Succulents are among our favorite plants to play with, both indoors and out. They're great for container gardening (for small-space dwellers), sculptural and graphic (for design lovers), and drought-tolerant (for water-starved Californians). We like to plant them in crevices to spice up less attractive parts of the garden, like the rocky bed around a gas valve cover in front of our house. Photos of ours after the jump…
4-inch succulents are inexpensive and easy to plant. We nestled a few echeveria (top right corner of photo) into our makeshift retaining wall, packing loose potting soil around the roots, and planted an assortment of other babies (two sedum varieties and a "hens and chicks") in the rocky soil around the gas main cover. We'll probably plant a few more succulents and add some gravel "mulch" to improve drainage (and give the little garden a more unified look).
Two important things to remember with succulents: They need good drainage and a lot of light. Mix some sand or pebbles into your soil if it is especially dense or clayey. And don't over-water; succulents can tolerate some neglect.
Indoors, they are a nice live alternative to cut flowers. You can cluster tiny succulents in a container for a centerpiece; check out this video from Sunset Magazine for full instructions. Laure posted her own amazing version on AT:LA last fall.
A few more posts from AT:LA for succulent inspiration:
Container Garden Photo: Sunset Magazine