Debra Lee Baldwin


DB at Laura Eubanks2

I have a passion for plants that drink responsibly. Not only are succulents beautiful to look at, they’re a great option for lazy gardeners (like me).

I garden on a half acre in the foothills of Southern CA, where temps range from below freezing to 110 degrees F. I grew up with succulents, have grown them for years, and as a garden photojournalist, author and consultant am aware of how top designers use them in landscapes and containers.

During the ’90s and into this century I covered homes, gardens, architecture and interior design for the San Diego Union-Tribune. I scout, write for and/or shoot for publications that include Sunset and Better Homes & Gardens. In 2005, my Sunset editor suggested I do a book on succulents.

Designing with Succulents came out in 2007 and spent 19 weeks on Amazon’s list of the Top Ten Bestselling Gardening Books. The sequel Succulent Container Gardens (2010) also is a bestseller. Succulents Simplified: The Complete Guide to Growing and Designing with 100 Easy-Care Varieties is a spring, 2013 Timber Press release.

Editors, reporters, bloggers, GWA members and designers: I’m happy to provide photos, plant IDs and anything else you might need for articles, clients, posts, etc. Please ask!


Visit my website: 

To be on my mailing list, email meView my quarterly newsletter, News from the World of Designing with Succulents.

Download one or more of my photo libraries (1,500 images total): Succulent Plant Palette, Succulents in Containers, Succulent Landscapes, and Succulent Flowers.

Come to one of my presentations, find out what I might offer your group, or learn about my potting workshops for individuals and small groups.

Follow me on Facebook. See my Succulent Chic board on Pinterest. Visit my YouTube channel.

I also have a line of succulent-themed cards and gifts and and produce a calendar every year.


My Gardening Gone Wild posts include:

 The Birthplace of Better Homes & Gardens

Aeonium Flowers

Robin’s Succulent Sphere

Time to Celebrate Ice Plants!

Living Rocks (Pleiospilos nelii)

Margaret Roach’s Backyard Parables

Jeremy Proctor’s South African Adventure

Why I Love Ghost Plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense)

Warm Wishes from GGW

Succulents in Sweaters

How to Create a Garden Calendar

Of Succulent Wreaths and Cuttings

Succulent Extravaganza recap

Autumn in the Far Southwest

How to Create a Succulent Tide Pool Garden

Are Succulents for the Birds? You bet!

Echeverias in Bloom

Why I Can’t Resist Cactus Flowers

Alien Cactus at Grigsby

Roger’s Garden

Proteas Please and Tease Me

Terrariums on the Skybridge in Seattle

Silver-White Lovelies at Waterwise

Glass That Enhances Gardens

The Perfect Potting Area

That Poinsettia You Bought? Here’s the Back Story

The Easy Way to Paint Watercolors

Lani’s Garden

Oh, My, Aeoniums!

The Exquisite, Elusive Spiral Aloe 

Santa Fe Inspirations

Heliconias in Heaven

Spectacular Succulent Flowers

Succulents That Like Stress

Grow this Succulent for its Flowers,Then Throw it Away

The Suggestion of Water

Glorious Corals

The Scent of Confederate Jasmine

How to Fluff Your Succulents

Bling for Pots: Crushed Glass

My Garden’s White Lily

Dogs in the Garden

Front Porch Ideas

Garden Art

My 2011 Calendar Adventure

The Twelve Days of Cactus

Succulent Centerpieces

Great Garden Gift Books

The Sea-Sand Plants of Desire

Succulents Q&A

Memorable Garden Hideaways

Blue-Ribbon Succulents

Face Pots

Faerie Tales

A Salute to Saguaros

The Joys of Cholla

Oh, My, Malibu!

Garden Photo Shoots

Fierce Color

April Fool’s Garden photos

Nasturtium Nostalgia

Tiny Vases

Hearts in the Garden

Evolution of a Cover

Great Garden Gates

Agave Holidays

Great Books for Gardeners

Laurie’s Holiday Garden


Wabi-sabi in the Garden

Garden Adventures in Quebec, Part Two

Garden Adventures in Quebec, Part One

Firewise Plants

My matilijas

Uh-oh. My agave’s blooming

Luther Burbank’s Garden

Dew Drops Dazzle (photo essay)

Rose photo contest winner (photo tips)

The Flora of Rancho La Puerta

California Poppies in My Garden

Aloes Sizzle in Southern California

No More Primroses, Please!

Sharklike Agaves: Why I’m Fond of Fangs