Outdoor Succulent Garden with Cold Hardy Succulents

An outdoor succulent garden isn’t just for warm climates! See what you can do in four season climates with succulents in the ground.

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While there are plenty of gorgeous succulent gardens in sunny southern California, it’s harder to come by outdoor succulent gardens in four season climates, like Utah.


You can have a gorgeous cold hardy succulent garden!

You'll be amazed at how gorgeous this outdoor succulent garden is -- especially because it all cold hardy!

There are two main varieties of succulents that can tolerate freezing temperatures, Sempervivums (commonly called hens and chicks) and Stonecrop Sedums. Most will tolerate temperatures down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

I’ve been working on a variety of arrangements using strictly cold hardy succulents so I can have a gorgeous outdoor succulent garden year round, even when there’s snow on the ground.

Throughout this post you’ll find affiliate links to Mountain Crest Gardens to the various succulents I used for these projects.

While many of the succulents were provided to me at no cost, I absolutely love the succulents from Mountain Crest and would highly recommend them to anyone! You won’t find a better selection of cold hardy succulents anywhere.

Let’s take a tour of my outdoor succulent arrangements together, shall we?

You’ll see a lot of different succulent collections and products in the videos below but I wanted to make it easy to see all of them at once, so here is a list of the products I used to create these succulent landscapes:

The Courtyard Garden

In the courtyard I used 2 of the Hardy 9 Sampler collection from Mountain Crest and 2 of the Sempervivum heuffelii 9 collection.

The plants are the same in each side, a hardy collection and a Heuffelii collection (a total of 18 per side), but are organized differently so they don’t look completely identical.

We also added in a few annuals for some extra color during the summer months.

The Rock Garden and Bird Bath

The rock garden as you walk into the back yard was created with 3 of the Rock Garden Hardy Succulent 9 collections and 1 of the Sempervivum Hens and Chicks 5 collection.

I love the way it has filled in since first planting, and it’s only been a month! My sweet neighbor, Emma, had the great idea to use a variety of top dressings to create the paths.

A simple outdoor succulent garden with rock accents

My mom added in the toad house (which we purchased from this Etsy seller), and put it up on some bark scraps to make it a little taller.

Emma planted a Hardy Sample Collection 9 in the birdbath. She split a few of the plants and placed them on opposite sides of the bird bath. I love how it turned out!

This birdbath filled with succulents is stunning!

This is the third time we’ve planted the bird bath (you can see the first here and the second here). This year we added in this self watering globe and that has made a huge difference with how well the plants are surviving.

I’m hoping that the self watering globe will keep things looking great even through the heat of the summer. We planted them at the beginning of May and it’s been relatively cool, so here’s hoping!

The plants below the bird bath and in the wire basket were planted in 2014 and have really taken off. I’ve pulled off some of the Sedums below the bird bath and planted them in a variety of places. You can’t even tell they’ve been removed!

We added the path between the two main patches because there was a section that didn’t survive. I had a great helper put that part in (see the end of the post).

The Succulent Chair and Fairy Garden

My favorite project of the year so far is the succulent chair. I’ll have a full project tutorial very soon, but it was really easy and looks amazing!

Everyone who has seen it wants to take it home :)

Oh my goodness! I totally want to make a succulent chair like this!

I used all “leftover” succulents for it, so some don’t look super great, but the overall effect is stunning.

A fun option for planting something like this yourself would be Mountain Crest Garden’s 1lb bag of unrooted Sempervivums. It is such a great value and it’s like Christmas because you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get, but you know it’ll be amazing.

The fairy garden in the back has also been a fun project, and a few years in the making. There are Sempervivums and Sedums surrounding the stump which have been there for 3 years.

This area doesn’t get watered often, so I’ve been thrilled with how much it has grown despite the neglect.

This outdoor succulent fairy garden is adorable!

On the right hand side near the rocks I planted a bunch of Sempervivum “scraps”. Again, these are succulents that were in other pots that didn’t do well, or some I’ve just neglected to plant in the last few months.

This area on the right gets slightly more water so it should fill in quite nicely. It will also get some manure tea fertilizer once a month to give it a little boost.

My mom purchased the fairy house (the one on the stump) from Amazon and you can get the same one by clicking here.

The adorable ceramic mushrooms are from an Etsy seller, RooPottery. They were kind enough to send me these three for free so that I could give them a try and share them with you.

Honestly, I love them! They are very well made and the colors are so fun! I’m a bit addicted to pottery and ceramics, so these were a very welcome addition to the fairy garden. I love the pop of color they add.

The Shady Succulent Garden

While this part of the garden isn’t my favorite to show off, I still wanted to include it here to show how well Sempervivums and Sedums can do in a variety of environments.

These definitely should be getting more sun, but most people won’t notice and they are still prolific despite less than ideal circumstances, so we’ll let them be.

The Potted Arrangements

The pots in this video are some of my favorite arrangements. While the plan was to keep them here (at my parents), my grandma saw them while she was visiting and they went home with her to Idaho Falls.

I’m excited to see how they do up there!

My Helpers

Getting all of these gardens planted was not a one girl job. I had quite a bit of help, some more helpful than others…

My kids love playing in the dirt and moving rocks around. They are 1 and 3 and very curious about and interested in working right along with me.

Adding paths with rocks is a great way for kids to help in the garden

As I mentioned in the videos, my wonderful neighbor, Emma, helped with most of the planting. She had so many great suggestions for planting! It was fun to have her help.

Planting a bird bath with cold hardy succulents

I think you’ll find that outdoor succulent gardens can be stunning in any area of the world! You just have to find the plants that will work for you.

These cold hardy varieties are quickly becoming my favorites, especially since it means I can have my own outdoor succulent garden, even in the snow!

Use a variety of colored rock to create interest in an outdoor succulent garden

8 Responses to Outdoor Succulent Garden with Cold Hardy Succulents

  1. This is so timely for me. I live in Austin, TX. where it gets incredibly HOT, and humid. But I am moving next year to Boise Idaho, and I still want succulents there. High desert climate, but snow in winter. My Mom has hens and chicks and I’ve always loved them. I have a concrete birdbath that will be filled with succulents, and I adore your chair garden. Thanks for all you do.

  2. I live in the foothills of Notth East Georgia, just at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC! We get a minimum of one rainy day a week usually! Should I drill holes in the bird bath so that it will not hold water?

  3. Thank you so much for the tour! Everything looks so nice. I am also a zone 5 gardener, and the semp’s are my favorite here. Keep up the beautiful, creative work you do! BTW, love the chair, gave me an idea for an old chair I have :)

  4. Hi Cassidy ! So lovely your kids ! and so beautiful your garden and plants, it feels your love and presence there !
    Thank you for sharing ! thank you for teaching us !

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You'll find an incredible selection of cold hardy succulents at Mountain Crest Gardens

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Wondering who I am?

Let me introduce myself... My name is Cassidy Tuttle and I’m a professional photographer turned succulent addict. These are my two sweet children and wonderful husband in the photo with me!

My adventure with succulents started with three small plants on the window sill of my basement apartment. Within a year I had propagated them and purchased more, totaling over 100 plants!

It’s been a fun adventure since then as I’ve drowned, burned, frozen, and starved my collection of succulents. This site is where I teach you how to avoid all those mistakes I made or help you recover from them.

While I’ve killed plenty of succulents in the last few years, I’ve also kept hundreds alive and thriving, and I know you can do the same!

Did I mention I wrote the book on succulents?

It’s true! I’m the author of Idiot’s Guides: Succulents which is designed to help those of us who love succulents (but are limited to growing on our window sills and porches) keep our succulents looking great.

You can purchase my book through my Amazon affiliate link here or pick it up at your local Barnes and Noble.

If printed books aren’t your thing, I’ve also written several ebooks about succulents on various topics including indoor growing, watering and propagating. You can check those out on this page.

My goal is to help you not just keep your succulents alive, but help them thrive no matter where you live.

Whew! That’s a lot of stuff!

I’m impressed you’ve made it this far down. You should probably be rewarded for that…

How about some bite sized succulent tips delivered daily to your inbox?

I’m sure you’ll love my 30 Days of Quick Succulent Tips email series. Each day I’ll send you a 2-3 sentence tip about growing succulents along with a photo and link to learn more.

Sound good?


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