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Creativity with succulents

The ideal plant for dry gardens

For some time now, succulent plants and cacti have been gaining popularity in Australian gardens. No wonder – they’re drought-hardy, come in a great range of colours and forms, and are easy to propagate.

Creating feature beds

Last winter, I decided to make greater use of succulents in my garden. I already had quite a few. Some were in the cottage garden area and I also had used them in containers with great success. There were three circular beds in the garden which needed updating – succulents would be ideal.

Colour for the cottage garden

Centrally placed in the lawn of my cottage garden area I have a tiered bird bath, surrounded by a circular bed. Previously, this area had displayed a variety of annuals, but they needed updating frequently. Now, I’ve transformed this bed with succulents. The theme for this area was ‘cheerful and colourful’ in keeping with the cottage garden area adjacent. So there are mixed succulents of all types and colours, apart from tall-growing varieties). I was able to propagate most of the new plants from those I already had, elsewhere in the garden.

colourful profusion in the cottage garden

Blue for the rose garden

central feature in the rose garden

My second project was to create another succulent bed in a small central circular bed in the rose garden, using only shades of blue and lilac. Blue is such an elusive colour in a rose garden – (there are no truly ‘blue’ roses). While I have blue delphiniums and iris, the blue tones of the succulents are a perfect foil for the roses. When I planted the new succulent feature in winter, I sourced a lot of individual echeveria from existing plants. Now – six months later – the echeveria have developed a vast number of offsets. There are tiny echeveria all around the edging tiles, so I will have plenty to use for other projects.

Cool tones

Finally, my enthusiasm inspired me to make a third small bed of succulents around a sundial in another part of the garden. I wanted this bed to be different to the other two, so only small green succulents were used. Again, most of the stock came from plants I already had.

Green toned succulents

Thriving in hot weather

It’s now six months since I established the new succulent beds. Not only have the plants increased in size, but they’s flourished throughout some very hot and windy conditions in spring. They’re the ideal plants for easy-care and colourful plantings.

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