Succulent inspiration at Emily Joubert Home and Garden

succulent ideas

Emily Joubert Home and Garden is a small but perfect shop in Woodside, California. The patio is absolutely beautiful. Every inch is packed with great ideas and unique, carefully selected items. This display is full of succulents, stone containers, and objects that would work equally well indoors or out.

succulent ideas

These seemingly disparate items work together to informal and relaxing effect because there is a definite method to the mix: natural materials, neutral tones, worn surfaces, slightly rustic objects. Even the succulent forms and colors are grouped together.

succulent ideas

If you do stop by, give yourself enough time to enjoy the overall effect and then take everything in down to the last perfect detail.

A beautiful vase that does good

little shirley vases

These beautiful little vases are handmade and come in every color of the rainbow, they’re only $20 each, and Material Good donates 10% of their profits to community organizations.

Small vases are especially useful this time of year when your garden flower supply is dwindling. You can tuck single blooms or leaves in each vase, or display them in a group leaving some empty.

The happiest place on earth: Half Moon Bay Nursery

half moon bay nursery

“The Mothership of Peninsula Nurseries” – Sunset Magazine

I’d say that about covers it. Three acres of everything under the sun in a stunningly beautiful setting. Landscape plants, drought tolerant plants, fruit trees, palm trees, grasses, succulents, camellias, roses, tropicals, indoor plants, and every perennial you can think of. They also have some really interesting, unusual stuff including a huge selection from Annie’s Annuals.

You can get tons of things in 4″ pots which are easier to plant, easier to establish, and easier on your budget.

It’s on Highway 92, which can get packed on weekends with everyone heading out to the coast, so go early (as in before 9am) or go during the week. More info is here.

Garden reading: Gardenalia

On the want list: Sally Coulthard’s Gardenalia books.  How to create beautiful, informal spaces and throw in a flea market find or three? I’m all over it!

gardenalia stylish garden cover

Gardenalia: Creating the Stylish Garden


Gardenalia: Furnishing Your Garden with Flea Market Finds, Country Collectables and Architectural Salvage

Garden ideas: complicated containers made simple

how to plant a mixed container

These beautiful pots look complicated but they all follow a basic formula. From the center radiating out to the edge, plant something:

  1. Tall, upright, and spiky in the center:
    Hollyhocks – here are some black and burgundy ones. So cool.
  2. Upright and bushy
  3. Upright and spreading
    Osteospermum (African Daisy)
  4. Mounding and compact
  5. And finally,
    Trailing, sprawling plants around all the edges:
    Calibrachoa (Million Bells). They look like tiny petunias. I’m in love with them, especially Tangerine and Peach Evolution.
    Verbena canadensis ‘Homestead Purple’

As far as containers go, you literally cannot go wrong with weathered terra cotta in a classic shape. And it will only look better with age.

how to plant a mixed container

how to plant a mixed container

how to plant a mixed container

Garden Reading: A Garden Makes a House a Home

Garden Reading

A Garden Makes a House a Home by veteran shelter magazine garden editor Elvin McDonald

25 beautiful gardens covering every region of the US – there is something here for everybody. Lots of ideas and inspiration of course, but there’s plenty of the practical how-to stuff as well. This will be one you’ll keep out and read again and again. 

garden reading: a garden makes a house a home

Garden ideas: how to use art and found objects in the garden

sculpture in the garden

A bull’s head sculpture adds interest to a lush border. Below, a bright orange chair punctuates the end of a fern garden path. Both of these photos are of the Larnach Castle gardens in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Fern path

A single, special object can have the biggest impact. Try a piece you love in the place of an accent or structure plant, or to fill a blank spot. Or paint an old chair, trellis, or gate in your favorite color or one of the colors in your garden scheme.

If you like a more-is-more approach: here’s an artist’s garden packed with art and found objects.

Curb appeal: ideas for sidewalk gardens

sidewalk garden

Think of sidewalk gardens as a public service. You’ll be making your garden more beautiful for everyone in your neighborhood (and everyone who passes through), helping the environment (more habitat for birds and insects and sidewalk gardens decrease run off), and increasing property values. This is where you use your toughest plants. Don’t be afraid to keep things simple: massed plantings are easier and always look great.

Alstromeria and shasta daisies soften a fence which is transparent to let the green of the hedges come through (above).

Daylilies and salvia.

sidewalk garden

A garden wall softened with vines and low shrubs.

sidewalk garden

Maples underplanted with blue oat grass.

sidewalk garden

A mediterranean garden

mediterranean garden

Low maintenance, drought tolerant, stunning plants: what’s not to love about a Mediterranean garden?


  1. What’s growing: Honey Bush (Melianthus major), Pheasant’s Tail Grass (Stipa arundinacea), Giant Burmese Honeysuckle (Lonicera hildebrandiana), Goldfinger Grass (Libertia peregrinans), Lambs Ears (Stachys byzantina), Olives (Olea), Euphorbia, Roses, a Banana tree…
  2. Place plants a little closer together so the garden looks lush and flowing.
  3. Let plants grow in their natural forms. No heavy pruning here.
  4. Limit your plant list and repeat plants.
  5. Limit your color palette. Here they’ve used green, gold, silver, and burgundy foliage and pale blue, peach, and burgundy flowers.
  6. Hardscaping materials are all in soft, pale, warm tones.
  7. Paved courtyards and decomposed granite pathways vs lawn

mediterranean garden

mediterranean garden path

mediterranean garden bed

Edible garden ideas: espaliered fruit trees

espaliered fruit tree

Espaliered fruit tree underplanted with herbs: a beautiful way to save space and make your fruit easy to reach. Note the dark green painted fence. Here are two very good how-to guides:

Homestead Revival: Espalier Fruit Trees for Potager

Vintage Garden Gal: The Art of Espalier Fruit Trees