They are drought tolerant and many attract native birds into the garden, providing a valuable food source when flowering.
Succulents come in all shapes, sizes and colours, ranging from the tiny "living stone plants' to huge euphorbia candleabra plants and boab trees.
Ballarat's Botanic Gardens boast an inspiring collection that tolerate our frosts and provide year round colour and structure in the gardens.
My own succulent collection began with common aloes, howarthias and crassulas, given to me and propagated by my grandmother. Grandma Leila, may well have died when I was in my teens, but those plants she gave me, have been loved, cared for and produced many "pups" that have passed her gardening heritage on not just to members of our immediate family, but to friends and succulent fanciers all over Melbourne and Ballarat.
Growing succulents can be addictive. They can be grown directly in your garden beds, and thrive in pots, making them ideal for renters.
Succulents are easy to propagate from offsets and divisions.
If you enjoy a challenge you can raise succulents from seeds or even have a go at hybridising plants to create a new variety.
They are highly decorative. I grow them both indoors and out.
I collect, not just succulent plants, but also succulent books.
Succulents have made me friends all over the world and taken me to exotic places in Africa, to see them growing in their indigenous habitat.
They have led me on a path to career changes and personal fulfillment.
We also have many indigenous succulents here in Australia, such as the Queensland Bottle Tree and purslane, as well as the rare and intriuging ant plant!
There are edible succulents, such as warrigal greens, some aloes and pigface.
Many succulents have healing properties, the best known being aloe vera, which is fabulous for putting on burns and drinking its sap for digestive ailments.
The Ballarat Cactus and Succulent Society is an invaluable source of knowledge, inspiration and social networking for succulent fans, here in Ballarat. Indeed it attracts members from as far away as Mildura and the Mornington Penninsula. The society holds regular meetings where we exchange and can purchase succulent plants, as well as hear and meet many experts. It also organises trips to succulent shows and gardens for members.
I can't imagine life without succulents, indoors and out!