Entries by Debra Lee Baldwin

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Succulents, Fibonacci and Spiral Phyllotaxis

Many cacti and succulents form geometric spirals similar to those of sunflowers, pine cones and nautilus shells. Spiral leaf arrangements funnel rain to roots, and keep upper leaves from shading lower ones. The arrangement of a plant’s leaves along the stem is phyllotaxis (from ancient Greek, phýllon “leaf” and táxis “arrangement”). Mathematically, spiral phyllotaxis follows a […]

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Debra’s Own Garden

My goal with my own garden is to create a three-dimensional art form that serves as a backdrop for videos, photo shoots and casual get-togethers. Whether in books, photos, videos or presentations—or with plants, rocks, and sweat—I’m invariably about entertaining and sharing in equal measure. It’s one way I define joy. Yours truly in the lower garden with “Big […]

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Debra on Garden America Radio

On Garden America Radio, I spoke with hosts John Bagnasco and Sharon Asakawa about how aloes provide midwinter color in the garden and how they can serve as nectar sources for endangered monarch butterflies (it helps if you plant milkweed, too). Listen to the full interview below!   Debra Lee Baldwin on Garden America Radio […]

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Debra on Garden Gossip Radio in Santa Barbara

On Garden Gossip Radio (AM 1290 KZSB), Lisa Cullen and I talked about decorating succulents for the holidays, and how to decorate WITH succulents as well. This post illustrates several of the topics and gives links to more in-depth descriptions. The link to the full interview can be found below! Debra Lee Baldwin on Garden Gossip Radio       […]

Prepare your Succulents for El Niño, All About Pumice, and More!

Prepare Your Succulents for El Niño!   In 1998, while gardening between El Niño storms, I realized I inadvertently threw a snail through the open window of a passing pickup truck. Unlike previously tossed mollusks, I didn’t hear the sound of shell hitting asphalt. If the driver had stopped, I would’ve apologized and explained that it wasn’t personal—at […]

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Stunning Succulent Arrangements Class

  I’m very pleased to announce my in-depth online class: Stunning Succulent Arrangements. It’s available through Craftsy, a Denver-based company that offers a fresh, high-quality approach to online learning. Craftsy began in 2011, and their success has been phenomenal, doubtless due to their dedication to quality. Craftsy spends upward of $15,000 to develop and film each […]

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Got a Pot? Elevate it!

“Everything looks better elevated,” says San Diego succulent designer Diana Clark, who has wood stands custom-made to enhance her potted compositions. Diana, who calls her business “The Perfect Plant” because she pairs vessels found at antique stores or estate sales with a “perfect” succulent, created the plant-pot pairings shown here. As you look at them, ask yourself: […]

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Don Newcomer’s Favorite Cactus

Recently at his nursery in Fallbrook, CA, succulent expert Don Newcomer showed me a rare columnar, spineless cactus from Mexico. It can be chubby and lumpy, tall and skinny, or columnar and spiral-forming. Here’s the spiral form: Don told me that these monstrose forms of Lophocereus schottii date to The Cactus Ranchito in Tarzana, a suburb of Los Angeles. Owners Ed […]