Posts Tagged ‘Barrel Cactus’

One of my favorite places to visit is the Huntington Botanical Gardens, especially the Desert Garden. For those of you who love cactus and succulents, below are several photos from my last visit.


parry’s agave, barrel cactus and more


one of my favorite’s – the agave attenuata


one up closeIMG_1532

one of the pathways in the desert garden

a sea of aeonium succulents


torch aloe


I believe another torch aloe (I don’t know what the tree is to the right but it was incredible – very dr. suess like)


blue agave


more barrel cactus and parry’s agave


a saguaro cactus surrounded by barrel cactus and parry’s agave


barrel cactus with little ones


could this be an organ pipe cactus? I’ll have to check the tags next time I go.

Happy Weekend!

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A while back I was asked if I had any examples of how to use succulents in a landscape. It can be a bit tricky to only use succulents because people tend to use the same textures and colors. The trick is to mix it up, using different height and shapes, as well as different textures and colors. For example, using a large Agave Attenuata or Barrel Cactus with Senecio Mandraliscae planted around it would be beautiful.

Below, I have collected a couple of examples.


A great mix here — Kalanchoes, Senecio, Agaves, Barrel Cactus, Kangaroo Paws, and Sago Palms


They mixed shape, texture and color beautifully! (Barrel Cactus, Senecio & Torch Aloe)


The color contrast here between the blue of the Echeveria and the green of the Barrel and Opuntia is stunning.

Succulents and Cactus are perfect plants and when mixed well they can produce a gorgeous garden with little maintenance.

Another great resource is Jammie Friday’s board on Pinterest called, Arid Garden.

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The client’s wish —

a rock garden with cactus and as little maintenance as possible.



Every garden needs a focal point. With this courtyard, since it was long and narrow, the focal point is a floating bed centered in the middle. We used Barrel Cactus and Agave for both the low maintenance factor, as well as for their sculptural element.

As this garden matures the perfectly shaped barrel cactus will continue to grow wider and a bit taller, while the Agave will reach up to 4 to 5 feet — demanding quite a presence.

The Golden Barrel Cactus, Echinocactus Grusunii

Red Barrel Cactus, Ferocactus Glaucescens

Red Barrel Cactus and Agave

At the end of the garden, Red Colorado boulders were added for color and interest.

For this garden we kept the plant material minimal, however, they are picked with purpose. The cacti supply that wonderful sculptural element while the Nandina (above) serve several purposes. As the Nandina mature they will spread out creating a screen masking the home’s foundation and electrical boxes. They will frame the courtyard, directing one’s eyes towards the focal point bed in the middle, and, they will help soften the overall space.

Thank you to the client who was wonderful to work with, and to Perry Shankle with Perry Shankle Landscaping, who put all my ideas into motion!

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