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Plant leaky BIRD BATHS, ROCK WALLS, HYPERTUFA TROUGHS with succulents. The "overflowing water" is Sedum Burrito and Disocactus flagelliformis. Echeverias are "water lilies".















 INVERT A TOMATO CAGE in a pot, cover it with chicken wire, then fill with spaghnum moss on the outside, peat moss inside. Poke in Sedums, hen and chicks, Sempervivum, Echeveria, Graptoveria, Graptopetalum, Pachyphytum, Pachyveria and other succulents. You created a TOPIARY TREE covered with "roses"!









CREATE ART SCENES with colored rocks, toyland scenes. Think troll dolls, space aliens. Try a tic, tac, toe board effect with succulents.


CREATE SEASCAPES with coral and sea weed lookalikes using succulents. Artists are having fun with succulents!

FENG SHUI- For wealth and good luck attraction! 

For your entry way, try Crassula arborescens (Silver Dollar Jade), Cotyledon orbiculata, other Crassula and silver succulents with leaves shaped like coins to attract money and luck! Very popular with our customers in Asia!


In this modern minimal garden, check out this beautiful focal point- A pot overflowing "water" (black lava dirt)  into a "stream" with "waterlilies" of flat green Aeonium tabuiliforme, blue Echeveria secunda, and  huge Aeonium urbicum. A beautiful example of using a few succulents to create the illusion of water in a low water landscape. Plus, Agave attenuata is always a bold focal point succulent, like an exclamation point at the end of a sentence! The huge  leaves of this Agave and Aeonium urbicum suggest lush and tropical with little irrigation needed and can grow on winter rainfal alone. Lush tall grass always grows along stream banks, so drought resistant Eulalia Grass (Miscanthus gracilimus) also adds to this wet illusion.

Seahorse topiary of


Crested cacti and Euphorbia "coral".

Succulents in a modern grid

pattern using Echeveria 'Kircheriana'.

White leafed opaline succulents of Graptoveria opalina, Pachyveria exotica, and Echeveria 'Frosty' were in this bride's bouquet with white Agapanthus, Nandina blooms and variegated Pittosporum, then later planted with asparagus fern and a Queen's Tears (Billbergia nutans) afterwards for a low maintenance tableau.


After the wedding, this bride planted her bouquet along with her husband's boutonniere for a loving memory of their blessed day. Now these plants greet them and their guests on a glass table by the front door on their porch each day.

Caudiciforms as bonsai

Aeonium 'Sunburst', Pachyveria 'Haagai', Sempervivum tectorum, and Echeveria 'Kircheriana' are the succulents used in concentric circles in this bowl.

Living art, a LIVING WALL of succulents, which looks like a pointillist painting.

LIVING ART made with succulents-  gray Echeveria, green Sedum, Sempervivum, bronze Aeonium, green Crassula, rosey Pachyveria, Graptoveria. Bold pots feature assorted Agaves.

A "Persian Rug" of blue Senecio repens, Echeveria, green Crassula ovata, Sedum, Pachyveria, and lavender Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' with moss and Dichrondra.

Huge, boldover scaled pots of Bronze Phormium tenax (New Zealand Flax) or bronze Dracena marginata add height with overflowing  succulents. Notice the right tall blue pot on top of an inverted pot to add height for added drama.

A fountain overflowing with "water" (Discocactus and Sedum 'Burrito') and "waterlilies" ( Echeverias).

People make miniature scenes using succulents. This MINIATURE park scene was made with Crassula Gollum "trees" with Echeveria purpusorum, Sempervivum, and Euphorbia "bushes and shrubs" AND toy dogs listening to the toy guitar player in the mosaic tile "courtyard".

A LIVING ROOF, ECO-ROOF OR GREEN ROOF is a carpet of succulents, used especially on flat rooftops. At its most basic, it is a thin layer of soil spread across a roof of a root barrier/waterproof membrane with drainage and irrigation systems topped with thick colonies of drought tolerant Sedums, Sempervivums, (both cold tolerant) or  ice plants or Aeoniums (more heat resistant, less cold tolerant). Succulents stand up to the elements. They keep a roof drier by soaking up rainfall into their plant bodies, sometimes doubling the life of a roof. Succulents insulate and shade the building, decreasing energy expenses. They reduce heat loss by 26% and reduce energy consumption in winter. They reduce heat gain in summer normalizing indoor air temperatures reducing the need 26% for air conditioning with evaporating cooling tendencies. On hot days, buildings with green roofs of succulents are 14 degrees cooler inside than surrounding buildings. A green roof of succulents absorbs rain, reduces run off and storm sewer load at the street level. It filters pollution and heavy metals out of the rain water. It lowers urban air temperatures and combats the heat island effect with the largest differences made in town centers. Traditional roofing materials soak up the sun's radiation and re-emit it as heat making cities 4 degrees hotter than surrounding countryside. A green roof of succulents uses carbon dioxide and gives back oxygen improving the atmosphere. It filters pollutants out of the air. It helps the environment. It creates a wildlife habitat. In England, it gave a habitat for spiders which became food for birds. A green roof of succulents looks beautiful when viewed from higher places. Sweeps of different Sedums are used to make intriguing patterns. Prime plants are aggressive Sedum acre, S. reflexum, S. sexangulare, S. hispanicum, S. dasyphyllum, S. album, and ice plants like Delosperma 'Gold Nugget, D. cooperi, and D. 'Keladis'.  In Mediterranean climates use low growing Aeonium haworthii, Aeonium Kiwi, Aeonium decorum, Aeonium simsii, Aeonium castello-paivae, Aeonium 'Ballerina' and Aeonium spathulatum that grow on rain fall alone, going dormant in summer curling up like tight rosebuds. Green roofs are super popular in Europe, and only a recent development in horticulture in the USA. Eqypt grows aquaponic food crops on roof tops.

Succulents themselves are a work of living art. Leaves have amazing colors! They can have amazing gray, blue, purple, pink, lavender, yellow, red, turquoise, lime, orange as well as green leaves.

Rectangular pots with Euphorbia abyssinica make a grand first impression for a street entrance.

Succulents as accents at

the top of columns.


Add a pot of succulents on top at your property entry or street sign.

START SMALL- Fill a small courtyard with espaliered shrubs like Calliandra haematocephala and plant a foreground of blue oat grass, a multi trunk oak tree in the center to shade, then a foreground of blue oat grass and lime green Aeonium urbicum with a filler of Euphorbia characias. The Euphorbia characias has gray leaves echoing the blue oat grass and lime green flowers echoing the Aeonium urbicum (one of the most stunning succulents) tying both the gray and lime green colors together.

Glass orbs filled with succulents in a store window and hanging white ceramic pots with succulents as modern interior living sculpture. Hanging plants on right are tropical  cactus species which have gorgeous flowers and are not your typical untouchable cactus. Left plant is Rhipsalis cereuscula and right plant is Lepsimum cruciforme.

Plant ROCK WALLS with shrubs and succulents.

JUST TO GET YOU GOING, START SMALL with a few succulents on your balcony, your front porch, your deck, or one bold interior plant. Maybe add a few to a border edge or make a table centerpiece. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Floral bouquets and wedding centerpieces are quickly wilted and trashed soon after the wedding or other big event, but more wedding and event planners are using the green alternative of low maintenance succulents for living take home centerpieces and wedding favors that are lasting reminders of their blessed day! Succulents are also recycled for the next big event.


Our satisfied customer, New Orlean's Urban Earth Design Studios, uses and reuses tough, low maintenance succulents for huge gala events recycling their succulents and floral supplies for the next big wedding or convention center corporate event. No more cut flowers thrown away after every event! Saves landfills and money!

A border of a succulent called Sanseviera (Mother-in-law's Tongue). The tall background tree is Shoestring Acacia (Acacia stenophylla).


Agave attenuata

Echeveria subrigida to 18" wide!

   Queen of the Echeverias!

Above- Aeonium on a deck. Below- Euphorbia tirucalli (Sticks on Fire). Center- Pots of Echeveria, Pachyveria, Graptoveria, Graptopetalum, Pachyphyllum. Pots below right- Phormium tenax variegatum, Aeonium Sunburst, Senecio radicans,  Sedum 'Burrito', and Sedum sexangulare.




Plant succulents to create GRIDS and STACCATO EFFECTS.

USE BOLD FORMS- Upright cacti and other succulents can produce balls, poles, rosettes that are geometric in their own right. The trick is to combine succulents in an interesting pot, then to select colored glass or a pretty stone mulch to create a beautiful surface within the pot. SUCCULENTS  LOOK FABULOUS IN MID-CENTURY MODERN HOMES!

For a quick inexpensive centerpiece idea, try a group of inexpensive aluminum electrical boxes overflowing with succulents in shades of red, silver and green in an aluminum tray of pea gravel.

USE BONSAI STYLE POTS. Plant Portulacaria, Jade plants or Caudiciforms- a succulent with a thickened caudex (stem) and fleshy leaves. ANOTHER IDEA FOR THE MODERN MINIMAL LOOK!

Plant WIRE SCULPTURES, garden chairs, benches, old iron beds, old shoes with succulents.

CREATE PICTURES IN A FRAME. Plant rows of succulents in a frame and hang on the wall outside. Chicken wire with sphagnum and peat moss instead of soil holds plants poked in that grow.


In a sitting area outside, cover an old glass coffee table with a flat ground cover like Sedum or ice plant letting it drape over the edges. The flat sheet of texture looks great! Add chairs around this stunning succulent conversation piece! No more need to dust the glass or clean the water spots on the glass tables outside!

Make OUTDOOR "PERSIAN RUGS"  or "patchwork quilts" with succulents!

A TROPICAL TOUCH - Attach Epiphytes, small Sansevieria, Epiphyllums, Bromelia, Billbergia, and other succulents directly ON TREE LIMBS with sphagnum moss and floral wire.

CHRISTMAS DECOR- Try garlands of artificial donkey tails and real cut Juniper branches, dotted with real cut white "roses" or "snowflakes" of silver Echeveria on fireplace mantles and banisters. Decorate Christmas trees with SLOW TO WILT silver Echeveria floret cuttings you later plant in your garden. Use floral wire or ribbons to tie them on your Christmas tree. White or opaline gray succulents look like "snowflakes".


Use dried Aloe seeds pods (large dried flower look alike) hot-glue gunned to a styrofoam Christmas tree form with Deodor Cedar cones and Brazil nuts, then spray paint gold, silver or red to top a clay, brass, or aluminum  flower pot.


 I never thought about succulents at Christmas until December Nights at Balboa Park in 2007, when I saw the San Diego Art Museum decorated for the holidays with succulents.  Last Christmas, I headed down with my camera expecting more of the same, only to see the whole museum with  completely remodeled and updated interiors.  It was still striking even without succulents! But, I wish I had a photo of the decorated Art Museum from December 2007 to show you the fun and exciting ideas.


I like decorating for Christmas with stuff from my garden, including green Chinaberries, red Nandina berry sprays, Cotoneaster berries, blue Rosemary, red New Zealand Tea Tree blooms, red Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset', Rhus integrifolia (Lemonade Berry), Magnolia leaves and Buxus (Boxwood) leaves.  Boxwood, Acacia cultiformis, Podacarpus gracilior, Leucadendron,  and Magnolia- (longest lasting cut foliage even out of water!) and Nandina berries and Chinaberries are super longest lasting (up to 1 whole year!)  even out of water!

Ceropegias, some Sedums,  ice plants, some Senecios, and some Sansevieria are succulents grown in a sphagnum moss and peat moss basket that  look great as HANGING BASKETS.  Try  succulents and cacti for drought tolerance and lower maintenance hanging baskets.  Rhipsalis, Hatiora and Epiphyllum are touchable cacti that have fabulous flowers and look great in hanging baskets!

PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROPS. Try succulents on black velvet for jewelry photo shoots. Jewels on a background of living jewels!

SMALL COLORED MOSAIC TILES can be used to create square fields that offer design options for arranging succulents. Great for mid-century modern homes!

Steel outdoor fireplace with brushed steel table and aluminum electrical box succulent centerpiece.


Use pots of succulents as CENTERPIECES on tables in the house, outdoors, in restaurants, and as FOCAL POINTS in the landscape.

Olive, blue Fescue, Agave attenuata, and other succulents in a Mediterranean garden.

Variegated Acer negundo, Leucadendron,

Euphorbia cotinifolia, Juniper, and Graptopetalum paraguayense with a sponge painted background picking up the plant hues.


Echeveria 'Frosty' cuttings tied on Cedrus deodora (Deodor Cedar) last for months.

Pachyphytum bracteosum on Pinus halepensis (Alleppo Pine) lasts for a month.

Bronze Phormium (New Zealand Flax) in pots overflowing with assorted succulents on a front porch and stair landing.

In this photo on the right, Aeonium urbicum adds boulders of "lettuce heads" tying together this long thin border with  a ribbon of lime green along the sidewalk. Aeonium urbicum is a favorite succulent of landscapers for its bold appearance!

Euphorbia susannae

Echeveria 'Doris Taylor'

Sansevieria species (Mother-in-law's Tongue) colonizing the basket in all directions. These

baskets look stunning as they completely fill in.  Wish I had a photo of one like that to show you!


Euphorbia tirucalli (Sticks on Fire), a bold plant in a bright living room.



Start a living rock collection, featuring Mesembs, Lithops, Frithia, Argyroderms, Faucaria, and other living rock plants. Feature them in a rock garden or in a pot.  


Or start a fossil collection and plan your plants (Dyckia) to look like your fossils, like in this picture on the right. Look in the upper right hand corner. Notice the fossil?






















Design a ROCK GARDEN featuring geology's natural  beautiful rock formations and a natural dry stream bed using succulents and cactus. 

The end of this shrub border features an iron tuteur planted as a topirary tree with succulent "roses"  (Echeverias, Sempervivum, Crassula, Sedum , Kalanchoe, Pachyveria, Graptoveria, Pachyphytum, Graptopetalum)  making a pivot point in the border, like a natural exclamation point at the end of the sentence which adds punch to the landscape.


Outside going in- Echeveria agavoides, Echeveria 'Imbricata', Echeveria elegans, Echeveria 'Perle von Nurnberg', with Graptoveria 'Amethorum', Echeveria 'Afterglow' on the top right in this garden with a persian rug featuring succulents.

Golden Barrel Cactus, Agave parryi, Agave potatorum, variegated Agave Americana in a rock garden.


Xeriscapes are not just cactus, bare dirt and rocks. Succulents are not just for dry looking desert scenes. They can look wonderful and romantic  in cottage gardens mixing Penstemons and Salvias with Echeveria, Sedums, Pachyveria, Graptoveria, Graptopetalum, and Pachyphyllum together.  Echeveria look like giant "roses".  Voluptuous rapture!




Here is an unirrigated garden looking lush in the driest hottest seasons.  Imagine it in its spring glory, blooming with waves of color, too.


Everyone says nothing grows under Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus have surface roots that are exactly like sponges and suck water away from other plants, but I hike through a few miles of green and lush forests in the driest years in Southern California where average rainfall is under 7 inches a year. I imagine that these ancient lands of Ellen Browning Scripps were planted in the fall and sustained by winter rains when there was no irrigation over 100 years ago. Those were the days when water was collected in rain barrels or buckets of water were drawn from a hand dug well, and then buckets were hauled to water a plant by hand. These plants were the perfect choice as they then multiplied and colonized with no irrigation!  What better plant to use than succulents! Perfectly adapted to no irrigation in a Mediterranean climate!

The understory succulents are 6 feet tall Crassula ovata (Jade plant hedges), smaller shrubs of Aeonium haworthii, Aeonium arboreum, Crassula tetragona, Aloe arborescens, Agave attenuata, Crassula multicava, Zantedeschia colonies (Calla Lily, yes, its a succulent, too), and Cotyledon orbiculata colonies with a variety of different succulent groundcover iceplants for brilliant colorful carpeting- Malephora luteola, Carpobrotus, Aptenia and Lampranthus making sheets of red, yellow and purple in spring.


Every year succulent plant branches get knocked off, fall and root another plant, or a succulent leaf drops and shrivels as it sprouts a tiny miniature clone with roots. The Aeoniums self pollinate and seed. The Agaves and Aloes multiply year after year, sending up pups, forming colonies.  Crassula multicava flowers, with the pink mosquito net flowers turning into a thousand tiny miniature plantlets, all falling off, showering the ground and rooting.  Every new thumbnail size succulent plantlet grows 6 inches higher or 6 inches wider with each passing year.  Every succulent plant is green and lush living on winter rain alone.  So a small succulent garden planted 100 years ago has flourished and thrived with neglect spreading its beauty throughout a normally dry, dead  looking forest.  Someone started small 100 years ago and look what happened!

Sansevieria species and Crassula 'Gollum' are the succulents in this modern ceramic pot.

Use a pot of succulents in the base of oudoor glass tables where rain doesn't fall under the glass top and the glass top makes it hotter and dryer underneath, perfect for succulents!

Euphorbia tirucalli is a fast growing sculptural succulent used in this interior.

These succulents are Echeveria, Crassula tricolor and Senecio radicans.

To reduce your water bill, get rid of the lawn with weekly mowing and every day watering. Hardscape with bricks, cement  pavers , broken concrete, or tile, but to avoid the heat island effect, add blocks of low growing groundcover succulents like Sedum, Crassula, or Echeverias for an outdoor "quilt" which reduces the heat island effect of pure hardscape and  helps rain permeability and enables water harvestingreducing water run off and recharging underwater aquifers.

Rhipsalis baccifera, another touchable cactus.

Super easy Senecio radicans (String of Bananas).

Foreground- Sedum Burrito. Background-

Epiphyllum in sphagnum moss baskets and hanging baskets of Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls), Crassula perforata (String of Beads or Necklace Plant) and Crassula rupestris (Rosary Beads).





 Everyone is using succulents! Forms are rectilinear using square or rectangle pots to create bold geometry to showcase your succulent plants.

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