Monday, April 5, 2010

The Succulents are in Bloom

Don’t you just love the word ‘Succulent’? It’s so juicy and delicious!

My earliest memory of succulent plants is of a monstrous pre-historic jade plant which lurked in the upstairs hall window of an elderly family friend. Over the years, I have learned to appreciate succulents, and am delighted that they are again in fashion. Today’s succulents have gone modern, recognized for their versatile, decorative and sustainable qualities.

On California’s Central Coast succulents are in bloom.

Amid clumps of low growing succulents, these lush giant yellow flowering spears stand sentinel at the entrance to the old Homestead Inn in Carmel.

Window boxes and pots of assorted succulents abound.

These greet visitors to Tancredi and Morgen, a charming shop in Carmel Valley.

Succulent heaven may be the sale held by the Monterey Bay Cactus and Succulent Society in San Juan Bautista, CA. The next one is April 24th and 25th.

Denise Fasanello, a New York florist who blogs as Little Pheasant, has enthusiastically embraced the use of succulents in her 'delectable' designs. (Thank you Denise for the use of these two lovely images!)

Imagine boutonnieres for the bridegroom and groomsmen fashioned from succulents!

(Photograph by Lance Iversen/The Chronicale)

Bay area Organic Mechanics have long been proponents of the use of succulents in their award-winning garden installations. For this year’s San Francisco Flower and Garden Show they created “The Living Room” a 12’ X 12’ cube whose exterior walls were covered with 19,000 aeoniums, sedums and other succulents in 20 inch flats. These were sourced from Robin Stockwell’s Succulent Gardens Castroville, CA.

In Australia, designer Daniela Moore has magnified the basic forms of the leaves, stems and branches of various members of the succulent family, and adapted these into motifs for her popular silk-screened textiles available at Tree in Flinders.

If there was a Tulip mania in 17th century Holland; and a Victorian fern craze in the 19th century, then we must be in the midst of a Succulent mania now.

Succulently yours,


  1. Hi Marjorie...loved this..and love Tancredi and you know Marsha and Rodger?

    I used to go there with my friend Julie Whitmore from Julie Whitmore Pottery where she used to do shows. We would stay at the Centrella Inn in Pacific Grove then get up in the morning and go to Tancredi to do the show. Fun Times ! That shop is so darling...Love it !

    Good to see you today, my friend


  2. Love the look of these strange but beautiful little plants! I just bought 3 on where and how to plant them!

  3. Marjorie dearest,
    These are fabulous and they remind me so much of my home in Calif. and also of my home away from home, EZE, France where at the summit of this great village is a wonderful garden full of these darling plants! I love the colorful variety you have shown here!


  4. Fasanello's succulent creations are marvelous! Lovely post, Marjorie.

  5. Marjorie: Succulents are so exotic and beautiful! In a way the Chemin Des Muguets look similar to a succulent shells of the lily of the valley. Remember the French love of the nose gay flowers in the lapel. Othere succulents I love; yucca, hens and chickens grow like weeds up north as well, and of course, aloe vera the medicinal plant. I hear the desert flowers are in full bloom (in late March early April)...does this correspond to the seasonal succulents colourful show? BTW ~ Lovely blog!

  6. made me laugh...would love to have you and your husband for supper

  7. Dear Marjorie,
    I just love your photographs of succulent's.
    My favourites are the long skinny ones that I plant in an old urn and let them spill over the sides. I was at the garden centre today, having a look at them.
    Thank you so much for your comment on mine. I really do appreciate it and felt so much better for it, thanks Marjorie. XXXX

  8. I love them,too. Especially Hens and Chicks or Chicks and Hens - I'm not much of a gardner. There is a photo of the most amazing succulent I have ever seen on the blog 'French Kissed'. It is in Monaco, I think. Have a look if you haven't seen it. Happy Spring, Marjorie.


  9. I love the idea of succulents too!!! They are really amazing in this post of yours..especially the giant block of them!!

  10. Wow!!! The boutonnieres are a great idea....And that cube is over the top! Marjorie this post was great I really enjoyed it!!!!!Maryanne xo

  11. succulent here in Ohio, still waiting for it to bloom :(