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GARDEN TOURS and WORKSHOPS, SPRING 2015

Debra Lee Baldwin's garden

Welcome to my garden! Located in northeast San Diego county in Hidden Meadows, the garden is in my books and videos, and has been featured in Sunset, Better Homes & Gardens, San Diego Home/Garden and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

When you visit, I’ll take you through the garden and show you…
~ My favorite plants (succulent and otherwise).
~ Design ideas you can apply in your own garden.
~ Numerous container gardens and groupings.
~ Vignettes that aspire to sophisticated whimsy.
~ How I handle challenges such as poor soil, frost, pests and scorching sun.

I’ll also answer your garden and design questions and present you with samples of my star-performing succulents! Workshops are conducted by me and guest designers. Included are all materials, a tour of the garden and refreshments. Space is extremely limited.

Email me to register, or if an event is sold out, to be on the waiting list ~
Fri., April 10, 9 a.m. to noon. Tour, lunch and Succulent Bouquet Workshop. $175. SOLD OUT.
Fri., April 24, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tour, afternoon tea and Succulent Bouquet Workshop. $175. SOLD OUT.
Fri., May 8, 9 to noon. Tour, lunch and Succulent Bouquet Workshop. $175. SOLD OUT.
Sat., May 9, 9 to noon. Tour, lunch and Mother's Day Succulent Bouquet Workshop. $175.
Fri., May 15, Tour, lunch and Perfect Plant-Pot Pairings Workshop with Designer Diana Clark. $195.
Fri., May 22, Tour, lunch, and Succulent Sconce Workshop with Potter Marsha Rafter. $195.
Sat., May 23, 9 to noon. Lunch and Intimate Tour of Debra Lee Baldwin's Garden. $125.
Sun., June 7, 9 to noon. Brunch in Debra’s Garden with Laura Balaoro. $175. 

End times are approximate. You’re welcome to stay longer if you like.

“Thank you for opening your beautiful home and garden to all of us.  It was a joy to see you again, meet your husband, your cute little dog Lily and all of the other kind "like minded" attendees.  Truly I can not say thank you enough for providing such a wonderful afternoon, between your kindness,  the delicious refreshments, your garden tour... my day was full and delightful.” – Sandra Palmer

Upcoming Presentations -- Mark Your Calendar!
~Sat., April 18, 10 a.m. Weidner's Gardens, 695 Normandy Rd., Encinitas, CA.
~Sat., May 2, 9 a.m., Roger's Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona Del Mar, CA.
~Sat., Friday-Saturday, June 5-6, Succulent Celebration at Waterwise Botanicals nursery, 32183 Old Hwy 395 Escondido, CA

Do you need professional help creating a lawn-less, low-water garden of succulents and other easy-care plants? Email me the details (your city or region, the scope of the project) and I'll recommend one or more outstanding designers you'll love working with. And if you're a drought-tolerant garden designer interested in referrals, contact me.

Succulent design class

My in-depth Craftsy Class, Stunning Succulent Arrangements, is on sale! View the trailer.

To request my list of San Diego Succulent Destinations, email me.

agave Debra Lee Baldwin Cover, Designing with Succulents

Designers, whether professional or amateur, find succulents irresistible. The plants' shapes and textures range from dainty beads and fluffy mounds to bold suggestions of the dinosaur era. Many resemble daisies or roses and come in surprising shades of teal, silver, chartreuse and burgundy. Providing you avoid bruising the leaves, and don’t let these warm-climate lovelies freeze in winter, they'll thrive in pots on your patio or in your garden, asking only for half a day of non-scorching sun, fast-draining potting soil, and an occasional splash from the hose.

By definition, succulent plants store moisture in fleshy leaves and stems to survive periods of drought (such as when you forget to water them). Varieties include agaves, aloes, aeoniums, echeverias, jades, hens-and-chicks and stonecrops.

Succulent plants are popular because...

...water shortages and drought impact many regions.
...they're a good lawn alternative.
...they're fire-resistant and fire-retardant.
...they're simple to cultivate and propagate.
...they require minimal maintenance.
...they range in size from ground covers to trees.
...many have geometric shapes.
...they add interest to gardens large and small.
...leaves and stems come in every color including blue.
...they're intriguing year-round.
...most produce long-lasting, vivid flowers.
...new cultivars are being introduced all the time.
...they're more readily available than ever before.
...they're highly collectible.


About Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra Lee Baldwin

I have a passion for plants that drink responsibly. Not only are succulents beautiful
to look at, they're a great option for lazy gardeners (like me).

I garden on a half acre in the foothills of Southern CA, where temps range from below
freezing to 100+ degrees F. As a garden photojournalist, author, speaker and consultant, I am keenly aware of intelligent and aesthetically pleasing ways to use plants in landscapes, design-oriented projects and containers.

Growing up with succulents in my parents' Southern CA garden, I didn't think of the plants as special. They were what people filled their yards with if they didn't have automatic irrigation. If you forgot to hose-water, the succulents usually survived, at least big, mature ones did. Agaves, jade and prickly pear were bulletproof. Later, I planted cuttings from my parents’ garden in my own. In 20+ years, I've grown everything that would grow, and succulents hands-down are the best-looking and the least trouble.

As a journalist specializing in homes, gardens, architecture and interior design, I got my start writing for the San Diego Union-Tribune and San Diego Home/Garden magazine. I went on to scout, write and shoot for national publications.

Then several things coalesced: the seemingly endless CA drought; more varieties of succulent plants than ever before; and a realization on the part of the gardening public that lawns and flower gardens tend to be impractical in terms of water usage and the time it takes to maintain them. Gardens comprised primarily of succulents and drought-tolerant companion plants were what forward-thinking designers and homeowners were installing. After seeing my scouting shots of many such gardens, my Sunset editor suggested I write a book. That changed my life!

Designing with Succulents came out in 2007 and spent 19 weeks on Amazon's list of the
Top Ten Bestselling Gardening Books. The emphasis is mainly on in-ground gardens, and is primarily applicable to Southern and coastal CA from the Bay Area south.

The sequel, Succulent Container Gardens (2010), makes it possible for anyone, anywhere to grow succulent plants, because containers are portable and can be overwintered indoors. It shows the best succulents for containers and effective ways to use them in everything from vertical gardens to topiaries.

My latest release, Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties (2013) offers cut-to-the chase info in bullet-point lists, sidebars, boxes, captions and text. Its purpose is to reassure even rank newbies that they, too, can achieve wonderful results growing and designing with succulents.

All are from Timber Press.


"The growing interest in succulents on the part of the gardening public can be attributed primarily to one person: Debra Lee Baldwin." -- Australian nurseryman and author Attila Kapitany, in his address to the biennial convention of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America.

My goal is to share the beauty of waterwise, easy-care succulent plants in gardens, containers and landscapes via blog posts, newsletters, public speaking and workshops, photos, videos, merchandise, and social media (Facebook and Pinterest). My books: Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. ~ Debra Lee Baldwin

succulent calendar