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Home highlight: blending perennials with succulents

Succulents and perennials mix beautifully in this front garden in San Diego, Ca. By calling attention to the plants with blue foliage, the garden comes together as a clean composition with a few specimen plants, such as the central Agave. The garden integrates Blue Fescue grass, Callandrina (the succulent with the hot pink flowers), weeping Rosemary, dymondia (one of my favorite groundcovers).

Selecting one common characteristic allows you to successfully integrate different types of plants while still maintaining a very designed look. Of course you still need to think about the needs of the individual species. All of the species in the photos are drought tolerant and can stand heat and direct sun.

As a quick side note: remember when using Agaves to keep in mind their mature size. Their spines are strong and very sharp, so consider whether the adult spines will stick out into a sidewalk or walkway. Once an Agave has been cut to get it out of the way, it does not ever recover it’s beautiful form because dammaged stalks do not grow back. This is also true of palms and cycads.

Interested in a waterwise garden of your own? We’d love to help! Please go to and fill in the contact us form.

Sage Outdoor Designs is a San Diego landscape design firm. Kate
Wiseman, the Principal, has been a San Diego landscape designer
for the past ten years. Find out more at