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The Stylish Garden Starts with Selecting Succulents

Written by Cindy Marie Jenkins on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at 12:34pm.

When Nook Sales Experts match a buyer with their dream home, the only thing as important as architectural style is the neighborhood. Today we look at the plants who've turned our neighborhoods into sustainable, magical gardens.

It took me a long time to commune with succulents. I'm originally a New England gal, so if you can't drop all your leaves in October and be bursting with green by May, I don't know if I can trust you. Sure, I'd walk my dog past those Dr. Seuss looking gardens and wonder if they were real or plastic. I'd gingerly touch buds to see if they sting like a cactus. In the early 2000s when I moved to California, however, succulents were still an exception to landscaping, not the rule.

Now, succulents have proven they serve our climate well and aren't just a trend. They are both necessary while the state recovers from drought and the latest in desirable landscaping. The succulents’ ability to go for weeks without water and brighten up small spaces make succulents perfect in the variety of styles you can find in California homes.  

Everyone has their favorites, but dudleya palmeri always catches my eye, with their red and pink buds offset by a lovely green. The unique and a little dangerous looking Dudleya hassei always complements the more commonplace green of the Aeonium haworthii.

And if you're inclined to the more dramatic or fantastical environments like I am, succulents make the best pairings with upcycled found objects, rock formations and even well-chosen dirt pairings that also offer the irrigation succulents need.

But if there's anything that I've learned from the succulents boom, it's that everything from an old fountain to that cracked pot I've kept lying around the yard to an extravagantly modeled tree limb can beautifully house these relatives of the cactus.

I also can't deny that as someone with a decidedly non-green thumb who works long hours, the low maintenance of succulents is very appealing. Plus, the city kid in me starred in awe the first time I saw a neighbor pull off an aloe leaf and applied it to her dry skin.

Succulents may have begun as more of a practicality for our lovely desert climates, but in the last few years, they have transformed our personal and urban landscapes to become an icon of stylistic sustainable living.

Find your own landscape style to match a beautiful home through our Search With Style mobile app.

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