Monday, April 8, 2013

Succulent Hilltop Creates Quite The Scene In San Diego County

A succulent garden
stole the show at the Poway garden tour, my first of the tour season in San Diego county on April 6, 2013. This was a great garden to start both the day and the season, and at the end of the day it was still my favorite of the six private gardens on tour, sponsored by the San Diego Horticultural Society.

The garden is only two years old, designed by Linda Bresler, and was named garden of the year 2012 in the local San Diego Home and Garden magazine.
 I was aware of the honor beforehand but didn't see any photographs.

So my expectations were high for this hilltop home

with a great view of mountains

and canyons alike.

It kinda blew me away.  I wasn't alone.
Visitors were clearly fascinated and kept the designer (center, with white slacks)
and the homeowner busy with questions and conversation.

When I first saw all the red, yellow

 and orange low to the ground
it made me think me of embers glowing in a fire place.

Other visitors thought it looked like coral reef in the ocean.
I get that, too.

In any scenario, it was unusual and beautiful. The range of colors here proves there is more than one way to plant a colorful garden, and substantially keep the water bill down at the same time. Succulents are resilient and sustainable in dry, arid locations because they store up lots of water. 

From dark Aeonium 'Zwartkop' (bottom corners) to bright Euphorbias and everything in between, this might be the most colorful, and definitely most succulent garden, I have ever seen.

Elfin thyme surrounds the pavers and the garden is filled with numerous varieties of succulents 

including Senecio, Euphorbia, Echeveria and Aeonium.

 I have become more of a succulent fan the longer I have gardened
and I do have several in my own garden now. 

 They are quite useful in ways we might not normally consider. Cut succulents can be wired and used in floral arrangements and they last for months, as I learned from the designer at the Succulent Perch who hosted a table of her displays at the garden. Then they can be replanted again. 

Indeed, even the homeowner's water fountains were dripping with them!

Poway Garden Tour to be continued...

This is GardenEnvy.

Copyright 2013 by Jeannine. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Thanks for sharing this! I'm not surprised at all that this garden was your favourite!

  2. Oh my what a stunning garden! The colors and textures are just fabulous. Thanks for sharing your tour!

    1. Thanks for your visit and I am happy you enjoyed it!

  3. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I love the San Diego area and now you made me want to be there even more. What a wonderful garden of succulents, one of my favorite plants. Most of those I have here on the shores of Lake Michigan, I need to bring in for the Winter. As I type I am looking at them right now. I think they want to get back outside but it is way too cold, even snow again tonight. I need Spring! It was an excellent visit today. Thanks Jack

    1. Jack, so happy you enjoyed it! Lots to love in San Diego frankly. The only thing I ever miss about the Midwest is the Fall season! Stay tuned, I will post again about highlights of the other five gardens on the tour! Jeannine

  4. I'm already looking forward to the next half of the tour. Succulents are so pretty and a little under rated over here. The views make me want to sip a chilled glass of wine and find a bit of sunshine. Great photos!

  5. What a beautiful garden, and yes it reminds me of a coral reef! I am being won over to succulents, and I am not sure why it has taken me so long. I first became a fan when I planted some colorful succulents in concrete planters that proved a death trap for other plants I tried there. The succulents thrived! Now I am seeing the amazing variety that are out there and finding other places in my garden for them.

  6. So glad you enjoyed this garden and the entire tour. Each year the San Diego Horticultural Society strives to include exceptional gardens on our tours, and we're also usually the first tour of the garden tour season. And you can see a different garden EVERY MONTH at no charge at our members only Featured Garden events. For details visit our website,
    Susi Torre-Bueno
    Newsletter Editor and Past President
    San Diego Horticultural Society

  7. Hi Jeannine - beautiful photos - I'm a designer working on the City of Poway newsletter, Poway Today, and was wondering if it would be OK to use one of your photos in the Spring newsletter for the topic of waterwise gardens. I will place an attribution to you and link to your Garden Envy blog. If it's OK, please email me at

    Thank you, Todd Anderson, Art Director


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