My Succulents Model for Manju

Born and raised in India and now living in San Diego, my friend Manju Raj combines a love of the ornate and colorful with an appreciation of the colors and symmetry of succulents. Recently Manju began making succulent-inspired jewelry. I knew GGW’s readers would enjoy seeing out-of-the-ordinary, garden-inspired earrings and pendants, so I posed a few with the succulents on my patio. (Of course Manju’s jewelry looks good on people, too!) To see more of her items, visit Manju’s website.

Echeveria imbricata pendant w euphorbia

Above: Euphorbia polygona ‘Snowflake’ models an Echeveria imbricata pendant.

Aloe polyphylla earrings w aeonium

Above: Earrings depicting spiral aloes (Aloe polyphylla) dangle from  Aeonium haworthii.

Agave v-r set w agave

Agaves are edgy, keep-away plants. The above earrings and pendant, featuring Agave victoriae-reginae, add some yin to that yang. The model is a rather fierce little Agave xylonacantha.

Aloe polyphylla pendant w aeonium

Above: Manju’s spiral aloe pendant. Below: Sedum nussbaumerianum earrings.

Sedum nus earrings w Sedum nus

Btw, Manju welcomes your comments and constructive criticism. For example, she wanted a red succulent for her line, so she chose a rosy-red Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ hybrid. But does it “read” more like a rose or camellia? (Email her directly, if you like, at

Aeonium pendant w cactus

Are you an artist or designer who, like Manju, has found inspiration in the beauty of succulents? If you sell mail-order, I’d love to see what you’ve come up with. Email me at Thanks!


About Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra Lee Baldwin gardens on "an inhospitable half acre" in Escondido, CA, near San Diego. She is an award-winning photojournalist and artist with hundreds of articles and columns to her credit. Debra's books are Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens and Succulents Simplified.

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5 Responses to My Succulents Model for Manju

  1. Bonnie Wagner December 1, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    That is a fantastic idea and the combo is stunning. I’m sending it to my nephew,
    who is a jewelry wholesaler.


  2. michaele anderson December 1, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    These are stunning pieces and their understated complexity are highlighted beautifully by your perceptive pairing with the plant material. The combinations are mesmerizing.

  3. Sarah December 2, 2013 at 3:43 am #

    Beautiful Thanks for sharing. I love the jewelry *and* the succulents! :-)

  4. Gail Klein December 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Your continuing exploration all aspects of succulents is welcome and reminds me that one can enjoy them ‘cradle to grave’ (ours as well as theirs) in all living environments. What a blessing.

  5. Candy Suter December 15, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    I missed this post sweetie! Beautiful jewelry and I love how you show it off!
    Candy Suter recently posted…Baby It’s Cold Outside 2013My Profile