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