Since the once-humble succulent is still having its day (read: decade), we were delighted to learn that longtime succulent grower, gardener, and evangelist Robin Stockwell—owner of Succulent Gardens in Castroville, California—finally published a book on his beloved plant genre.
Though there’s nothing new about gardening with succulents (they’ve been in and out of fashion for as long as any living gardener can remember), Succulents: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Designing, and Growing 200 Easy-Care Plants makes clear that their current renown can be attributed in part to Stockwell, who has been creating some of this decade’s succulent DIY mainstays (including succulent wreaths and wall hangings) since the early 1980s.
Sunset magazine featured Stockwell’s succulent bouquets in 1981, then his living picture frames in 1984; more than 30 years of collaboration would follow. In her Forward to the book, celebrity nurserywoman Flora Grubb credits Stockwell with a good part of her own success. So no matter your level of succulent prowess, if you’re at all interested in keeping a succulent garden, Stockwell’s book is, indeed, required reading.
Photography courtesy of Succulents.
“Give the stars enough room to show off, and then restrict the supporting cast to a limited selection of plants that complement them,” he writes.
Pair aloe and aeonium with ornamental grasses, he writes, and the succulents will “look a little ghostlike when settled among grasses that sway in the breeze.”
Said the garden’s owner, “I did not want grass and flowers…I wanted this garden to look like nature planted it.”