A big problem with planting containers on my mom's patio is that it often goes unwatered due to her health. I had always thought that succulents needed full sun to do well, so I hadn't considered the possibility of using them... until now!
This container will have a coral reef theme, and as I acquire plants that fit this style like dyckias and sanseverias I'll pull out the cacti and vriesea.
There's also a starfish flower in here, which will have huge starfish shaped flowers, perfect for my theme.
I know that one of the plants is a bromeliad, but vriesea fosteriana "rubra" adds a nice punch to a succulent garden, so until its replaced with a dyckia its here to stay. Its been happy in shade and when I slowly move the container to a sunnier part of the patio it will turn a nice beet red, popping out against the white rocks.
I've also included an aloe "crosby's prolific" that will clump nicely, filling in the gaps of white rock like a clump of coral. Until then I've added those useless watering globes (as seen on tv!) but sunk them all the way down to resemble a chihuly installation. In the "jewel box garden" spirit of things I've included a couple of seashells I've found at Honeymoon Island. I've done a similar idea with my big seagrape bush when I first moved into my apartment, completely covering the soil with sea glass, sea beans and seashells. Then someone stole the whole shebang one night. I was devastated! Anyhoo, the aloe seemed adapted to a deal of shade judging by the deep green leaves, so I decided to keep it in the shade for a while just in case.
These cacti were started from seed last spring from a generic seed packet I got for $1.25. I've grown them in a tiny pot on my balcony in full shade and they've done just fine! A little leggy, but that's just their way of adapting to reach the light. I will slowly move this towards the sun so they can be happier, but I'm sure they'd be fine even if I didn't. Aren't they cute?
I'll eventually find a dyckia that looks like a brittle star or a feather duster worm. I'll be adding little succulents as I find them, and I even have some burro's tail sedums I've propagated that can be plugged in. Then they can drape over the edges, completing the garden.