Landscaping Ideas

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.

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Tapestry garden

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.

Gravel path

Photo (right) courtesy of

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.

Tarrex garden

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.

Garden at Strybing

The rich colours and forms of succulents complement the weathered texture of rocks beautifully.

Succulents and lichen

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.

Pipe pots Stone pots Wood pot Herb pot

Try natural products like wood, terracotta and stone, or plant in unusual objects or in interesting ways.

Concrete head Spilt pots Teapots

For a dramatic affect try mass planting one species. Create interest by grouping similar species together. Create a focal point by combining species.

Sempervivum pot Succulent pot Sempervivum pot

Photo above courtesy of Ming-Min Lee.