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Site of the Succulent Celebration

Will you be at the Succulent Celebration and book launch June 7-8 near San Diego? I’d love to see you there! To entice you, here are a few glimpses of the nursery that’s hosting it, Waterwise Botanicals.

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Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’, in pots and on the hillside, is one of the succulents that the nursery sells a lot of. Continue Reading →

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The Birthplace of Better Homes & Gardens

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James Baggett (right), the editor I freelance for at Country Gardens magazine, has long legs. Fortunately I do too, or I would have been running during a tour he gave of Meredith Corporation’s headquarters in Des Moines last week. There was a lot to see and not nearly enough time; the facility encompasses 180,000 square feet of office space on four levels with a 230-foot skywalk. There are lovely and intriguing works of art everywhere, such as this tile mural. Continue Reading →

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South African Adventure

One of the great things about being a horticulturist specializing in succulents is that I’m part of a worldwide community of like-minded enthusiasts. Case in point is an email I received this week from Jeremy Proctor, who lives in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. He had visited South Africa and sent me a link to a Picasa page with his photos of the marvelous succulents he saw. Below are some of the highlights, with his comments and then mine in italics.

“A kokerboom tree (Aloe dichotoma) — the first of many I saw up-close on this trip.”

And it’s in bloom! People may not realize that there are succulent trees. This one grows well in Southern CA, too, if given excellent drainage. Continue Reading →

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Gardening en Español, a green roof and other notes from Uruguay

Karena Hogg, a Uruguayan landscape designer waves a copy of the book I wrote with Nigel Dunnett on green roofs.

For the third time in five years I’m lecturing in Spanish-speaking America (you can read my accounts of lecturing in Mexico here, and here – that was an experience!) . Being interpreted (see my recent post about Argentina). We always have the same discussion – why aren’t there more books and material on gardening in Spanish? So many books are either translations from English or books published in Spain, and not particularly relevant to the Americas. Interest in gardening and landscape is growing in South America, and the Estados Unidos itself  is gradually turning bilingual. Any visitor to the US, especially the south-west, is aware of how much garden work is done by workers from Mexico and further south; some of whom are now settling and setting up their own garden maintenance businesses. Gardening is turning Spanish, but where are the books and other media? Continue Reading →

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Succulent Extravaganza Recap

See the seahorse? It’s sempervivums planted in vertical panels. This was one of many lovely and unusual sights at the second annual Succulent Extravaganza at Succulent Gardens nursery in Castroville, CA last week.

A terrace at the nursery is planted with Agave ‘Blue Glow’ (foreground) and Agave ‘Blue Flame’ (background). Continue Reading →

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