Designing & Planting Succulent Landscapes & Container Gardens: It’s a Juggling Act

February 21, 2011

Aaron Ryan



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One of my goals when creating our nursery in Castroville was to build an inventory that gives me lots of flexibility when designing and installing succulent landscapes and container gardens. Availability of material is critical to the realization of any landscape project. Whether creating my own design or working with a professional who needs material for their own project, availability of desired varieties in sizes and numbers necessary is critical to any project’s success.

The nursery industry has developed over the years as an efficient backup to the retail nurseries and landscape professionals who use plants in their inventories and projects. Succulents have not been available in the supply chain in sufficient variety or volume, nor has there been a demand until recently, to make landscaping with succulents practical. One of the goals at Succulent Gardens has been to build an inventory that would satisfy the needs of both variety and volume.

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show

The “Cube” I designed for the 2010 San Francisco Flower & Garden Show (with Organic Mechanics of San Francisco) used 20,000 plants, all in liner size.

Villa Mundo

A Los Gatos landscape designed by Jarrod Baumann and installed under the inscrutable eye of Jim Everett used about 2,000 Echeveria elegans below the serpentine wall, mature Aloe saponaria/striata hybrids in 5-gallon cans (in bud) above another wall, and numerous Agave weberi, nova, and franziosinii from 15-gallon sizes up to 10-foot wide specimens.

Neither of these projects would have been possible without the supply, and the supply would not have been available just a few years ago. Today designers and contractors can hand-pick every succulent for their project at our nursery, or have them delivered to the site. You design it, we’ll supply it!

Aaron Ryan
Aaron Ryan


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