corner of the garden; a spot before a sunny wall—these are good locations for a succulent garden.
Once the proper site has been selected, a rough outline of the proposed bed should be drawn in the soil. Unless necessity forces a, the shape of the rock garden should never be regular, A graceful oval or triangular free-form figure is far more interesting to sec and plant, and blends far more easily into the garden picture than more formal patterns. It may be of almost any length, but the width should be restricted to permit easy access for weeding and maintenance from the surrounding paths. Beds that can be reached from only one side should not be more than two or three feet wide; those that can be reached from both sides may be made twice thai width. This may seem a trifling matter to the novice, but heds that arc difficult to reach not only try tempers and backs but are generally neglected. If wider plantings are planned, some provision for auxiliary steppingstones or paths should be made.
To insure perfect drainage for ihe succulent bed a ihree-inch layer of crushed rock, broken brick, or concrete rubble is laid over the ground inside the marked area. Over this is added another three-inch layer of finer materials like pea grave) or potshards. These layers may be shaped roughly as they are laid to approximate the finished appearance of the bed, They may be pushed high in the center and tapered to the edges, gullies and contours may be outlined, and the who e basic form tried and changed until right. Then over this mold is poured the prepared soil mixture in which the plants are to grow.
Any ol" the soil mixtures suggested lor potting succulents in Chapter Five may be used to finish the bed. The soil must be laid at least a foot deep over the entire area—raked, shaped, and tamped evenly. If additional height is desired at the center, more soil may be added, but sleep slopes and fussy contours should be avoided as they arc unstable and
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