Have Debra Address Your Group!

Garden photojournalist and 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.


DEBRA’S PRESENTATIONS are customized for each group and updated frequently.


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 with 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.


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.).

Debra Lee Baldwin's Garden Tour

Debra’s Speaker Bio

Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored the Timber Press bestsellers Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. Debra’s half-acre garden near San Diego has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens and other publications. She specializes in showing how to use sculptural, waterwise and easy-care succulents in a wide variety of appealing and creative applications.

Debra’s perspective on design was fine-tuned as a scout for Sunset magazine, where she learned what she calls “the Sunset aesthetic.” It’s evident in everything she shows in her books, newsletters, videos and presentations.

Australian nurseryman and author Attila Kapitany, in his address to the Cactus & Succulent Society of America, said that he “attributes the growing interest in succulents among the gardening public in the US primarily to one person: Debra Lee Baldwin.”

Comments from Event 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

Podcast and Radio


John Bagnasco, co-host of Garden America, a national garden talk radio show, says, “Debra is the expert who has made cactus and succulents exciting. Whenever I’m asked about them I mention her and her books.”

Debra Lee Baldwin


Debra being interviewed by a Bay Area film crew at her home in San Diego, CA. Photo by Rebecca Sweet.

Debra Lee Baldwin’s 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

Contact Debra Now

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