Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Succulent; what a great sounding word. It rolls off of your tongue, like “undulating” or “juggernaut”. Succulent in Latin is “succos” meaning juice. Succulents store water in their leaves, stems and roots which makes them exceptionally resilient to drought. Succulents can be found in almost any climate from scorching hot deserts, which we typically relate to these plants, to cold alpine regions with strong winds and poor soil.
In terms of landscaping, succulents offer a great and highly varied option for low-maintenance plant material. Succulents provide dazzling diversity in color, texture, and stature. They have found their way to us from throughout the world. Sempervivum come to us from northern Europe while Sedum originally could be found in Asia as well as Europe. The Americas are the ancestral home of Agave and all cactus plants. The African continent has the largest variety of succulents including Aloe. Given the great growing range of succulents it is no wonder their visually dazzling range from frilly looking leaves to bulbous little leaves that look like they could just pop. Colors span the spectrum from Bronze to blue and everything between. Many have long-lasting blooms and some with shorter bloom times are simply stunning in their normal state.
We use dozens of varieties in our designs. They make excellent ground covers as the range of color and texture can be exploited to add visual interest around almost any other material from stone to trees to perennial gardens. The old standby Autumn Joy, and its kissing cousin Karl, continue to be crowd favorites for their late season blooms. Whatever your garden condition, whatever your taste, and whatever amount of energy you can devote to your garden, succulents bring beauty, elegance, and intrigue to gardens and containers.