Sussing Out Succulents

I’ve never been a huge fan of succulents despite the cheerful pigface in the garden of my childhood. Bryce Courtney’s One went a long way towards addressing that, but flowering cacti are not prevalent where I live so my interest has flagged over the years since reading. However with climate change bearing down and my own garden struggling in south-west Western Australia’s increasingly dry winters, I recently vowed ‘only drought-tolerant plants from now on’.

                                                             Succulent plants are those which store water in leaves, stems or roots as an adaptation to an arid environment. So a succulent plant collection seemed the ideal place to garner some ideas for this more sustainableEden.

The Zurich succulent collection grows in greenhouses divided into sections. They’re a scruffy bunch, the American succulents (at left). Most look like extras from a wild west cartoon. Africa had some fleshier offerings and the ‘giants’ were interesting.

The temperature in the epiphyte greenhouse was lower and the floor was wet. No good for my WA garden but it did contain some elegant flowering plants.

I’m not going to rush home and give my entire garden over to succulents but they could add some architectural interest to a garden made with other toughies from my own continent.

 Getting there. Sukkulenten-Sammlung                                                                                   Twenty metres or so from the tram 7 stop at Brunaustrasse is a pole with a number of signs on it. One of them points down the hill through the lovelyBelvoirPark, the largest self-contained park in the city, towards the river and the succulents. Open 9am – 4.30 pm daily. Buses 161 and 165 to Sukkulentensammlung are another option. The collection’s website is in German.

 My visit took about half an hour but enthusiasts will spend much longer as there is plenty to see.

2 responses to “Sussing Out Succulents

  1. It’s a niche market

  2. might skip the succulent garden Annie!

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