Saturday, August 2, 2014

Debra Lee Baldwin's ten steps to a lush and lovely container garden

I have been increasingly impressed with the stunning succulent containers by Debra Lee Baldwin when searching for ideas how to use color, shape, size, and texture to design containers of succulents with visual impact.

Debra suggests the following steps to create a lush and lovely container garden of succulents:
  1. Choose a pot that allows easy repetition of color, pattern, and/or texture in plant selection
  2. Look for foliage colors in the same intensity (pastel or bright) as that of the pot. Set aside enough of the first choice succulent to fil 1/4-1/3 of the pot.
  3. Determine whether the green in the plant chosen is yellow-green or blue-green, sticking to that shade of green in the rest of the composition
  4. Look for contrast in the next plant choice: 
    •  complement of the first plant color of pot's glaze
    •  texture contrast-nubby textured succulent for glossy or angular lant for round container
  5. Select plants of tall, medium and low heights, keeping contrast and repetition in mind
  6. Fill in container to 3-4" below rim.  (If pot is small, dil it 3/4 full.)  Remove the largest or tallest of the succulents, placing it just off center, pressing down on the root-ball to secure it, but avoid burying it. (Ok for top of root-ball to be higher than the rim.)
  7. Work from the middle outward, adding plants, leaving cascaders for last. Push root-balls up              against each other.  Use blunt end of chopstick to arrange and settle roots of plants.
  8. Rotate rosettes that are near the rim so they face outward at a 45-degree angle.  (Crowns can rest on rim of pot.
  9. Conceal exposed root-balls with smaller succulents.  Aim for mounded compositon without gaps.  Small stones or pebbles can hide bare soil until plants fill in.
  10. Remove soil from leaves by blowing, dusting with a soft artists brush, or watering gently.

Debra Lee Baldwin is the bestselling author of Designing with Succulents and Succulent Container Gardens. I recently purchased her latest book, Succulents Simplified, focusing on choosing, growing and designing with succulents. Debra offers her top 100 succulent plant picks, explaining how to grow and care for succulents no matter where you live. She highlights her top 35 companion plants for succulents.  Step-by-step projects with stunning photographs taken by Baldwin herself, suggest  inspirational ideas on how to take advantage of succulents' unusual shapes and colors,

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