Desert meets the beach

Succulents thrive in an Encinitas garden just steps from the sea

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  • Desert Succulents

    Thickly planted succulents cover the south-facing slope: orange spires are "Aloe  arborescens,"  yellow cones are "Aeonium arboreum", and in the foreground is a mainstay of beach gardens ― purple statice (Limonium perezii)

Five great ideas from this garden

1. Add beach accents. Bonney and Menslage subtly integrate a coastal feeling by tucking shells among groundcovers and in pots.

2. Pair foliage for shape and texture. Round aeonium rosettes sit beside pointy-leafed yuccas and agaves, while soft, mounding jade plants serve as fillers.

3. Consider scale. For maximum visual impact, arrange plants in drifts ― shorter ones in the foreground, taller ones behind.

4. Make cuttings. Succulents with stems root readily, and those that form rosettes (such as agaves) produce pups ― new plants that can be dug up and replanted. That's how Bonney and Menslage spread the plant wealth; theirs is a garden of cuttings.

5. Let the rain do the watering. Plants in Bonney's garden are irrigated by rainfall in winter and spring, and by drip the rest of the year. (Although drought-tolerant, succulents do best with occasional watering.) They like well-drained soil.

More:  A gallery of agaves

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