Bountiful Landscapes & Consulting
Transforming People & Places to Create Vibrant Health & Beautiful Outdoor Spaces
Succulents are the easiest, most resilient, prolific and beautiful plants for Pacific Northwest Gardens. If you have them, you know this!! These low-lying plants grow wonderfully along garden pathways or rock walls, needing little attention. The intermittent summer rain squalls are enough for them! They present with bright flower spikes in early summer and can even change color with late summer heat. *Bonus*
Succulents DO NOT like to be separated, or planted as individuals. They like to be clumped together! This is how they propagate the best. Most prolific growing is in the early spring, where you will see explosions of new "chicks," while at the same time seeing a bit of the "mother" plant dying off.
I thought I'd let you in on this hidden space I found to grow a garden!! It's basically the required setback between two buildings in a commercial district. I spotted it one day while on my way to visit a friend at work, and thought it would be a great area to demonstrate a "microclimate." So, with permission, here's a picture-story of what we're doing.....
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF A VISION!
This microclimate works because the buildings are tall and create shelter from extreme heat, cold and wind. One of the buildings is metal, which is a heat-sink that radiates heat during the day and on into the night. An Eagle Scout project provided the raised beds and the installation, in perfect alignment with the aesthetic. We know we're on the right track here when even the smallest inhabitants are finding a cozy and inviting home!
A microclimate is an area of localized environmental conditions with regards to sun, temperature, wind, water, and soil. The area can be naturally occurring or one that you create. They can be simple or complex, a large farmland or a small area of a planting bed. Whatever you have, it can be developed into a microclimate that suits you. A key factor in creating a microclimate is observation, and combining elements from your unique location. These may include trees for shade, water runoff from a sidewalk or driveway, reflected heat from a black water cistern or a metal building, or even a nearby pond. Look at the following examples to give you ideas on how or where you can create one of your own!