Gardening with succulents | SA Garden and Home

Gardening with succulents

TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIANE PEACOCK
Last updated on 1 November 2016

Succulents, with their contrasting colours and interesting shape are ideal for creating a minimalist landscape with clean lines. They’re also ideal in times of drought

Here are some tips on using them in the garden:

  • Use different colours and shapes to create interest.Succulent
  • Use swathes of varying foliage types to give dimension.Succulent
  • Combine decorative and unusual succulent shapes to make a striking composition.Succulent
  • Include varieties with brightly coloured flowers like Euphorbia milii. With its shrub-like habit and imposing spines, it makes a good ‘security’ plant.Succulent
  • The layout doesn’t have to be overcrowded. Large succulents make eye-catching components. Using gravel and stone as mulch not only limits evaporation, it covers bare soil.Succulent
  • Carpobrotus edulis is an excellent groundcover and divides easily.

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Some succulents like Kalanchoe thyrsiflora have a subtle combination of colour shading.

  • Use contrasting shapes to create interest, drama and depth.
  • Cooler colours often push elements into the background.
  • Use scale and overlap plants in areas to create strong visual elements.
  • For greater depth, plant smaller plants at the back.
  • Detailed edging adds impact, holding the attention for longer.
  • Add humour by using varieties that are chunky and have characterful ‘personality’.
  • Use subtle variations to ‘draw’ stripes, panels and blocks and use a contrast of matt and glossy foliage.

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