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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An inspired succulent and cactus garden in Westwood

As you can see, the photo is 2 years old--- and continuously  inspiring.
 Volante's garden has all the charm of the classic Perennial border as envisioned by great gardeners like Gertrude Jekyll. But the classic perennial border simply uses too much water for So Cal. This garden was the first I'd seen  to achieve the lush, colorful look English garden look  without the lavish over-use of water. Volante described it as being "It's a little English garden plus a little desert garden".

The succulents are familiar: the big frilly ones Volante has used to such effect are ruffled  echeverias,  the
pale one to the left is another echeveria, the small ground covers are sedums, the flat paddle shapes in the middle are kalanchoes.The elements of this garden are not that unusual--what is unusual is the brilliant design. Been trying to achieve the same effect. Not yet successfully as it's the repetition of elements that holds the design together. Repetition and variation on a theme require discipline. But how to resist all those plants that don't fit in the design? My method has been is to put everything in, then subtract..... if only those new ( kalanchoes,sedums, echeverias---fill in the blanks) weren't sooo seductive. Shoe addicts and book collectors will understand.

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