Fabulous Fusion

January 12, 2016

Exposed to scorching sun, heavy rains, drying winds and stony soils, this site is a perfect spot for some fabulous fusion!




Lampranthus species, Cotyledon orbiculata subsp. orbiculata, Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, Dierama pendulum, Aristida junciformis, Euryops pectinatus


Succulents jostle with each other in this vibrant show softened by the inclusion of grasses. The drooping fronds of grasses and the grassland wildflower, Dierama pendulum, mingle with fat, static succulent leaves of varying shades of green, grey and red. These create contrasting elements that are wildly attractive. Round dollops of orange vygie and meter high mounds of yellow daisies connect the grasses and succulents to create an eye-catching mosaic.


Dierama pendulum, (fairy bell, hair-bell) is common in grasslands of the Eastern Cape, growing on both stony and marshy ground. Evergreen leaves are linear and erect, up to 9 m high. Through spring and summer, pendulous flowers in shades of pink, open along thin, arching stems held way above the leaves. The Wandflower requires good summer rains, a dry winter, and as much bright sunlight as possible to ensure a good flowering display. Leave clumps undisturbed for at least five years, and never cut back the leaves as this will have a negative impact on flower development. Rather remove the dead outer leaves by tugging on them gently to remove from the clump. Dierama pendulum will cope with light frost.


Lampranthus spp. This ‘Fanta orange’ Lampranthus has smaller leaves and more compact growth habit than the spreading groundcover varieties, forming tight balls of show-stopping colour. Growing to 40cm clusters of orange wash over the ground between the grasses and larger Cotyledon succulents.  Flowering displays can be seen throughout spring and into summer and flower heads require full sun to open fully. ​

Cotyledon orbiculata has varying leaf forms and colour; the varieties here have soft shades of grey and apple green with an edging trim of scarlet. Enclosed by drifts of shocking orange vygie this mini- combination within the bed dazzles!

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora: what better plant to add eye-catching maroon and grey globes to a garden bed than the White Lady. A bone-dry winter and early spring have spread the edging red flush to cover much of the leaf area. The wet season restricts the contrasting red to a luminous edging trim on the grey to apple-green leaves. During flowering season tall silver spires punctuate the landscape, but they retain their impact as low growing groundcovers through the year.



Felicia amelloides, Portulacaria afra ‘nana’


Try this unusual combination for dry soil and baking sun.