wednesdays are always a fun break from the maintenance routine i usually stick to. i keep the day open for bigger planting and/or pruning projects. recently, i’ve been doing more and more succulent and cactus plantings. i would have to say that these are definitely some of my favorites. when i originally moved from pennsylvania to southern california about 10 years ago i immediately fell in love with the wide array plants that can grow here – namely cactus and succulents.
unlike arizona where a lot of people plant their yards with this type of landscaping, people in so cal seem to fancy english and mediterranean gardens. most of my clients in fact have lots of roses, lavenders, hydrangeas, azaleas, camellias and higher maintenance shrubs, vines and trees.
so within the last two or three months i have been so stoked to have had the opportunity to do full gardens with a free reign of cactus and succulent choices. today we replanted a small atrium in the middle of a house in san juan capistrano.
i would say that the whole scale of the planter was probably about 10 feet long by 5 feet wide, so it was a pretty small area to clear out and replant. the atrium sat walled in, literally in the middle of the house, closed off by sliding doors. it doesn’t get full sun by any means since it is walled off, but there was a very impressive 8 foot tall euphorbia cactus already growing there – so i figured it got decent enough light and heat to support a succulent garden.
we tore out some limp looking pennisetum grasses and struggling heathers. the soil was sandy and easy to dig. we buried an existing 1/2″ drip line around the perimeter, and then hit dana point nursery for the plants. we convinced the owner to go with 1 huge impressive euphorbia “firestick”, two 5 gallon aeoniums and an assortment of 6 inch succulents including 3 jades and 6 echeverias – 3 of which included the “evening glow” hybrid. we also decided on topping the garden off with lava rock – my personal favorite for cactus and succulents, even in potted gardens.
i am always happy to be planting any type of garden, as long as i brings the owner happiness and pleasure. unless someone has a strong aversion to cactus and succulents i try to convince people of their beauty and austere. there are so many textures, colors and shapes to choose from. i think sometimes my clients get tired of having to constantly maintain the english garden plants – always pruning, and replanting color and cleaning up leaves that they are turning more towards the low maintenance style of cactus and succulents.