Sherman Gardens succulents
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A Garden of Collectible Succulents in Corona

Do you collect special succulents that you’d like to grow outdoors in your garden? If you’re in Southern CA, do visit the cactus and succulent garden at Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona Del Mar, CA. It offers so many great tips and ideas!

Sherman Gardens succulents

Pat Roach and I pose in Sherman’s succulent garden.

Imagine…a dear friend who lives in LA had never been to Sherman Gardens! I’m in San Diego, so an Orange County botanical garden was the perfect place to meet. We were celebrating the fact that we’re finally the same age. (She’s a math teacher but kindly didn’t say that I’m six months older and always will be.) So on a bright early-spring day, Pat Roach and I were ladies-who-lunch at Sherman’s la-dee-dah garden cafe.

Originally a home that later became a nursery, Sherman’s 2.2 acres now are a venue for weddings and other upscale events. It includes lathe houses, beds of annuals and roses, fountains, a koi pond and tropicals. It’s on busy Coast Highway, but once beyond the fence, you’re in a different world. Outdoor areas are themed and make smart use of every square foot.

Pat and I first met when she took my design class, so at Sherman we spent most of our time in the cactus and succulent garden. It beautifully blends specimen plants with rocks and boulders. The designer, Matthew Maggio, is a horticulturist knowledgeable about how the plants grow in habitat—always a boon to effective placement and cultivation. Matt redesigned and replanted the 1,200-square foot area 12 years ago, and helps it stay looking good.

One of the focal points would work in any size garden: a large, shallow terra-cotta pot set amid boulders. Burro-tail sedum and Senecio repens cascade out of it, and echeverias surround a lovely agave in its center. Photos I’ve taken of the pot over the years show a succession of agaves, each variegated, no doubt to echo a Furcraea foetida ‘Mediopicta’ nearby.

Agave 'Joe Hoak'

2007: The wide, shallow terra-cotta pot showcases Agave ‘Joe Hoak’.

 

Sherman succulent garden

2011: Same terra-cotta pot, redone with variegated Agave vilmoriniana. Notice the furcraea in the background (the two plants visually blend together), and the addition of red bromeliads.

 

Sherman Gardens succulents

2019: Now large, the furcraea appears to explode behind the pot. In it, with wavy leaves, is variegated Agave gypsophila.

My photos from earlier visits also show a large Dasylirion wheeleri midway down the garden’s long, narrow bed. It has since been replaced with bromeliads, aloes and agaves. This enables visitors to better appreciate how blue Senecio serpens forms a meandering river that visually unifies the bed’s diverse plantings.

Sherman Gardens succulents

2005: Dasylirion wheeleri dominates the long, narrow bed, which doesn’t yet include Matthew Maggio’s succulents-and-stones mosaics.

 

Sherman garden succulents

2011: Although the long bed now has colorful rocks, succulents and bromeliads, the dasylirion still shouts, “Look at me!”

 

Sherman gardens succulents

2019: Bromeliads and agaves have replaced the dasylirion, and mature tree aloes lend balance, height and interest.

 

Sherman Library and Gardens is at 2647 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Corona del Mar, CA. Hours: 10 to 4 daily. Closed major holidays. Free parking. Adults $5.

On My YouTube channel:

Succulent Design Ideas from Sherman Gardens

Sherman Gardens succulent garden

In this 4-min. video, I take you on a tour of the highlights of Sherman’s succulent garden

Plant IDs:

Agave attenuata 'Variegata at Sherman Gardens

Agave attenuata ‘Variegata’ sparkles at one end of the long bed.

 

Euphorbia cooperi at Sherman Gardens

Stems of Euphorbia cooperi suggest a series of bells.

 

Dioscorea elephantipes at Sherman Gardens

Dioscorea elephantipes, lower right, resembles a turtle’s back.

 

Senecio rowleyanus at Sherman Gardens

String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) appears to flow into balusters below it.

 

Agave nickelsae at Sherman Gardens

Agave nickelsiae (formerly Agave ferdinandi-regis)

 

Ice plants at Sherman Gardens

The garden’s climate and proximity to the ocean make this collection of ice plants (mesembryanthemums) possible.

Euphorbias at Sherman Gardens

Euphorbia horrida ‘Snowflake’ in Sherman Gardens’ euphorbia section

 

Red aloe at Sherman Gardens

Plenty of sun and growing amid rocks help to turn Aloe dorotheae red

 

Haworthias at Sherman Gardens

Haworthias at Sherman Gardens include (clockwise from top): H. cymbiformis ‘Variegata’; H. truncata; H. limifolia ‘Variegata’; H. retusa (or possibly bayeri).

 

Books by Debra Lee Baldwin

Books by Debra Lee Baldwin

Newport Beach succulent garden
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Critique: Newport Beach’s Grand Succulent Garden

If you’re planning to design, revamp or evaluate a succulent landscape, find out what I like and what dismays me about Newport Beach’s grand Civic Center succulent garden. It’s large-scale, but its plusses and minuses apply to waterwise gardens of any size.

Opened in 2013, the Newport Beach Civic Center graces a coastal community of homes with an average value of $2,000,000. The complex cost $140 million and is a masterpiece of modern architecture within sight of the Pacific. Overlapping, S-shaped awnings atop a series of sleek buildings suggest ocean waves. The multi-acre succulent garden along the complex’s north side is a public park.

It has a nice layout, with wide, serpentine paths that invite strolling and rolling (everything from baby carriages to wheelchairs). There are multiple plantings of large specimens—Dracaena draco, Aloe bainesii, Beaucarnea recurvata and columnar cacti. These likely were mature at installation in order to be in scale with their setting, and doubtless were craned-in at no small expense. Filler plants include agaves, dasylirions, aloes, puyas (a succulent bromeliad), golden barrels, aeoniums, Senecio mandraliscae, and silver-leaved Cotyledon orbiculata. Warm-toned gravel enhances the design, holds moisture in the soil, inhibits weed growth, and lends visual continuity. In light of the fact that structures across the street have water-thirsty lawns and tightly pruned shrubs (landscaping that doesn’t make sense on so many levels), what’s not to love?

Newport Beach Civic Center garden

Silver and blue succulents dominate the Newport Beach Civic Center garden

Highly toxic euphorbia

Well, Euphorbia resinifera for one thing. I like the mounding growth habit of this African succulent, which suggests a short-spined cactus consisting of squarish, columnar green stems. It grows slowly into ever-expanding colonies. However, this cool-looking plant is quite hot…and not in a good way.

Suggestions for the Newport Beach succulent garden

Euphorbia resinifera has short, sharp spines and—typical of the genus—milky sap.

Its milky, resinous sap contains resiniferatoxin, which is similar to capsaicin in peppers but a thousand times hotter. On the Scoville scale, resiniferatoxin ranks at 16 billion units, 4.5 million times hotter than a jalapeno. So if the sap should enter an open wound or eye, the sensation would be like a blow torch. Of course that’s only possible when Euphorbia resinifera grows where someone could fall on it, break its stems, and get scratched by its thorns…like along the downward curve of a pathway in a public garden frequented by kids on scooters, skates and bikes.

Newport Beach Civic Center succulent garden

Adding a curb would create a barrier that keeps kids from careening into Euphorbia resinifera. 

A missed opportunity

Another succulent in the garden, prickly pear cactus (Opuntia sp.), is far from pathways…which is no surprise because it’s obviously unfriendly.

Newport Beach succulent garden

Prickly pear cactus (lower center) grows well away from foot traffic.

Yet Opuntia species that lack spines are nowhere to be found, and they would have been suitable anywhere. Opuntia cacanapa ‘Ellisiana’, shown below at a nursery, grows tall (upwards of 6 feet), offers a pleasing silhouette of ever-branching ovals, forms a sculptural green backdrop, starts readily from cuttings, gets by on rainfall alone, and is entirely harmless.

Newport Beach Civic Center succulent garden

Spineless paddle cactus at a nursery

Silver swords and serrated leaves

Spare-no-expense plants such as Puya venusta (a succulent bromeliad) and Cleistocactus strausii (a fuzzy columnar cactus) blend together in a surreal, silvery harmony of starbursts and snowy poles. But IMHO they’re a bit too texturally inviting to be at toddler-level.

Suggestions for the Newport Beach Civic Center succulent garden

Silver swords combine with bromeliads near Civic Center windows. From my video: “Newport Beach’s Grand Succulent Garden”

Yes, of course, parents should teach children not to touch unfamiliar plants, especially any that are spiny, thorny, toothed or bristly. But what about plants that touch kids? Over time, the puyas have become crowded and some, seeking light, have grown horizontally. Here’s one that had to be cut back from the pathway. Doing so has destroyed the plant’s symmetry and bloom potential.

Newport Beach Civic Center succulent garden

A truncated Puya venusta at the Newport Beach Civic Center succulent garden

I also wonder if the area that this silver grouping occupies—north-facing, close to the building and beneath its wavy eaves—is sunny enough for puyas to bloom. After all, that’s what they’re known for: eye-catching, truly-blue flowers.

Suggestions for the Newport Beach Succulent Garden

Big silver puyas bloom blue.

Best-ever beaucarneas

On the plus side, the garden showcases how to mound and topdress soil, use planted islands, and how just a few sculptural succulents can create an intriguing, low-maintenance, low-water landscape. This is best illustrated by a grouping of Beaucarnea recurvata. (Its common names “ponytail palm,” “elephant’s foot palm” and “bottle palm” are misleading—these tree succulents aren’t palms.) Like many agaves and cacti also in the garden, beaucarneas are from Mexico. They’re easy to come by, inexpensive even in 5-gallon pots, grow fairly rapidly when in the ground (about a foot a year), tolerate mild frosts, and have intriguing Dr. Seuss-like forms. What makes each “succulent” is its bulbous, water-storing base (caudex). In summer, the trees’ topknots produce feathery sprays of cream and pink flowers.

Newport Beach Civic Center succulent garden

Beaucarnea recurvata in bloom

Out-of-control agaves

But for me, the most perplexing aspects of the garden are its rows of century plants (Agave americana) that occupy large beds between walkways and street. I suspect that what must have seemed brilliantly economical six years ago has become a maintenance nightmare. Though quite common and often free for the asking, century plants eventually get as big as Volkswagens and produce numerous offsets (“pups”) from shallow roots.

Newport Beach Civic Center succulent garden

Trimming a century plant like a pineapple removes problematic foliage, but it’ll pup regardless

These large agaves’ thick leaves are wickedly toothed along their margins and tipped in sharp spines. I suspect that after a few years, century plants began encroaching on walkways. The need to prune some of them likely led to the aesthetic decision to trim all of them so they look the same.

Agave americana in habitat

As shown in my YouTube video, “Do’s and Don’ts of Growing Century Plants,” Agave americana produces pups (clones of the mother plant), which in turn spawn grandpups.

 

Newport Beach succulent garden

These pineappled century plants are in my YouTube video, “Newport Beach’s Grand Succulent Garden”

En masse these agaves resemble a pineapple plantation, but that doesn’t offend me. What does, is that agave leaf pruning and pup removal are labor-intensive. Moreover, many municipalities won’t accept agave green waste—the plants are too fibrous, spiny and slow to decompose. I’m curious how thousands of sliced-off century plant leaves, each nearly as large as its machete-wielding gardener, have been (and will continue to be) disposed of.

Agave alternatives

There do exist large, statuesque agaves that are not especially treacherous and don’t pup like feral dogs. Two that would have worked well here (if it were possible to source them in quantity) are Agave guiengola and Agave ovatifolia. But using better-behaved agaves is just one alternative. Also from the Southwest US and Mexico are low-maintenance, low-water succulents such as yuccas, dasylirions and hesperaloes. They’re dynamic planted in multiples and don’t bloom-then-die like agaves do.

If I were to give the Newport Beach Civic Center’s succulent garden a letter grade, it would be a C+. I’d like to give it higher, but online info indicates that numerous large and expensive specimens (like Aloe thraskii, a tree succulent) that had been planted early-on, died. Perhaps they couldn’t tolerate being transplanted or were sited incorrectly. Regardless, my sad conclusion is that inadequate horticultural research prior to the installation of this grand succulent garden wasted time, taxpayers’ money and potentially terrific plants.

Related Info:

On this site…

Succulents for Coastal Southern CA Gardens (plant list)

No-Water Succulents for Southern CA (garden of Mark and Cindy Evans, Laguna Beach)

On my YouTube channel…

Video, Newport Beach Succulent Garden

Watch the video of my visit to the Newport Beach Succulent Garden

 

About century plants

Don’t miss my video about the pros and cons of a large succulent that’s often free: Agave americana

 

Great agaves for gardens

Agave expert Kelly Griffin and I show half a dozen lovely, non-pupping agaves.

 

Books by Debra Lee Baldwin

Books by Debra Lee Baldwin

Bizarre succulents
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Professor Mordant’s Sea-Sand Succulents

Every year as Halloween approaches, I recall my visit to Professor Mordant’s remote island to tour his collection of sea-sand succulents. The island was rumored to be an eerie, inhospitable place—a volcanic outcropping devoid of vegetation, nothing like the mainland resort where I and other garden photojournalists had been sunning ourselves in style.

I alone accepted the professor’s invitation. I calmed my trepidation by anticipating a big story…or at least a small adventure. It turned out to be both. But except for these photos, I’m unable to prove it. I fear that now, after the tsunami, this is the only record that remains.

The moon had risen on All-Hallow’s Eve by the time the boatman set me ashore on the island’s rocky beach. Serpentine foam rustled black pebbles, and a chill wind brought the scent of seaweed and something seductive. Vanilla? Surely not.

The professor, his black cape billowing, was silhouetted by the full moon. Beyond jagged rocks, a greenhouse glinted. If he were disappointed that I came alone, Mordant gave no indication. Gesturing grandly, in a voice silken and slightly accented, he explained that his greenhouse was semi-submerged by the tides. “It contains the largest collection of sea-sand flora anywhere in the world,” he said proudly. “It’s low tide, the perfect time to see it.”

Bizarre succulents

His bony fingers steadied my elbow as I stepped over tide pools that mirrored the moon, and what appeared to be brain coral. “Furred eel cactus,” Mordant murmured, but the surf blurred his words. “Fur seals?” I asked. One, near my ankle, uncoiled. OK, not a seal.

Bizarre succulents

“Numerous sea-sand succulents appear furry,” the professor continued. “The adaptation enables them to trap and ingest plankton.” His lips pursed as though he, too, might enjoy plankton now and then.

Mordant explained that many of the plants in his collection—like these fanged clams—were nocturnal and beginning to awaken.

Bizarre succulents

Rusty hinges groaned as he opened the greenhouse door. Inside the air was dank and vanilla-scented. What at first I thought was frost on window panes were salt encrustations. It was a relief to be out of the cold wind. And when I saw sea-sand specimens on rock ledges and waist-high teak benches…oh! I felt as gleeful as an archeologist in King Tut’s tomb.

Bizarre succulents

Onion-like orbs bobbed in a tank of water. “When dormant, they rise to the surface,” the professor told me. “In the open ocean, they might float for years before washing ashore.”

Bizarre succulents

I gasped. “Surely those aren’t green sea spheres? I thought they were extinct! That is, if they ever existed.”

“Yes. They’re rarer than ambergris, and more valuable—to collectors.”

Did this explain the bulging burlap sack that he had handed to the boatman? I glanced at the professor’s angular profile. Was it possible this hermit was wealthier than any pharaoh?

He squinted at a sea-sand succulent that had bubbly, cancerous-like growths. “Careful. That’s a Pele plant.”

I drew back. “Pay-lay?”

“Named for the mythical volcano goddess of Hawaii. The plant is bioluminescent when submerged. Out of water, it exudes a substance that can burn skin.”

Bizarre succulents

I felt droplets on my arm and looked nervously for the source. Perhaps that azure plant with figlike fruit? The vanilla smell was cloying and I felt oddly hungry and weak. Mordant grasped my arm. “For heaven’s sake, don’t inhale! Mermaids give this to victims to subdue them. Salt-water taffy was named for it, but of course is very different.”

Bizarre succulents

So many wondrous things! Floral jellyfish with delicate tentacles…

Bizarre plants

…a sea euphorbia in full bloom

Euphorbia caput-medusae

…a coal-black gaster-lobster

Bizarre succulents
…a crested reef ariocarpus

Bizarre succulents

 

…windowpane coral (Fenestraria aquaticus)

Bizarre succulents

Myrtillocactus ‘Whale Spout’, crested

Bizarre succulents

 

Aloe ‘Atlantis’

Bizarre succulents

Crassula ‘Sea Snakes’

Bizarre succulents

…and an impressive colony of tartan sand urchins (“sea floor euphorbia”).

What Mordant called “blister plants” were everywhere. I might not have noticed them, so closely did they resemble pebbles. “They’re the largest single-celled flora,” he said of plump buttons each about an inch in diameter. “This group is undergoing mitosis.”  When I pressed one with my fingertip, I expected the plump cell to yield like a water balloon, but it was firm.

Bizarre succulents

“What genus do blister plants belong to?”

He sighed. “Mordant,” my dear, “Mordant.”

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I hope you enjoyed my Halloween spoof. For the true names of the plants, which are primarily cacti and succulents from very dry climates, go to my Bizarre Succulents page. — Debra

 

Related Info on this Site:

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It’s the Succulent Extravaganza!

It’s the Succulent Extravaganza! Every year, this fun and enriching event is the last Friday and Saturday of September, from 8 to 4, at Succulent Gardens Nursery. Location: 2133 Elkhorn Rd., Castroville, CA 95012 (in northern CA near San Francisco, between Carmel and Santa Cruz). Free.

The annual Succulent Extravaganza, started in 2010, is one of the largest succulent-themed events in the world. Attending it is a wonderful opportunity to enlarge your knowledge of succulents, view and acquire gorgeous specimen plants, tour a premier specialty nursery, learn from expert growers and top designers, and mingle with fellow enthusiasts.

Succulent Extravaganza

The Succulent Fanatics, a Facebook group founded by San Jose master gardener Laura Balaoro, host a display table with succulent-themed compositions made by members. It’s a fun gathering spot, and everyone’s welcome whether you’re in the group or not. Because it’s international and has thousands of members, you never know whom you might meet.

Succulent Extravaganza

This dish garden seen on the Succulent Fanatics table, by Danielle Romero, has a sansevieria that emphasizes a lovely red-edged aeonium. Danielle and husband Michael Romero professionally design succulent gardens in the Los Angeles area.

Every year there are new things to see and numerous photo ops…

Succulent extravaganza

For example, who could resist having their photo taken within a special succulent frame?

Succulent Extravaganza

Laura Balaoro is known for decorating her hat or visor with succulents. Discover out how she does it, and get design inspiration to make your own. 

Succulent Extravaganza

This giant succulent heart was the hit of a past Succulent Extravaganza. The event originated when succulent expert Robin Stockwell owned the nursery. He has since retired, and new owners Megan and John Rodkin have continued the Extravaganza tradition with quality plants, displays and photogenic, inspirational ideas.

Succulent Extravaganza

Horticulturist-nurseryman Aaron Ryan’s propagation demonstrations typically have standing room only. Impressed by Aaron’s knowledge, I did a post about it and show his methods in several YouTube videos.

Succulent Extravaganza

Another year, the succulent globe that Robin Stockwell made for the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show was on display. Nothing like it had been done before, and I think you’ll agree it takes vertical gardens to a whole new level! In the foreground, with Robin and wife Sanne looking on, San Diego floral designer Marialuisa Kaprielian demonstrates how to wire succulent rosettes.

Succulent Extravaganza
This may be my favorite Extravaganza photo. A young member of the Rodkin family greets visitors in front of a big succulent spiral made of sedums and sempervivums.

Related info on this site:

Related videos on my YouTube channel:

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LA’s Kids Day Features Succulents

One of the most popular areas of the annual Los Angeles Drought Tolerant Plant Festival is the “Kid’s Day” section, with fun educational exhibits and activities for children. Volunteers are members of the Los Angeles Cactus & Succulent Society (LACSS), a community-oriented organization that’s been around 80+ years.

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The event is held the second weekend of June. Here’s how the exhibit tables looked one year before the kids poured in.

IMG_7961_A_R
This little girl is the granddaughter of LACSS member Kathleen Misko. When I asked Veronica what she liked best about Kid’s Day, she replied, “The videos, because I’m in them!”

I sure wish I could have gone to an event like this when I was a child. Or, for that matter, when I began learning about succulents as an adult! Below, volunteers double-check everything.IMG_7967_A_R

IMG_7969_A_R

IMG_7971_A_R

IMG_7972_A_R

IMG_7994_A_RUpon arrival, each child received a bag of items: mini wooden saguaros to paint, a pot to fill with small rooted plants, and a wine cork with a magnet on the back to hold tiny cuttings.

IMG_7993_A_R

IMG_7974_A_RIt was delightful to watch the volunteers—many of them grandparents—assist kids pot-up the succulents they’d selected as parents proudly looked on. See what it’s all about ~ enjoy my 2.5-min. video.

 

Related Info on This Site:

Highlights of the Los Angeles Drought Tolerant Plant Festival
At the Los Angeles Cactus & Succulent Society Festival, I managed to smile despite sitting on a cactus cOUCH. [Continue reading]
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The Colors of Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta health and fitness spa in Tecate, Baja California, across the border east of San Diego, offers the best of Mexico’s food, climate and ambience. It’s also famous for mature gardens that offer a wonderfully immersive experience. The Ranch is a great getaway within half a day’s drive from nearly anywhere in SoCa. Amid the lush landscaping are guest casitas (bungalows), gyms, library, gift shop, dining hall, and much more. Ornamental plants include Mediterraneans such as rosemary, Australian trees (melaleucas), native oaks and palms, and succulents large and small. The majority are minimally watered (or not at all) and are well suited to the region’s arid climate. Below are a few favorite photos from a recent visit. Bienvenidos al Rancho!

In the lobby, stained glass windows by famed Julian artist/sculptor James Hubbell overlook a cactus-and-agave boulder garden.

Agave shawii (Shaw’s agave) is native to the Baja peninsula. When backlit, teeth along leaf margins glow shades of yellow, orange and red.

One reason I went in April was to see the Aloe striata (coral aloes) in bloom. They’re beautifully juxtaposed with a similarly red-orange ice plant.

Incorporated into the door of the art studio is a stained-glass-and-brass butterfly.

A mosaic by artists Linda Weill and Tilly Nylin near the concierge office depicts a garden of cacti and succulents. That’s a scrub jay at lower right.

Another mosaic holds a blackboard with inspirational sayings that change daily. Its top echoes the outline of mountains nearby.

At La Cocina Que Canta (the Kitchen that Sings), dining tables are decorated with Mexican textiles and folk art.

Want to see more? Be sure to watch my YouTube video, “The Succulents of Rancho La Puerta.”

Related Info on this site:

Even if you live in drought-parched Southern CA, garden plants that don’t need to be watered are not as hard to come by as you might think…[Continue reading]
Agaves are rosette-shaped succulents native to the Americas. There are dozens of species of Agave… [Continue reading]
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Succulent Extravaganza Highlights, 2017

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

Members of the Succulent Fanatics 2 Facebook Group take advantage of a hanging frame planted with sempervivums and echeverias. A perfect photo-op!

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights ~ The 7th annual Succulent Extravaganza (Fri-Sat, Sept. 29-30) at Succulent Gardens Nursery in Castroville, CA drew about 1,000 visitors a day. Not bad for a relatively small wholesale/retail nursery out in the boonies 100 miles south of San Francisco. There’s an energy there, some might say a vortex, that whirls visitors into a state of enchantment.

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

Debra Lee Baldwin and Hannah Eubanks

Hannah Eubanks, designer Laura Eubanks‘ daughter, was my assistant and took lots of footage of event highlights and my presentations. During the Extravaganza, Hannah posted short videos on my Instagram and Facebook pages. I’ll soon release longer, edited versions on YouTube. To be notified of new releases, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Although the greenhouses themselves, viewed from outside, are about as pretty as quonset huts (which they resemble) there’s true magic inside—rows and rows of perfectly grown echeverias, aloes, kalanchoes, haworthias, sedums, sempervivums and more.

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

Much of the fun of returning year after year is seeing old friends and making new ones. The staff is friendly and welcoming, plant enthusiasts come from near and far, stellar speakers like Brian Kemble of the Ruth Bancroft Garden share their knowledge. Nursery founder and fellow book author Robin Stockwell was there, as were many delightful members of the Facebook group “Succulent Fanatics 2” founded by San Jose designer Laura Balaoro.

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

Laura Balaoro of the Succulent Fanatics 2 Facebook group, with her snorkeling-themed succulent display

Laura’s also known for her stunning succulent decorated hats. (See my article about her in Country Gardens.) I think she outdid herself on this one, don’t you?

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

Laura Balaoro’s sea-themed, succulent decorated hat

 

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

A barn door’s peeling paint makes a great backdrop for this sempervivum-planted square

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

All sizes and shapes of containers suitable for planting are available at the nursery. They seem to have the best selection of wooden ones anywhere.

 

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

IMHO, the nursery’s potted succulent gardens were better than ever this year

Also at the 2017 Extravaganza, I launched my new book, the completely revised and updated second edition of Designing with Succulents. We sold out the first day.

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

Audiences for my presentations were enthusiastic and engaged.

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

A speaker’s dream! SRO!

When it seemed the Extravaganza couldn’t get any better, my book’s publisher Timber Press provided a succulent-decorated cake!

Succulent Extravaganza Highlights

The cake, by Sweet Reba’s of Carmel, CA, combines succulents with books

Related info on this site: