I had a period where I hated yuccas. Probably had something to do with their overuse in the 1980s. Many suburban yards in my neighborhood had one forlorn yucca abandoned in a bed. Of course, my horticultural tastes constantly change, so now I adore yuccas and other succulents. What’s not to love? They are the perfect focal point: their architectural splendor, rich colors, and then there’s the light. The way a slant of sun spills over each blade creating such magnificent chiaroscuro.
Many of the better agaves, yuccas, and other succulents are Zone 8 and warmer, but those in Zone 7 and above can enjoy them in pots. What business does a desert plant have in a mid-Atlantic, temperate Piedmont garden? Well, I am embracing my inner-Victorian: why deny myself the pleasure of a bit of horticultural fetishism? Go ahead , try it: throw yourself into the crowd of mail-ordering, zone-pushing horticultural compulsives whose lust for exotic species leads them down dark (and expensive) paths. It’s worth it. And if my endorsement doesn’t persuade you, perhaps these fabulous succulent pots designed by the U.S. Botanical garden will.
What's not to love about this overloaded succulent pot? I could stare at this for an hour--I think I did actually . . .
Or contrast the intricacy of the previous pot with the simplicity of this arrangement:
Can anyone identify this species? Some kind of Euphorbia? Really wonderful, especially with the yellow fall color behind it
I can't imagine a place where this pot would not look good:
Euphorbia tirucalli is always visually spectacular:
And sometimes the pot can speak for itself . . .
"mail-ordering, zone-pushing horticultural compulsives" is one of the best phrases I've read in some time. Fabulous photos too. I think your blue succulent might be Senecio vitalis?ReplyDelete
Thanks . . . that phrase describes me to a tea! Senecio vitalis! That's it. Thank you!Delete
Texture, color, symmetry, form, all with infrequent watering; I love them.ReplyDelete
Good post. I completely agree with you, and I'm happy to see the USBG get recognized....Still, here at the USNA, Bradley Evans, Curator of the Introductory Garden, has been creating xeric containers for many years. He designs the containers and planting around the Administration Building and Friendship House, and advises in the Herb Garden. He has accumulated an impressive collection of both common and obscure succulents, that he propagates enthusiastically, and containers and as far as I can tell, his products are the standard.
As a part of the "weekend watering" rotation, I particularly appreciate these containers on baking hot summer days...both their beauty and the fact that I don't have to water them!
Our public gardeners do not get enough credit. They are so many great craftsmen and plantsmen at our pubic gardens whose work inspires us all. I'd love to see Bradley's xeric containers.Delete
And yes, their maintenance benefits clearly trump annuals and tropicals in containers. I have a couple agave pots at home, and they look better than my annual pots and I spend a fraction of the time. Always great comments, Chris!
I think that the blue succulent is Senecio 'Kilimanjaro'.ReplyDelete
I too love succulent pots. They couldn't be easier and they overwinter really quite well in the house as long as you can give them bright light so they don't stretch.
Love your blog!
Fantastic! Thanks for the ID. I'm still learning my succulents.Delete
I agree with Catherine on the senecio identification.ReplyDelete
Yes, looks like it exactly!Delete
You've seen the light! I'm especially drawn to the simplicity of the square pots arrangement, not to mention the agave in the blue pot and that background...stunning!ReplyDelete
Someone in your area is growing them outside! (I think he's a plant pathologist by trade)
What can we say? We all need some desert edge out here in the temperate mid-Atlantic.Delete
Great photos! And I'm glad you cleared up that yucca hating business right up front. If I would have had to read into the second or third paragraph to learn you'd changed your mind I might have not made it to the gorgeous Euphorbia tirucalli.ReplyDelete
I was deluded . . . but thanks to inspiration like yours, I a convert of all things dangerous and seductive.Delete
Love all those pots - except the fussy one you said you stared at for hours. Now, if I could get my head/eyes round how you come to like both that and the sculptural simplicity of the others, I might understand the fussy over planted gardens we get so many of. (cf Great Dixter --YUK!)ReplyDelete
Agave love (and other succulents) -- yes, it's highly contagious!ReplyDelete
Why stop at zone 7. There are zone 8 agaves that do just fine in an unheated garage in suburban MD. Out of the winter rain/snow/ice, they do just fine from Christmas to St. Patrick's Day in March.ReplyDelete