Magazine article Sunset

Opposites Attract

Magazine article Sunset

Opposites Attract

Article excerpt

Mini meadow

Succulent stars, including a blooming echeveria hybrid and a trailing Cotelydon hybrid, nestle between mounds of soft 'Elijah Blue' fescue and bright green thrift (Armería maritima 'Armada White'). At far right, the silver heart-shaped leaves of a Pelargonium sidoides spill over the edge of the planter, pro TIP: Incorporate thrift into more of your plantings. The unsung plant is a playful and sturdy champ, forming tufty evergreen mounds topped with lollipop blooms in white, pink, or red.

The big chill

In the center of the container, a hybrid echeveria sits like an unfolding lotus, but one with far more staying power than the fleeting flower. Small, almost iridescent ghost plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense) echoes the shape and color of the larger succulent. At right, purple-leafed heuchera picks up the echeveria's pink edges. In back, feathery dusty miller (Senecio cineraria) offers some stature and fuzz to the mix. PRO TIP: Adding height, like the dusty miller, offers visual contrast, plus it creates dappled light for more sun-sensitive plants growing in its shadow.

Starburst

Arching gracefully in all directions, 'Vera Jameson' sedum displays juicy round leaves and stems topped with pink, star-shaped flowers. Mexican snowballs (Echeveria elegans) anchor the right side, young pups bunched up against mother plants. In back, the nonsucculent Pelargonium sidoides catches the light on its silver leaves, echoing the color of the Echeveria. PRO TIP: Pelargonium sidoides is a favorite to mix with succulents. Its fuzzy, ruffled leaves and wandering habit transform any combo from rigid to loose.

Perfect strangers

Highlighting its redtinged margins and sharp tips, a single 'Blue Glow' agave tucks up against a lush backdrop of soft plants. In back (from left to right), variegated Sedum lineare 'Sea Urchin' cascades over the rim; 'Vera Jameson' sedum shows off its pink blooms; and purple spurge (Euphorbia dulcís 'Chameleon') displays whorls of leaves on either side of an herbalscented Pelargonium 'Oldbury Duet'. …

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