Succulents can provide a point of interest all year through their exquisite foliage, beautiful flowers, and shapely forms. In the garden, they can be used to fulfill all the basic principles of landscape design - contrast, repetition, and texture. The goal is to have the eye move through the landscape in a smooth curve.
Photo (left) courtesy of Debra Lee Baldwin's website. She has some wonderful ideas and beautiful photos especially in the 'Succulent articles' section.
A properly designed landscape will have some element of repetition. It may be that the plants repeat a recurring factor, such as a color, a texture, or a growth habit.
Balance is achieved by creating smooth flowing lines.
Photo (right) courtesy of bestgardening.com
The human eye is attracted to contrast or focal points. In a succulent garden, this could be accomplished by grouping several highly coloured plants together.
Photo (left) courtesy of the beautiful book 'Succulents for the Garden' by Rudolf Schulz and Attila Kapitany.
Unless you're creating a focal point, mass plantings of the same kind of plant generally look better than single specimens. Use odd numbers as they look more natural to the eye.
The rich colours and forms of succulents complement the weathered texture of rocks beautifully.
In addition to garden planting, there are other ways to incorporate succulents into the landscape to provide year round interest. Some wonderful effects can be achieved by planting succulents in pots, troughs or other objects. Just ensure that there are enough drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
Try natural products like wood, terracotta and stone, or plant in unusual objects or in interesting ways.
For a dramatic affect try mass planting one species. Create interest by grouping similar species together. Create a focal point by combining species.