Sedum rubrotinctum

Of Succulent Wreaths and Cuttings

– Posted in: Succulents

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 [...]

Glass That Enhances Gardens

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

I'm enraptured by anything that glistens. I enhance my living spaces, indoors and out, with prisms, rhinestones, crystals, globes, mirrors and more. As the sun shifts during the day, these objects flash and glitter. I become a child again, living entirely in the moment. Sometimes this happens in other gardens, too. Like this Aloe marlothii in [...]

Sweeten Your Writing with Metaphors

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

One of the challenges of being a professional writer is to think metaphorically---to describe an item in terms of something else, so that readers make an association that clarifies, enlightens and perhaps also entertains.  Metaphorical thinking can be learned and is a great memory aid. Food metaphors often occur to me when describing plants. For example, matilija poppies, which have white, crepe-paper petals surrounding yellow centers, [...]

Oh, my, Malibu!

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

While on the Malibu Garden Tour, I hoped for high-end gardens that incorporated my specialty: succulents (plants with juicy leaves and stems). Homes in the hills of this tony enclave north of Los Angeles are huge, on multi-acre lots. My host had grown up in the area shown here, and recalled how neighbors helped Barbra Streisand protect her canyon home [...]