bristly, they are surprisingly soft to the touch. It is native to Mexico, has crimson blooms, and is a wonderful plant for hanging containers.
This native of Mexico grows wild on dry, scrubby, rock-strewn hillsides, where it will attain heights of 25 feet or more though it is seldom seen larger than 4 feet in gardens. Use it as a novelty and in container groupings.
A similar columnar cactus, also covered with white hair, is Cleistocactus strausii silver torch from Bolivia to 8 feet.
Cereus peruvianus, the most commonly cultivated Cereus, is native to South America. Columnar branches grow to 15 feet tall and about 12 inches in diameter.
These produce vertical branches that eventually form foot-wide shrubs. Each branch of gray-green C. Both varieties make strong vertical statements in the landscape when used as focal points, silhouetted against walls, or positioned as dramatic background plants. Echinocactus grusonii to 3 feet in diameter , commonly known as golden barrel cactus, is one of the most useful plants for textural interest. These ribbed, light-green spheres are covered with inches-long, downward-curving, butteryellow spines that glow beautifully when backlit by early morning or late afternoon sun.
Native to Mexico, golden barrels can take drought, frost, full sun, and desert heat. Few plants provide the dramatic impact of golden barrels planted en masse to emphasize the pleasing harmony of their globular shapes. They also look good in random groupings—where they appear to roll across the landscape—and are striking when grown solo in circular pots. As they age, they may produce offsets that form odd and whimsical clumps. Echinocereus, commonly called hedgehog cactus, is a popular genus of nearly 50 species of small cacti from Mexico and the Southwest.
These stay manageably small to 12 inches in diameter. These ribbed and spiny barrel cacti are spherical when young and cylindrical as they age.
Aloe thraskii lends vertical interest; spherical Echinocactus grusonii adds contrast and texture. Prior to planting, the homeowners mounded the area with a mix of two-thirds decomposed granite and one-third cactus mix. Plants are mulched with golden crushed rock.
A swath of lawn along the sidewalk creates continuity with neighboring yards. Fouquieria splendens, commonly called ocotillo, is also native to the Southwest and Mexico. These airy, vase-shaped shrubs are unmistakable, with their tall, slender limbs tipped with bright red blooms. They are frost tender and must have a dry winter, fast-draining soil, and full sun; they tend not to do well away from their native desert environment. A look-alike with less stringent cultivation requirements one that will tolerate cool coastal temperatures is Alluaudia procera.
Mammillaria is a large genus with more than species; all are spherical and form mounds that resemble spiny stacked balls. Opuntia microdasys, left, repeats the green and yellow of the golden barrels. Dark gray river rock enhances the composition and serves as mulch. Opuntia is the most widespread and numerous genus of cactus, with more than species ranging from the southernmost tip of South America to as far north as Canada. Opuntia have showy blooms and paddle- or cylinder-shaped stems linked one to another.
Spines range from polka-dot tufts to long, wicked needles. Opuntia commonly called cholla have cylindrical joints that break off easily.
Though beautiful when backlit, cholla is not a good choice for cultivated gardens, as it spreads readily and is viciously barbed. Opuntia macrocentra syn. Position it prominently and use it in Themed and Specialty Gardens Immense golden barrel cacti at the Huntington Botanical Gardens lean slightly in the same direction toward maximum sun exposure , which creates a sense of motion. The columnar cactus at right is Trichocereus pasacana. In the foreground, providing dramatic contrast to the golden barrels—and preventing people from cutting across an adjacent lawn—is Agave americana.
A slender, red-tipped ocotillo Fouquieria splendens repeats the red of bougainvillea growing against the wall. At left, providing light shade, is Parkinsonia aculeata Mexican palo verde. Design by owner Clint Miller. Photo by Dency Kane 79 80 Design and Cultivation Delicate spines of Mammillaria bombycina echo the color and shape of a glazed terracotta container.
Note the complex patterns within the orbs and how the smooth, shiny surface of the pot contrasts with the fuzzy plants. Opuntia microdasys to 3 feet high and 4 feet wide is commonly called bunny ears for the shape of its pads, which are dotted with yellow tufts. A white variety is O. Its fruit is the edible red prickly pear. Pilosocereus azureus, a columnar cactus, is an amazing azure blue. No other plant is quite like it; it resembles a pale blue baseball bat. For maximum impact, group several in pots of varying sizes.
If you combine P. Position P. Stenocereus thurberi syn. Lemaireocereus thurberi , commonly called organpipe cactus or Mexican fence post, is similar in silhouette to Cereus peruvianus. However, it branches from the base, and each stem has 12 to 19 ribs, giving it a crenellated look.
Clumps grow slowly to 15 or 20 feet and may eventually form as many as 30 stems, each 6 inches thick. Adding bright red is ground cover Drosanthemum speciosum. The shape of the agave in the foreground is echoed by leaves of the yucca in the background. Majestic, multi-branched Aloe barberae is striking silhouetted against the sky. Note how the rounded paddles of opuntia—though covered with spines—look soft relative to the spiky-leaved succulents.
Carpobrotus edulis also is an option but is invasive; plant it only where nothing else will grow. Companion plants include Carissa macrocarpa natal plum , Dietes bicolor fortnight lily , Echium candicans pride of Madeira , Euryops pectinatus freeway daisy , Lantana montevidensis, Strelitzia reginae bird of paradise , and various pine and palm trees.
On a smaller scale, such designs can grace private gardens and can even be planted in wide, shallow bowls. Lava rock resembles a sponge and is lightweight; it is full of holes formed when the rock was molten and foamy. Build vertically or on a slope, so when you look at the seascape, you get a sense that you are in the midst of it.
Moore stockpiles rocks so he will have plenty when he begins designing and arranging. He recommends accumulating multiples of plants, because a seascape looks more natural with clusters and repetitions. You also might add props—such as a rusty anchor and chain or half-buried urns that resemble amphorae perhaps planted with an aporocactus that suggests a moray eel.
Cacti and succulents that are crested—a term that refers to a tendency to form tight, convoluted mounds—are desirable in a succulent seascape because they resemble coral. However, crested cacti are rare, slow-growing, and expensive. Include two or three, if your budget allows, with other plants—particularly euphorbias—that are more common and also provide a similar effect.
Part of the fun of creating a succulent reef is seeing common plants in a fresh, new way.
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Although many kinds of cacti will work, try to avoid anything that connotes a desert landscape or has spines so stiff it will not appear to ripple. Along walkways, Pink installed low-voltage Malibu lights, replacing their metal In the sea-themed succulent garden at Quail Botanical Gardens, aloes, crassulas, portulacaria, and crested cacti grow amid lava rocks stacked to resemble a reef. An alluaudia limb that bisects the composition enhances the illusion; it appears to sway in an ocean current.
Red blooms in the foreground are Crassula falcata. The pathway is paved with smooth, oval river rock. Themed and Specialty Gardens shades with large seashells. At night, the lit shells glow to reveal their spiral patterns. She cut stamps out of closed-cell foam sold at craft stores, and dipped them in white paint.
Hollow, ball-shaped sea urchin shells make charming pots for tiny-leaved sedums and sempervivums. Decorate your mini beach with chunks of tumbled glass and additional seashells. Marine life look-alikes Coral branching: Myrtillocactus geometrizans Coral overlapping: Kalanchoe luciae Eel grass: Sansevieria trifasciata Octopus: Agave vilmoriniana Sea urchins: You might do this in a level area of your garden or in a series of square pots. Peter Bailey, an engineer from Escondido, created a checkerboard of golden barrel cacti in an area of his back yard most often viewed from upstairs windows.
Next, to prevent the encroachment of weeds, he lined the square-foot area with black plastic. After positioning 25 concrete pavers 2 feet apart to create a grid, he cut into the plastic and planted the cactus in the intersections, and then paved exposed areas with crushed rock. To add an element of contrast and whimsy—and to tie the garden to the larger succulent garden beyond—he replaced one of the squares with a tree aloe.
The garden is at a model home in Soleil, a newer housing development, and unlike the Bailey checkerboard, it is intended as an outdoor room for entertaining. At each of four corners, adding height and providing contrast of form, are slender Dracaena marginata trees in spherical pots.
These are echoed by large, urn-shaped fountains along the far wall. In beds are red-leaved Aloe vaombe, slender-leaved yuccas, green Agave desmettiana, and ornamental grasses. Soleil garden, San Diego. Photo by Lance Gordon 89 90 Design and Cultivation planting beds using gravel, concrete, and perimeter walls.
Stair-stepped hardscape—squares within squares—provides casual seating. Walking a labyrinth is a relaxing form of meditation, and unlike a maze, it presents no dead ends or puzzles to solve. Labyrinths are found worldwide, in numerous cultures. In addition to public and private gardens, labyrinths sometimes are found at resorts, health spas, and educational institutions.
As you walk a labyrinth, take your time and let your mind wander. They attain clarity on past events and are better able to plan the future. Perhaps because the loops of a labyrinth resemble those of the cerebral cortex, walking the pathway can have a profound impact on the subconscious, helping people to untangle problems, feel at peace, and restore a sense of equilibrium and contentment with life.
The area should be level, with enough room to accommodate the pattern. Labyrinths can be as small as 25 feet in diameter, but they can range to feet or more. The Chartres labyrinth, because of the complexity of its design, takes up as much as 90 square feet with 2-foot-wide paths and 1 foot of garden space between them. A simpler pattern better suited for residential gardens is the classical seven-circuit. Nestled amid the succulent ground cover are objects intended to provoke thought and enhance the meditative experience.
Santa Monica, CA. Design by Mary Effron. Photo by Lisa Romerein 93 94 Design and Cultivation In this complex arrangement, coral blooms of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana contrast with the powdery purple-blue leaves of Aloe rubroviolacea and cascading Crassula perforata. Design by Janet Sutro You do not need a plot of land to create a gorgeous succulent garden.
Succulents can be potted and grouped on patios, balconies, decks, entryways, and sitting areas—any place that receives adequate light. And because pots can be moved indoors or beneath a shelter, they make it possible to cultivate succulents that might not thrive in the harsher environment of your yard. You can also create succulent wreaths or topiaries to hang on walls or display on tabletops.
Unlike potted annuals, which need to be replaced seasonally, and perennials that need repotting after a year or two, succulents tend to last three or more years in containers, depending on the variety.
Also pleasing are single-variety pots of clumpforming rosettes, such as aeoniums, echeverias, and sempervivums. If you combine more than one type of succulent in a potted arrangement, the design possibilities are endless.
A rule of thumb is the fancier the pot, the simpler the planting, and vice versa. This keeps the two design elements from competing for attention. Consider a tidy, globe-shaped euphorbia in a fancy Oriental urn, for example, or use a simple clay pot for a busy arrangement.
Balance is an overall sense of unity and stability. Regardless of the angle from which it is viewed, a balanced composition is neither lopsided nor top-heavy. You can create an asymmetrical arrangement and still achieve balance.
If the pot will be viewed from all angles, create a pyramid shape—high in the center, low on the sides. Pots, Wreaths, and Container Gardens A spherical urn emphasizes the circular shape of Euphorbia caput-medusae. Design by owner Barbara Baker Aeoniums and echeverias massed together create an abundant display.
Scale has to do with the size of objects; proportion, with areas and quantities. For example, a large, heavy container would be out of scale with small, delicate succulents.
Rhythm comes from repetitions of color, size, shapes, and textures that may be subtle or prominent. Contrast emphasizes the differences between two elements and, in so doing, brings both into greater prominence.
It also spices up an otherwise lackluster arrangement. Assorted same-sized cacti are in scale with the turquoise container and with each other. Design by California Cactus Center nursery Pots, Wreaths, and Container Gardens Create a miniature landscape A shallow terracotta bowl can contain an entire garden and makes a wonderful tabletop display.
Lilliputian landscapes also present a fresh way to appreciate the shapes and dimensions of succulents. To create such a fantasy, you will need a diminutive building, ideally one with Santa Fe, Spanish, or Old West architecture—because these are in keeping with the dry climates that the plants suggest. Fill the pot to 1 inch below the rim with a coarse, fast-draining cactus mix, and place the miniature building just off center. Next, scoop out some soil and add three treelike plants.
These should be approximately three times the height of the container and should relate to the size of the building, in terms of scale and proportion, as real trees might. When selecting plants, look for those with a variety of leaf shapes.
If they are a mix of square, elongated, and oval, they will enhance the composition with texture and contrast. Repeat certain elements as well. You can also use it to create a pathway from the edge of the container to the door, to draw viewers into the scene. Foliage blends and swirls throughout the composition and partially conceals the focal point—the little mission.
Star-shaped plants also provide an element of repetition.
A glossy green hechtia is on the left, and tiny blue echeveria hybrids add texture and color contrast. Design by Landcraft Environments, Ltd. You might, for example, use pots that all have a cobalt blue glaze. Or choose pots that are identical in size and shape, each with a different-colored exterior.
Imagine, for example, a pathway lined with pots at regular intervals. If each is different— perhaps a mix of glazed, terracotta, tall, and shallow—the landscape will lack continuity.
But if each is a 3-foot-tall urn that contains, say, a clump of Aeonium canariense or large green Agave attenuata rosettes, they will create a pleasing pattern that draws the viewer into the garden. Pots, Wreaths, and Container Gardens This assortment of solid-hued ceramic pots stands out against a bold-colored wall. Pots repeat the textural gloss of the tile, yet their cool colors contrast with yellow and orange.
The cycad Zamia furfuracea is in the large green pot. Pot colors blend with surrounding sand hues yet also offer contrast in their round shapes. Design by owner Suzy Schaefer Large pots will look ungainly unless they contain proportionately large plants; tall and treelike succulents are obvious choices.
Container-grown agaves stay much smaller than their garden-grown counterparts. Lending height to the arrangement is Crassula tetragona. Cover an entire wall with plants in halfpots to create a lush, vertical garden that takes up little room.
Hang succulent wreaths on fences or doors. It often is better to use one large pot than several smaller ones—certainly, it is more dramatic and less cluttered. So if your patio wall is 8 feet high, use a pot—or a plant stand with a pot on top—with a combined height of 3 feet or more.
You can also hang baskets of succulents from an overhead beam. In sitting areas, enhance a sense of enclosure by elevating plants to tabletopheight.
A succulent wreath or topiary makes an excellent centerpiece for the table. Any object that is impervious to water, that will contain soil to a depth of several inches, and that has one or more drain holes has potential to serve as a container for succulents.
Design by owner Francesca Filanc top A shell holds tightly packed Sempervivum tectorum cuttings. Blue and green glass pebbles enhance the illusion. Agave vilmoriniana grows along the wall. Companion plants include bougainvillea, Anigozanthos species, and in the foreground, Spanish lavender and blue fescue.
The downward curving leaves of the aloe hug the pot and repeat the rounded shape of its handles.
Janice Byrne garden. Design by Bill Teague In this entry garden, two tall Euphorbia ingens underplanted with blue Senecio serpens frame the front door. Design by owner Peggy Petitmermet Design and Cultivation Aloe nobilis grows with echeverias in a simple terracotta pot. The ground cover at left is a variegated vinca. Its neutral color blends with any setting and does not call attention to itself—a good thing, because pots are like picture frames: Anything plastic can strike a jarring note in a garden, perhaps because it is a manufactured material that comes in colors seldom seen in nature.
If you do use plastic pots, look for those that closely resemble terracotta or cast concrete; you have to touch or lift them to tell the difference. Clay or porcelain pots provide good protection from temperature extremes, which is important in hot climates, because roots of succulents grown in plastic pots in full sun may bake.
One way to avoid this is by setting a pot within a pot— place a plastic nursery pot inside a slightly larger terracotta pot, for example. Carpeting the background is Senecio mandraliscae. Design by owner Suzy Schaefer This makes it easy to switch plants when they are done blooming: If the outer pot has no drain hole, make sure the inner pot is elevated so its bottom does not sit in water.
Such geometric arrangements, which perfectly illustrate the design principle of repetition, are bold, sophisticated, and eye-catching.
Echeverias in a square pot. Assemble your materials: Place a small stone or a piece of broken pot over the hole in the bottom of the pot. This will prevent soil from washing out, without impeding drainage.
Another option is to patch the hole with a piece of plastic window screen. Fill the pot three-quarters full with potting mix. Mix in a small handful of timed-release fertilizer. The base of the plant and the top of the soil should be about 1 inch below the rim. Gently water the newly potted plants to wash soil off the leaves and settle the roots.
If none are evident, the plant may not need to be repotted. Never pull a cactus or succulent out of its container—you might break it off at the crown, severing it from its roots. Instead, turn the pot on its side and slide the plant out. If it is stuck in a clay pot, turn the whole thing upside down, and, as you cradle the plant with one hand, gently tap the edge of the pot on a solid surface such as a countertop , to jar the root ball loose.
Or push it from the bottom with a pencil through the drain hole. Prior to repotting, examine the roots and prune any that are broken or coiled. Perlite is also a soil extender—it takes up space without adding nutrients. Depending on your climate, you may want to lighten the mix even more.
If, for example, your pots are exposed to a great deal of rainfall, humidity, and cool temperatures—which means the soil does not dry out and tends to stay wetter than a wrung-out sponge—add more pumice. To create a mix that retains water—which is desirable in hot, dry, desertlike climates—add sharp coarse sand to the mix. Several factors determine when or how often to water potted succulents: Any pot exposed to rainfall will not need supplemental water during the rainy season, and the plant should be moved beneath an overhang if rainfall is excessive.
In summer and autumn—when the humidity is low, temperatures are high, and rainfall nonexistent—most potted succulents appreciate regular water. In general, although succulents will tolerate a considerable amount of neglect, they should not be allowed to go dry for weeks on end. Good drainage is essential to the health of all potted plants—and succulents, in particular, cannot tolerate having their roots sit in water. Drowned roots rot, and then the plant dies. Granted, some succulents are more tolerant of wet conditions than others, but when in doubt, err on the dry side.
It is not necessary to create a gravel layer in the bottom of pots to enhance drainage. If your pots are not draining well, it may be because they are sitting on soggy garden soil. Elevating pots also discourages snails and slugs from hiding in the drain holes. Avoid using pots that come with built-in saucers that hold water.
Also watch out for pots with bottoms that are slightly convex, because water that puddles around the inner edge can cause roots to rot. I discovered this when I cut a half-dozen Aeonium arboreum stalks to make what I thought would be a short-lived bouquet. When and how to water Small pots dry out more quickly than large ones, and tall pots dry out less rapidly than shallow ones.
Another method is to push a wooden chopto circulate and protects the wood deck. Design by owner stick into the soil, to the bottom of the pot. It is a challenge to water a succulent that has grown completely over the top of its pot. Submerge the pot to just above its rim in a tub or pail of water, and then let excess water drain. This also is a good way to water plants that have gone so dry that the soil is caked and hard. I have seen nursery owners submerge a newly potted plant quickly, as though baptizing it.
This soaks and settles the soil and also cleans the leaves. If your area has hard water, leaves that are splashed may become spotted as water evaporates and deposits minerals. Remove the white splotches by gently wiping the leaves with a soft cloth soaked in distilled water.
If this is not possible because the pot is indoors and is too heavy to move to a sink or bathtub, set a saucer beneath the pot to catch drips. But do not let the water that drains out of the pot remain in the saucer. Blot the excess with paper towels. Topiary suppliers also stock them, along with three-dimensional wire forms that range from monkeys that can hang from tree limbs to cats with tails raised.
Whether you make a succulent wreath or a topiary, the method is similar. Begin by assembling your cuttings. Leaves should range from about an inch in diameter down to the size of a bean. Remove the lower leaves, leaving 1 to 2 inches of stem. Store the cuttings in a dry, shady place for a day or so to callus form a thin tissue of cells over the cut end.
Plant them within a week, before leaves start to shrivel. The loveliest wreaths or topiaries often are the simplest, with just one or two types of succulents, but variety also is intriguing. You can combine anywhere from six to ten kinds of plants.
One key to creating a pleasing mix is to choose those with colorful foliage—red, lavender-pink, and yellow, for example.
To spice monochromatic wreaths, add contrasting plants at regular intervals or group them like a bow. When making a topiary, consider how different colors and textures of succulents might enhance or emphasize various part of the design.
Cuttings used include assorted crassulas, sedums, and echeverias. And because succulents grow toward the sun, it may be necessary to rotate the topiary or wreath every week or so. Add succulents with leaves that pop off easily such as Sedum morganianum last, gently easing the stem into a hole you have made with a pencil or chopstick. Pots, Wreaths, and Container Gardens Professional topiary designer Margee Rader uses long-handled tweezers to insert cuttings into a form tightly packed with moss and wrapped with wire.
One or two bags of sheet moss the moss is peeled off trees in sheets. Bucket of water for soaking moss. Four to six cups sterile, dampened potting soil. This is optional; succulents will grow in moss alone. I add soil to wreaths because it is easy to do, as wire wreath forms open like clamshells. Succulents growing in moss alone will need more frequent watering and regular applications of fertilizer.
A pencil or chopstick for poking holes. One hundred or so succulent cuttings. As you assemble them, arrange them according to size, color, texture, and shape, as you would add paint on a palette. If you do not want to wait until cuttings are rooted before hanging the wreath, these pins will hold them in place. After you have assembled your equipment, you can start building the wreath. Open the wire wreath frame; you will have two sections that resemble a doughnut sliced lengthwise.
Place the two halves on a waterproof work surface. Soak the sheet moss in a bucket of water for several minutes. Place the sheet moss so the green side faces outward. Mound one of the moss-lined half-frames with soil, pressing and shaping it with the palm of your hand.
If you are not using soil, pack the wire wreath frame tightly with moss. Put the two halves back together. Using a chopstick or pencil, poke holes an inch or two deep for each cutting. Space them so no gaps show or farther apart if you prefer a looser, lacier look. After the cuttings root, water twice weekly or as needed to keep the moss evenly moist but not soggy. Keep the form neat by pinching off new growth.
If you have an automatic irrigation system, you might want to extend a drip tube to the top of the wreath or topiary so it will receive water at the same time as the rest of your garden. Feed the wreath or topiary several times during late spring and summer with a liquid fertilizer, per package directions. In this case, move the form into an area that is shaded during the hottest part of the day.
Most succulents bloom during late winter, spring, or summer. Many cold-hardy succulents thrive in regions that experience prolonged, hard frosts. Non-hardy succulents may survive freezing temperatures if their roots are unharmed.
But unlike perennials that continually replenish their leaves, frostburned succulents may appear shriveled and blackened for months—even years. If this destroys the symmetrical shape and beauty of the plant, there may little point in trying to salvage it. Other ideal climate conditions include minimal rainfall fewer than 20 inches per year and low humidity the drier, the better. A protected pocket can vary by several life-saving degrees from an exposed area.
To identify these cold pockets in your garden, notice where ice crystals linger the longest after sunrise. Warm spots tend to be near boulders, structures, trees, hardscape, and asphalt, which absorb heat from the sun during the day and release it gradually at night.
Wind is a factor, too. Garden areas shielded by walls, hedges, or some other windbreak will be warmer than those out in the open. Locations exposed to northerly winds tend to be colder. But wind is not always a problem; air that moves is less of a threat than air that is still, because movement keeps cold air from settling around plants.
Wind can make leaves more frost-resistant, because it has a drying effect, and drier leaves contain less water. Good air circulation also discourages pests and fungal diseases, to which succulents are prone in damp climates. Excessive wind will cause desiccation, however, and if you are sheltering your plants within a cold frame, in a greenhouse, or beneath a cover, wind may cause greater heat loss by cooling the air around the structure.
If your succulents are potted, this makes the job easy—especially if large specimens are on wheeled stands or you have a dolly handy. Be sure to check plants for insects, snails, and other pests you do not want to keep warm and snug all winter. Small succulents also can be dug up—most can be uprooted easily—then potted and over-wintered as houseplants. Regardless of where you live, one way to landscape your garden with nonhardy succulents is to grow them in nursery pots submerged in the soil up to the rims.
Succulents also can be over-wintered in a greenhouse, providing it is well-ventilated and the humidity is low. Sunburn can cause permanent scarring, which is particularly a concern with Sedums thrive year-round at Innisfree Garden in upstate New York.
The raised bed enhances drainage. Photo by Dency Kane Design and Cultivation succulents that are thin-skinned or variegated. The best time to introduce your potted succulents to the outdoors is during mild, cloudy weather.
Cacti and succulents that do best in dappled shade during the summer in the Southwest may prefer full sun in northern states, but keep in mind that low-angled northern sun, at higher elevations, can be intense. Excessive rainfall also is a concern.
Succulents grown for prolonged periods in soggy soils will rot. Evaluate your soil for its ability to drain well, and note which areas of your garden are likely to stay drier. Plant on slopes or atop mounds of soil amended with decomposed granite or pumice, and avoid planting in depressions or basins in which water collects.
Also, remove decaying leaves that collect in the crowns of succulents and on the surrounding ground. It is not water that causes rot, but fungus or bacteria in organic matter.
Mulch only with gravel or fast-draining decomposed granite, and tent prized plants during rainstorms. When a frost advisory is in effect for your area, before going to bed, blanket vulnerable succulents with a lightweight fabric or burlap. Get more succulent care tips from Debra on GardenDesign.
Succulents hate sitting in wet soil. Pumice is available at tack and feed stores under the name 'Dry Stall'. A mixture of half pumice, half soil works well for a majority of succulents. Growing Succulents in Cold Climates The California coastline and the Southwest have the ideal climate for growing succulents, but if you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures don't be dismayed.
It was 17 degrees at the end of January when I visited Denver and saw a gorgeous snow-covered Agave parryi that was doing fine," Debra says.A rule of thumb is the fancier the pot, the simpler the planting, and vice versa. Succulents can be potted and grouped on patios, balconies, decks, entryways, and sitting areas—any place that receives adequate light. One memorable East Coast garden I visited—with a recycled objects theme—used box springs from an old bed as a trellis roof and vine support.
You can do this with shredded bark, pebbles, gravel, or decomposed granite—whatever looks natural and is best suited to your climate and terrain. Debra Lee Baldwin. Photo by Dency Kane Design and Cultivation succulents that are thin-skinned or variegated. During the day, they sleep in leaf litter or on the undersides of leaves.
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