Tag Archives | Timber Press

Succulents Simplified – An Interview with Debra Lee Baldwin

Anyone who knows Debra Lee Baldwin is aware of her extraordinary prowess as an author, writer, photographer, and artist. As a co-contributor at Gardening Gone Wild for 4 plus years, I’ve had the good fortune to develop a professional relationship and friendship with her. Not only is Debra Lee all of the above, but she is also a kind and generous individual. In this discussion, she talks about her newly published book, Succulents Simplified ~ it is a work of art. Fran Sorin

619dq17hihL._SX225_ -Succulents Simplified

1. Can you share where your passion for succulents began and how it developed over the years?

I grew up with succulents in dry gardens in Southern CA and never thought of the plants as special. They were what people grew if they couldn’t afford automatic irrigation. If you neglected to hose-water, the succulents usually survived, at least the big, mature ones did—agaves, jade and prickly pear were bulletproof. Later, I planted cuttings from my parents’ garden in my own, and succulents proved to be the least trouble. But I was much more enthralled with cannas and roses. Then several things coalesced: the seemingly endless CA drought; more varieties of succulents than ever before; and a realization on the part of the gardening public that flower or tropical gardens may be unwise in terms of time, water and aesthetics over the long run. Rosette and sculptural succulents were what forward-thinking designers were installing. After seeing my scouting shots of many such gardens, my Sunset editor suggested I write a book. Designing with Succulents, the first in the trilogy, came out in 2007.

Continue Reading →

Comments are closed

Lawn Love Letters

Cover photo location, garden of Susan Harris

With the release of Evelyn Hadden’s new book from Timber Press, “beautiful no-mow yards”, a bunch of bloggers and fellow Lawn Reform Coalition folks decided (with Evelyn’s gentle encouragement) to talk about our love/hate relationships with lawns.  Valentine love letters.

Since yours truly has 60 photos in the book I have a few things to say, or rather show you, what I love about no-mow yards.  The book is not simply about lawn substitutes but all the ways we can re-think our yards and the space too many folks leave for lawn.  How about patios ?  Veggie gardens ?  Ponds ?

And how about meadows ?  Oh boy, can I write love letters to meadow lawns !  I can’t exactly say I wrote the book on meadow gardens, but with nurseryman/designer John Greenlee along as the writer, we co-authored “The American Meadow Garden” in 2009. autographed 

Rather than a negative diatribe of why lawns can be so inappropriate and useless in so many yards, I think I will simply show a bunch of photos, each a love letter itself . Continue Reading →

Comments { 5 }

Great Garden Gift Books

Garden books that I enjoyed this year and highly recommend as holiday gifts include two about edibles, one in my own area of specialization, one about color and design, and a regional guide I wouldn’t be without.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 13 }

Evolution of a Cover

This is my newly released book, Succulent Container Gardens. Ever wonder how a garden book’s cover comes about?  Consider: A cover has to be eye-catching and effectively illustrate the title, and convey that the book is the definitive source of information on that topic. Ideally, it also entices readers with appealing plants and an engaging idea.

A book’s cover story begins with the author’s proposal, about two years before the book becomes a reality. Continue Reading →

Comments { 37 }