Debra Lee Baldwin

Succulents for Dummies

– Posted in: Succulents
Aeonium, kalanchoes_JFR

When Designing with Succulents came out in 2007, I proudly showed it to my son, to whom the book is dedicated. He said all the right things...nice layout, great photos...and then casually asked, "But why so many Latin names? Why not use the plants' common names? They're a lot easier to remember." Well for one [...]

Snow in Escondido? Seriously?

– Posted in: Succulents
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Every winter, as a child on an avocado ranch northeast of San Diego, I longed to see snow blanket the garden like a Currier & Ives painting. It never happened. Decades passed. My husband Jeff and I bought a home on a half acre in the same city, but at a higher elevation (1,500 feet). In 25 [...]

Agaves in a Celebrity Hybridizer’s Garden

– Posted in: Succulents
'Blue Glow'

The first time I saw Agave 'Blue Glow', in a photo like the one above, I thought I was looking at a watercolor painting. A Kelly Griffin hybrid, it entered the nursery trade in 2005, and has since become one of the most commercially successful succulents. It does well in containers or in the ground, grows no larger than [...]

Create a Cold-Tolerant Succulent Wreath

– Posted in: Succulents
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This lovely succulent wreath is suitable for regions of the US where winters are as cold as 10 to 15 degrees F.  Cold-hardy succulents include small sedums (stonecrops), sempervivums (hens and chicks), and Crassula sarcocaulis (bonsai crassula). Above is Katie Christensen of Waterwise Botanicals Nursery with a wreath she and I made for YouTube.   Materials include a [...]

Aloes in Kelly Griffin’s Garden

– Posted in: Succulents
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Kelly Griffin is a succulent breeder for Altman Plants, the largest grower of succulents and cacti in the US. Kelly is renowned for his aloe hybrids---unusual and colorful succulents new to the nursery marketplace.   In Kelly's own garden are aloes yet to be introduced, that he's experimenting with, growing for flowers so he can harvest the [...]