Succulents and Sass at Waterwise Botanicals

The 2019 Succulent Celebration was a giant, two-day party for succulent enthusiasts. Guests filled carts with perfectly grown plants, display gardens blazed with color, kids caught tadpoles, BBQ smoke scented the air, and the sounds of conversation and laughter were everywhere.

Succulent Celebration 2019

Tom Jesch and I welcomed an enthusiastic audience to our presentation.

On Saturday I shared the stage with nursery general manager and wannabe comedian Tom Jesch. Enjoy the best bits in my new video: Succulents and Sass at Waterwise Botanicals (14:13) Topics include creating drifts of color, therapy cacti, mangaves, powder-coating on leaves, jumping cholla, spineless edible opuntia, and succulents that suggest soap bubbles.

Thanks to an improved sound system, everyone on the grounds could hear what was going on in the speaker’s tent—a bonus for shoppers, vendors, photographers and wanderers.

Annuals like pansies and marigolds “last about ten minutes in Southern California,” Tom told the audience. On the other hand, succulents with colorful foliage “look good for years.” Above, left to right: Orange Sedum nussbaumerianum, blue Senecio serpens, dark red graptosedum, and lavender graptoveria.

Many of you in my newsletter community made a point of saying hello—thank you! I wasn’t able to take many photos, so if you have some to share, do send ’em!

Spring is tadpole season! Kids enjoyed feeding Tom’s catfish, too.

Celebrity designer Laura Eubanks planted a bus-sized mound of soil with all sorts of succulents, explained her process to a large crowd, supervised a youthful crew, held her grandbaby, and welcomed guests to her cozy, Goodwill-furnished pop-up.

Laura Eubanks with The Succulent Baby

Laura Eubanks of Design for Serenity with The Succulent Baby (soon to be The Succulent Toddler), in front of the mounded garden she created for the event.

DFS design tip: Use driftwood to add height and interest to a newly installed garden.

Brandy Williams of Garden Butterfly

Many attendees, including Brandy Williams, came from Los Angeles.

The lane leading to Laura’s installation was lined with vendors offering one-of-a-kind pots, decorative garden items, artistic T’s (including those by Becca of Botanical Bright), and more. Anything printed, embossed or emblazoned with succulents was a hit.

I could have sold my echeveria tights 20 times over.

Now for the nitty-gritty: In my other newly released video, Soil for Succulents (3:14), Tom shares his soil formulas for nursery pots and garden beds. I included before-and-after shots of nursery gardens to show that his easy, ingenious mix works. Either that, or succulents simply like sass.

Waterwise Botanical’s display gardens combine perennials (foreground) with succulents (along the pathway, notably red-blooming Euphorbia milii and yellow-leaved Sedum nussbaumerianum).

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