Succulents are terra firma’s answer to sea creatures, as jewel-toned as shells, sculptural as seastars, or fluttery 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.”
Get the planting planfor this garden, and click ahead for more details on how to create an underwater look with fun succulent varieties.