A path wanders around the side of a house- the overall effect is more like a classic perennial border than a desert scene on the road to Palm Springs. This garden is in Rancho Santa Fe, and the designer is Robert Dean The path appears as the cover of a fascinating book Designing with Succulents http:// www.debraleebaldwin.com or http://www.amazon.com/Designing-Succulents-Debra-Lee-Baldwin/dp/088192816X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261018686&sr=1-1
The compostion is superb—the eye is drawn along the path by the corals, reds and golds, satisfied by the greens and intrigued by the moody moonlight shades of grey-green. The mastery of color is only part of the challenge, as the succulents are 3 dimensional in a way that other plants don’t replicate. Each succulent s sculptural, highly individualistic in its shape. To create a design that allows each species to be itself, yet in harmony with the totally different shapes and textures of its neighbor, demonstrates enviable plant knowledge and artistic skill. Gertrude Jekyll herself couldn't’ have done better.( And no, I don’t know Mr. Dean but certainly admire his accomplishment)
Notice the palms in the background. Palms combine happily with succulents, giving a lush touch that further removes the design from the desert look.
Baldwin has on her website a second book devoted to container gardening. coming out in January, She’s an inspiring writer. It's on my wish list..