Tag Archives | Designing with Succulents

Time to Celebrate Ice Plants!

IMG_5191
I showed this photo recently at one of my presentations. In the back of the room, a little girl stood on a chair to see better. I understood; as a child growing up in Southern CA, I also was captivated by brilliant ice plant blooms.

Iceplant

Those colors! As blindingly bright as ever a flower could be. Continue Reading →

Comments { 14 }

Of Succulent Wreaths and Cuttings

I’m often asked to recommend sources of succulent cuttings for wreaths, topiaries and other projects. Unfortunately, most online sources sell cuttings for around $1/apiece, which means a wreath—not counting its moss-packed wire donut—may cost $100 to make. But pre-made wreaths available this time of year not only cost much less, they’re also a great source of cuttings.  Garden Life offers wreaths similar to those shown here for $30 plus shipping. Another good mail-order supplier of seasonal wreaths as well as assorted cuttings—including a mix of highly desirable echeveria, sedum and sempervivum rosettes for vertical gardens—is Robin Stockwell’s Succulent Gardens. Continue Reading →

Comments { 9 }

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 →

Comments { 9 }

How to Create a Succulent Tide Pool Garden

An article I scouted and wrote for Sunset is in all regional editions of the September issue. (Most Southern CA garden articles appear in the Southern CA edition only.) One reason is Brett Gum’s gorgeous photography. These are my own photos here.

The location is a bluff-top home in the Orange County community of Corona del Mar. The designer is Joe Stead, a horticulture teacher at Orange Coast College. The amazing colors in the tide pool-themed garden resulted from a phenomenon called “stressing.” To learn more, see my YouTube video, “How to Stress Your Succulents…and Why You Should”. Continue Reading →

Comments { 9 }

What You Didn’t Know About Debra Lee Baldwin: Reflections on Her Childhood

I asked each of our GGW Contributors– Debra, Saxon, and Noel– to write some thoughts about their childhood that left an imprint on them—–and how it led them to where they are today.  It will give you a glimpse into the backgrounds of three extraordinary individuals whose passion for what they do comes through in their outstanding contributions to the gardening world.  Fran Sorin

In Debra’s words:

“It’s a preverbal memory of bright sun, intense color and a tubular moving object ringed with black and white. I was 2, watching a kingsnake undulate amid geraniums. The flowering shrubs grew outside the picture window of my parents’ home, located in the foothills 30 miles north of San Diego.

Sometime later, my father expressed indignation than anyone would kill a kingsnake. Despite its impressive length (4 feet isn’t unusual) it’s a harmless rodent- and rattler-eater. He also felt sorry for hapless tarantulas, invented recipes for excess guavas, knew a cirrus cloud from a stratus, and could smell rain on the way.

Baby w sprinkler-debra lee

As a child I took his knowledge of the natural world for granted, but now it seems marvelous. He had earned a masters in business from Stanford, but chose to work part time as an accountant and full time as a rancher. I tagged along with him through groves and garden.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 10 }