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Sunday, March 7, 2010

The "English" Succulent Garden

Working on the English Garden effect:, concentrating on low water planting . (Yes, this  is a little like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time.)

A beautiful succulent garden like Pamela Volante's amazing garden in Westwood, ( blog 2/10/10)   or the garden Robert Dean ( blog 12/16/09) designed for the Shaefer's in Rancho Santa Fe, is both inspiring  and
depressing  for plant- a- holics. .

The greatest difficulty involved is design. Design requires a certain restraint--- repetition of the same themes (shapes, colors) makes it work. See how Volante’s design is controlled to a few shapes?
Here's the garden ( see Debra Lee Baldwin)  Robert Dean  designed for the Shaefer's in Rancho Santa Fe. And  doesn't he make it look easy!

We have a 5' x 6 'sloping space that's trying to become  the English  Succulent Garden. It's somewhere between what Debra Lee calls a "tapestry" garden and a classic perennial border

Tapestry probably suits it better—the medieval horror vacuii seems to be the governing principal. Trouble is--- the nursery. How to resist that plant you don't have? 12 steps anyone?

It's worst than viewing adoptable kittens at Paws.

There are about nine different  plants in this space. The K. blossfeldiana comes into the Big Box stores and grocery stores at this time of year. They are  wonderful  plants for creating painterly swatches of color---as   in the enticing pinks of  the kalanchoes and E. Lipstick.

Too many different kinds of plants? Probably. But by golly, Miss  Dolly, it's lush!

A future blog will be about the design  of an English Garden and why on earth  you might want to attempt  one.

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