Have Debra Lee Baldwin Address Your Group!

Garden photojournalist and bestselling author Debra Lee Baldwin shows how to use sculptural succulents to add beauty, sophistication and whimsy to gardens and outdoor living spaces. Presentations are one hour (45-50 minutes plus Q&A). Before and after, Debra is available to meet attendees and sign books.

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are customized for every group and updated often.

Designing with Succulents. Digital slide presentation.

As Debra explains how to cultivate succulents ranging from ground covers to tall trees, you’ll discover how succulents offer colors, textures and forms certain to inspire your creativity. She also shows what’s new and exciting with architectural, geometric and stylish “plants that drink responsibly.” Included are ideas for low-maintenance, easy-care gardens and landscapes; container arrangements perfect for patios, entryways and decks; and suggestions for great-looking, design-oriented projects anyone can do.

Succulent Container Gardens.

You recognize appealing potted combos when you see them, but do you know why some have more polish, sophistication and pizazz? As Debra shows the work of acclaimed succulent floral designers, she demystifies their techniques and plant choices, and explains how their work illustrates fundamental design principles. Regardless of your skill level or style preferences, you’ll gain greater confidence as you discover how to create succulent container gardens perfect for patios, entryways, and bright indoor areas—and to give as gifts.

Succulent Garden Solutions.

Debra shows before-and-after photos of garden vignettes and landscapes that have been enhanced by succulents, gives plant selection and design suggestions, and explains the seasonal maintenance succulent gardens need. Container gardening is included. Primarily for Southern and coastal CA gardeners from the Bay Area south.

Plant Show-and-Tell.

Ideal for nurseries. Debra introduces various types of succulents, discusses their care, and describes what makes each interesting and unique. May be piggybacked onto a digital slide presentation and/or followed by a potting demo.

Potting Demo.

Debra demonstrates how to create a lovely succulent container garden or bouquet. May be combined with a digital slide presentation and/or plant show-and-tell. View a YouTube video of one of Debra’s potting demos at Roger’s Gardens nursery, Orange County, CA.

How to Refresh and Propagate Succulents.

Debra shows how to prune overgrown succulents, and harvest and start cuttings. Using a variety of different succulents as lab rats, she explains what these popular plants require in order to look their very best. Option: Attendees bring their own succulents to this hand’s-on demo (and/or workshop) to be snipped, clipped, repotted and discussed.



A SLIDE SHOW requires a digital projector, screen, microphone and darkened room, plus a table and chairs for the book signing.

A PLANT SHOW-AND-TELL OR POTTING DEMO can be done outdoors, and requires a work table, a clip-on microphone, separate table for the book signing, and supplies (nursery plants, pots, soil, water, etc.).

Succulent events

For Event Organizers: Speaker Introduction

Debra Lee Baldwin, an award-winning Southern California photojournalist, designer and artist, is widely hailed as the “Queen of Succulents.” Debra’s specialty is showing how to use these sculptural, waterwise and easy-care plants in a variety of creative and appealing applications. Debra launched the gardening world’s interest in succulents when her first book, Designing with Succulents, came out in 2007.  She went on to write two more Timber Press bestsellers, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. Debra’s three books have a combined total of over 100,000 copies in print. During a decade spent scouting and writing for Sunset magazine, Debra learned what she calls “the Sunset aesthetic,” which she applies to everything she shows in her books, newsletters, and presentations. More than 1.5 million people have viewed her YouTube videos. Debra’s own half-acre garden has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset, San Diego Home/Garden and other publications. She lives in Hidden Meadows north of San Diego.

Comments from Organizers and Attendees

“You received many accolades at our board meeting for your presentation. There were over 400 people there, an all-time record. It will go down as one of the most memorable evenings. What you are doing is magic.” ~ Judy Bradley, events chairperson, San Diego Horticultural Society

“Presentation was superb…Very articulate, interesting, humorous and enthusiastic…Great speaker–best of the day–I never wanted succulents before but I now have a list to incorporate into my garden…Lively and dynamic speaker. Beautiful photos, relevant subject…Great slideshow–didn’t want it to end…Loved it–we need more classes like this…Bring her back!” ~ Attendees at the UCCE Master Gardeners spring symposium

“Debra Lee Baldwin and her books have lit up the gardening world.” ~ Ron Vanderhoff, nursery manager, Roger’s Gardens, Orange County, CA

“Debra, you have given so much and have so much more to give. If there is any one thing I am convinced of about you, it is that while you have been a force in helping and motivating people to be adventurous with succulent plants, you are uniquely you…a writer, teacher, artist and more.” ~ Robin Stockwell, owner, Succulent Gardens Nursery, Castroville, CA

“Just wanted to tell you what an incredible impact you’ve had on our island. We think of you with such warmth. A neighbor and I were chatting about our Garden Club and she said, ‘you know, my favorite of all the speakers we’ve ever had was Debra Lee Baldwin.’ You really opened our eyes to, and gave us a love for, succulents.” — Clare Doyle, president, Boca Grande Garden Club (a Garden Club of America affiliate), Florida

“I put to use many of the things I learned from you and your books and my garden is now a show-stopper. I should put up a sign giving you credit!” — Christy Bradley, Junior League of Pasadena Garden Club, CA

 Past Speaking Engagements Include ~

Epcot Center International Flower & Garden Festival, Orlando, FL

Sunset Magazine’s Spring Weekend Festival

Eco-Xpo, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Succulent Celebration near San Diego

Iowa Arboretum

Honolulu Garden Club

Garden Club of America National Hort Conference

Philadelphia International Flower Show

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show

Huntington Botanical Gardens

Northwest Flower & Garden Show, Seattle

Succulent Extravaganza near San Francisco

Yard, Garden & Patio Show, Portland

San Francisco Botanical Garden

Denver Botanical Garden

San Diego Botanic Garden

Los Angeles Arboretum

Water Conservation Garden, El Cajon, CA

Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CA

Master Gardener Seminars, San Diego and Orange counties

University of California, Davis

University of California, Berkeley

Charleston, S.C. Horticultural Society

Roger’s Gardens nursery, Corona del Mar, CA

Sherman Gardens, Corona del Mar, CA

Descanso Gardens, La Canada Flintridge, CA

Spring Garden Show, South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA

San Diego County Fair

San Diego Horticultural Society

Spring Home/Garden Show, San Diego

Cal State Flower & Garden Show, Cal Expo, Sacramento

Junior League of Pasadena

Cactus & Succulent Society of America (CSSA) biennial convention

CSSA affiliates in California, Arizona and Texas

Public libraries, various locations

Garden clubs, various locations

Bookstores, various locations

Nurseries, wholesale and retail, various locations

Succulent arrangement

View Debra Lee Baldwin’s page on the Great Garden Speakers website.

Contact Debra to schedule a presentation.