Succulent plants are a diversified family that has been around for a long time and their popularity is growing fast with new and fascinating cultivars. I cannot think of a family of plants that is more varied, has more colors, shapes, forms and textures than the various succulent genera.
Their water storage components are found in their leaves, stems and trunks with their root systems capturing and holding onto moisture in times of drought.
In areas of the world that receive only a few inches of rainfall a year, certain succulents have adapted with their astonishing internal water storing capacity and intricate metabolism to carry on life.
Succulents with their colorful leaves can stand out as independent garden specimens or used in collections with other types to create a very exciting plant palette. Some of the more common and usually available succulents are agave, aloe, cotyledon, aeoniums, echeveria, euphorbia, beaucarnia, cereus, crassula, sempervirens, kalanchoe and many other common types.
There is a whole world of caudiciform type of succulents out there as well. These plants produce green leaves and shoots during periods of favorable growth and live off water and nutrients stored in the caudex or swollen trunks and stems. Their shapes can be quite unique, haunting, and bizarre, but I am always looking for rare and unusual plants for my own botanical garden and also for my clients.
Creating a succulent garden requires knowledge of plant compatibility, but also some creativity in combining exotic and striking forms, colors and textures all together into a living picture.
With the blending of boulders, cobblestones, gravels and assorted garden accessories, one can really bring a new vibrant look to water conserving gardens. We are on a very exciting threshold of new looks and styles for gardens and it is fun to aid clients in being part of the new wave of gardens to come.
Part II shall discuss a little about culture, collecting, stewardship and container plantings in the wonderful world of succulents, so stay tuned.
Questions can be directed to Roger Boddaert at (760) 728-4297.
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