Magazine article Sunset

Sea~creature Succulents

Magazine article Sunset

Sea~creature Succulents

Article excerpt

Boldly colored. Drought-tolerant. With the wonderful world of succulents, you can mimic an underwater look with plants.

Succulents are terra firma's answer to sea creatures, as jewel-toned as shells, sculptural as seastars, or flutter/ as sea anemones. This garden, in Orange County's Corona del Mar, shows off succulents' wilder, more colorful side. The plantings create a spot-on connection between land and sea, as though they simply arose from the waves complete, like Venus on the half-shell, to their perch atop the bluff.

When succulents expert and horticulturist Joe Stead saw Anton and Jennifer Segerstrom's patio, he wanted to edge it like this to set off the Pacific below. "As a kid, I explored tidepools down there," Joe says of the rocky coastline. "I marveled at the starfish and sea anemones. I wanted to bring that sense of wonder to this garden."

In beds around Anton and Jennifer's patio, Joe planted purple echeverias, orange 'Sticks on Fire', and cool blue aloes. All of them thrive on little water and stay low enough to frame the Segerstroms' coastal view without blocking it.

In fact, the garden's faux ocean sometimes seems to merge with the real one. "Late in the day, while the tide is still out, those tidepools reflect the sunset sky," Joe says. "They show the same colors as these plants. And they look like they're part of the garden."


A striped tuxedo agave (Agave americana Mediopicta Alba J is the star among orange Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' and smaller succulents in this Southern California coastal garden.



Echeveria 'Afterglow' Spikes of deep orange flowers emerge like crab's claws from this eeheveria's large (12- to 16-inch), loose rosette in summer. Leaves are powdery and normally pinkish lavender with brighter pink edges. But when-stressed by sun and sea air, they turn the vibrant hue pictured. Plant it in*un or light shade.


While Joe used San Diego wholesalers to plant this garden, these specialty nurseries offer a great selection of succulents. Delivery options vary.

* California Cactus Center, Pasadena.

* Oasis Water Efficient Gardens, Escondido, CA.

* Succulent Gardens, Castroville, CA. i¿plants. comlfyou'reinthe Monterey area at the end of the month, don't miss Succulent Gardens' Extravaganza (/ree; Sep 28-23) for tours, food, and seminars, as well as succulents to buy. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.