Debra Lee Baldwin

Rosalina’s Dream: A Nursery of Her Own

– Posted in: Succulents
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Twenty years ago, cacti and succulents were oddball plants, little known among the nursery industry or gardening community. North San Diego county was where the wholesale growers were located, and many still are. But unfortunately Cooper's Cactus and Succulents no longer exists; not since John Cooper passed away. The good news is that his plants live on, [...]

Behind the Scenes on a Garden Photo Shoot

– Posted in: Succulents
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I recently produced and wrote a how-to article on topping pumpkins with succulents, for Country Gardens magazine. The designer we featured is Laura Eubanks, who originated the idea. The magazine sent photographer Ed Gohlich, who came to my home with his assistant, Matt. Ed does many of the Southern CA (and beyond) articles for Better Homes & Gardens' [...]

Don Newcomer’s Favorite Cactus

– Posted in: Succulents
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Recently at his nursery in Fallbrook, CA, succulent expert Don Newcomer showed me a rare columnar, spineless cactus from Mexico. It can be chubby and lumpy, tall and skinny, or columnar and spiral-forming. Here's the spiral form: Don told me that these monstrose forms of Lophocereus schottii date to The Cactus Ranchito in Tarzana, a suburb [...]

Vase Envy

– Posted in: Succulents
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Do you remember the first time you were enchanted by cut flowers in a vase? Although each element was lovely on its own, combined they were amazing. My mother filled jars with nasturtiums, which grew in sunny patches in the avocado orchard. Unfortunately, they last only two days before they start to look tired. Aren't we always looking for flowers with [...]

My Crazy-Busy Spring

– Posted in: Succulents
The must-have mouse ears at this year's Epcot Center's International Flower Festival were green plush with a ladybug bow.

  With a new book to launch, I accepted numerous speaking engagements this spring. The thing is, though, events are scheduled six to 12 months in advance. You check your calendar, and if there's a blank date, you blithely scribble it in. But as the date approaches, OMG, there are SO many details to corral: Tailoring the presentation to the group [...]