How Succulent Designer Laura Eubanks Does It

Succulent designer Laura Eubanks of Design for Serenity (DFS) is no stranger to crises. The challenges she's had to overcome---including a horrific childhood---have given her wisdom, compassion and a keen desire to mentor and inspire.

Laura Eubanks maintaining a garden

Laura maintains a garden she installed in Beverly Hills. Photo from her Instagram page.

On her journey to becoming a garden celebrity specializing in high-end succulent landscapes, Laura repeatedly battled insecurity and uncertainty.  Years ago she told me her goals...which I thought were ambitious, to say the least. Amazingly, she has accomplished all and more, due to passion, determination, necessity, smart timing, a bit of luck, and supportive husband Greg.

This Q&A illustrates Laura's character, personality, wit and love of mentoring. She tells how, in less than a decade, she went from earning $15/hour to $350; and from doing succulent-topped pumpkins to high-end landscapes.

Q&A With Laura Eubanks

DLB: Laura, how would you describe yourself and Design for Serenity?

LE: It's all about bringing joy to people's lives. That's powerful and leaves a beautiful fragrance behind. I have no storefront or franchising brand. It's me, it's what I love, and I do it with assistance. Relationships with clients are important. As a designer, I'm continuing to evolve. I'm completely open to new ideas.

Laura with Team DFS

Laura celebrates a completed installation with Team DFS. Husband Greg is in the middle. Photo from Laura's Instagram page.

DLB: How do you mentor others?

LE: Anyone is welcome to copy or emulate what I do. I love mentoring young designers. I don't feel I have any competition. There are plenty of yards for all of us. So much goes into the succulent design business. There's a lot to learn and figure out. So many stars have to align. You can't just be good at one thing, like design. It's a business, and you have to be good with clients. New designers tend to lack confidence, resources and support.

DLB: Where are you at with your business right now?

LE: We're shifting toward gardens that showcase larger specimen plants. Succulent tapestries are a side dish. It's exciting to have clients who let me tell them what I want to do. We're using more cactus and fewer long-term annual succulents. The ratio of plants to rock has shifted: More rock and bigger plants, as opposed to 5-gallon.

Agave filifera in a Laura Eubanks garden

This striking Agave filifera in a DFS garden is an example of a "specimen plant." Such living sculptures deserve a special spot.

DLB: What projects are you currently working on?

LE: The cactus garden in Tustin is in phase three. It's a five-year project. The Pasadena project is in phase two. We're booked through the end of the year and are about to start an installation in Rancho Santa Fe.

DLB: Where do you obtain big succulents and cacti?

LE: A lot of plants come from from Brandon Bullard's Desert Theater in Escondido. He's got the big stuff---specimen plants at competitive prices.

Desert Theater Nursery is by appointment only. The nursery specializes in large succulents such as tree aloes and columnar cacti.

DLB: What hasn't changed?

LE: Ribbon work is still my thing. We still use a lot of rock, and we mix varieties. The difference is we're doing larger boulders and ribbons of rubble, and less of the fussy stuff. Also adding lighting---wells, pathways and spotlights.

Laura is known for ribbons of rock that lead the eye through a garden. This early installation in Rancho Bernardo, CA, was commissioned by homeowner Judy Tillson.

DLB: How do you manage out-of-town jobs?

LE: We stay in a hotel, or Greg and I stay with the client, and the crew's in a hotel nearby. But that's at the client's expense. In the future we hope to use locals. We've already built a nice core of people that I can call on in Orange County, Los Angeles and Ventura.

DLB: How did you find them?

LE: It started when I got the word out on social media that people who wanted to learn my techniques could come and help with installations. Volunteers also receive a free Design for Serenity T-shirt.

Before the phone rings

DLB: What do you tell people who want to be designers?

LE: Do something different. Find your niche and build on that. I fell into it. There are so many variables. You can't just "be a landscaper" in San Diego, the Mecca for succulents, where it's highly competitive.

DLB: What's it like to be mentored by you?

LE: I let people try on my shoes and walk around in them. I encourage them to find their own spin. I tell them, "I'm open to sharing and am transparent. Here's how I make money. Learn to establish credibility, a portfolio, and what sets you apart. Otherwise you're just a contractor or installer. Build a reputation, a desire, a hunger for what you offer. You want clients to call because they want YOU and are willing to wait."

DLB: How do you work with clients?

LE: I don't draw and I don't sketch, but that's just me. No plant list. I can't even follow a road map. My clients are people who have watched my videos, who hold their breaths hoping I'll take them. Clients have to trust my vision. Sometimes I need to tell them, "That's not how I work." For example a client told me her husband wasn't sure. I don't work well with parameters. They backed down.

Laura Eubanks in Debra Lee Baldwin's garden

When Laura installed this "pocket garden" for me several years ago, I expected to go to the nursery with her to select plants. "I'd rather you didn't," she replied. Even though Laura chose a few I might not have (due to seasonal sun, heat and cold concerns), nearly all the succulents are thriving.

DLB: How do you determine when a client is a good match?

LE: People talk about their favorite videos of mine. I do my homework. I want to see photos via email. I now refuse to work under trees. The space has to be cleared and ready for me. There's rarely a bad vibe or conflict, but if there is, then I'm not available until a year from September, or I may refund the consult fee.

DLB: How do you estimate a job?

LE: I'm very specific and detailed. How far I have to drive factors in. How many days, how large the crew, how many rocks and plants, plus irrigation. We're not licensed to do hardscape, so it has to be great to begin with. Greg does wonderful waterfalls and stream beds. We throw down decomposed granite and move stones into place. Greg retrofits the existing irrigation system, adds valves, and does repairs.

Greg Eubanks in succulent garden

Greg Eubanks checks irrigation in a DFS ocean-view succulent garden.

DLB: How long does an installation take?

LE: We want to get in and out. I charge per day, and we don't spend more than six days on any installation.

DLB: What else does the client need to do?

LE: Rip out lawns and maybe trees, bring in soil, so I can come in and it's ready to go. I want a blank slate with soil on top, flags on pop-up sprinklers, caps on irrigation. The further I have to go, the more I rely on the client.

DLB: What do you do when you get there?

LE: I move dirt around, creating undulations and mounds. That's the art. I get asked a lot of questions on how to do it. It looks like freshly buried bodies. We may move 25 yards of soil one wheelbarrow at a time. We roll boulders around. Greg has a background using heavy equipment, so he'll rent and drive a tractor or skiploader. I supervise the delivery and placement of rocks, plants and topdressings.

Laura Eubanks at Waterwise Botanicals

Laura with "the succulent baby" following her installation of a display garden at Waterwise Botanicals' 2019 Succulent Celebration.

DLB: What else do you do?

LE: I navigate, micro-manage, figure out how to capitalize the project, negotiate, arrange deliveries, make sure the client is ready, and decide how many people are in the crew. I evaluate the terrain, accessibility, and distances we'll have to move rocks and soil.

DLB: What makes you unique?

LE: What I do is a gift I was born with that I've developed through experience. I didn't have a mentor. Starting out, I felt alone and insecure. I had no advisors, I was making it up as I went. Confidence comes with trial by fire, by being under pressure. When someone says,"OK, here's $25K," you make it work. When 25 people are all looking at me and asking "OK, boss, what next?" I'm able to keep them busy. It's my way.

Greg, Laura and Hannah Eubanks

Greg, Laura and Hannah Eubanks with the new Design for Serenity pickup. Photo from Laura's Instagram page.

DLB: Aren't you overloaded?

LE: We're spinning a lot of plates. Greg and I have four kids, a grand-baby, and two properties. We also have a huge maintenance clientele.

DLB: What's the best thing you offer young designers?

LE: My time, the ability to work with me, and to use what they learn to build their own unique sense of design. It takes a lifetime to get where I am. I'm not a teacher in the traditional sense. I've created a brand.

DLB: How did it all begin?

LE: I started ten years ago with complete insecurity. We lost our house to foreclosure in '08. We lived in it a year longer, until they threatened us with a shotgun. I love working with plants and needed to share my blossoming passion for succulents. For a craft fair near my home, I made succulent moss-and-glue arrangements. Nothing sold, and I brought it all home. When you [Debra] spoke at the Coronado Garden Club, I brought a succulent-topped pumpkin and wore succulent-decorated earrings. I was so happy you wanted to photograph them.

Succulent in shell by Laura Eubanks

Laura glued moss to the shell and then cuttings to the moss. The cuttings root through the glue into the moss, which should be spritzed occasionally to keep roots moist. 

DLB: You pioneered attaching succulents to objects with moss and glue. Succulent-topped pumpkins are now as much a part of the holidays as succulent wreaths. So, how did you build your brand?

LE: I went on Facebook and stole all your friends [laughs], and I built my influence through comments and reposts. I presented at Roger's Gardens, and helped at the landscapers' booth at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. I brought along a life-sized topiary alligator planted with succulents, and enthusiasm for "Roberto" elevated my confidence. My succulent-topped pumpkin project came out in your book, Succulents Simplified. I was compelled to spread the net wider. Things snowballed. It was life-changing.

Succulent topped pumpkin

Succulent topped pumpkin by Laura Eubanks for the Better Homes & Gardens article

DLB: Isn't your business dependent on the economy? Landscaping is a luxury.

LE: No matter what's going on with the economy, there are always people with money. So even in lean years, business keeps rolling in.

DLB: What did you charge when you started out?

LE: I charged $15/hour ten years ago. You can't live on what you think you're worth. When I got more confident, I charged $25. On a bad hair day I was back to $20. It's hard to estimate a rate. But underselling myself was self-indulgent. I no longer believe in giving friends-and-family discounts. When you give someone a gift, they owe you. It's cowardly to vacillate and to do the right thing. I needed to have a standard---to estimate a rate and stick with it.

DLB: What do you charge now?

LE: Of all the questions in my inbox, I hate "What do you charge?" the most. I don't answer directly, instead I ask, "What do you pay?" I'm now $350/hour, but it depends on what I'm doing---maintenance is less. Installations are typically by day, and it depends how far, plus hotels for crew. It can be from $750 to $2,500 a day plus $250 to $350, depending on the crew. The next plateau may be a flat rate for designs up to six days. Maybe $25K for me to do them.

Laura Eubanks at Waterwise Botanicals

Laura at Waterwise Botanicals nursery in north San Diego county. From her video, "How to Shop for Your Succulents" (6:43). 

DLB: Do you pass along professional discounts to your clients?

LE: I charge for time spent shopping then pass along the discount. I also do consulting. For example, someone may ask me to go with them to Waterwise Botanicals to help pick out plants.

DLB: What else is ahead for you and Team DFS?

LE: I'm working with a production company to come up with a master's class---a succulent tapestry, start-to-finish.

Laura's background and childhood abuse

What follows is a newsletter I sent out a year ago, before the Succulent Extravaganza at Succulent Gardens in Castroville, CA, where Laura debuted to a Northern CA audience and did a hand's-on installation. She's scheduled to be at the event again, Fri-Sat Sept 27-28, 2019.

Sept., 2018: Laura Eubanks makes assembling a succulent pocket garden in front of an audience look easy...and she can do it while jet-lagged and with minimal prior knowledge of a location's resources or challenges. Add to that her seemingly effortless ability to lift and carry 75-lb. bags of rocks, and you have one amazing lady.

But what I admire most about Laura---besides her generosity in sharing her ideas and techniques ("I'm happy if others profit from them, besides, there are more where those came from”)—is her goal of inspiring others to succeed despite what they may have endured in the past.

Laura then and now

I met Laura in October, 2011 at a garden club where I was speaking. She wore succulent-decorated earrings and brought a succulent-topped pumpkin. Nowadays those are fairly commonplace, but back then---mind you---they had never been done before.

Next I ran across Laura at the 2012 San Diego Spring Home/Garden Show, where she had a 4-foot topiary alligator on display: a wire form planted with tiny succulent rosettes. "How did you attach them?" I asked. "With a glue gun," she replied. Really? If you touch hot glue, it burns your fingers. "Doesn't seem to hurt the succulents," Laura said matter-of-factly. "They root into the moss right through the dried glue." This may not be a revelation now, but back then it was unthinkable...and ingenious.

Over the next few years, Laura's succulent-topped pumpkin business became so successful, it paid for a family trip to Europe and a new car (the “Pumpkinmobile”). I featured her "moss-and-glue method" in my second book, Succulents Simplified. She and I also made a how-to design video (her first) and I wrote an article about her succulent pumpkins for BH&G’s Country Gardens magazine.

Laura's fresh, creative, photogenic approach to garden design led to more articles in national magazines and merited inclusion in the completely revised and updated second edition of Designing with Succulents.

Fast becoming one of Southern California's most celebrated succulent specialists, Laura has a strong presence on social media (including her own fan club) and millions of views on YouTube. Much of this is thanks to daughter Hannah, an ace videographer and photographer, who "gets" what her mom is all about and what her ever-enlarging fan base wants to see. A natural on camera, Laura talks to her audience as pals, shares professional design and cultivation tips, and conveys info with wit and clarity.

Laura's healing journey

Before she installs a garden, Laura pauses, gazes briefly at plants and materials, and then positions them with the assurance of someone who seldom second-guesses herself.  When asked if clients’ lofty expectations ever make her anxious, she replies, “Gosh no. My miserable childhood taught me to keep moving forward, even when I’m terrified.”

Her signature style is to interweave rivulets of colorful succulents and crushed rock. She's known for snipping apart succulents in nursery pots and then planting the cuttings, famously saying, "if a cutting stands up, you've done your job." She enjoys travel, and has given presentations on using succulents in gardens large and small (and done installations) in Brazil, Florida, Texas and Northern CA---to name a few far-flung destinations.

Laura has no formal landscape training, nor does she draw garden plans. “For me, design mirrors life,” she says. You never know what’ll happen next.” In all her gardens, including those in containers, she starts with a focal point from which the rest of the design flows.

Laura Eubanks at Weidner's Gardens

Laura, after creating a display garden for the front of Weidner's Gardens nursery in Encinitas, CA.

The back yard of her childhood home served as a refuge from her abusive father---a place where she immersed herself in making “paths that led to little communities that were safe and happy places.” Her past also has made her philosophical. She believes that everyone has an innate talent waiting to be discovered and developed, and she feels fortunate to have had the opportunities and courage to use hers. “I don’t know how I do this. It’s a gift. Besides, it’s not like I’m trying to cure cancer. I’m just putting plants in the ground and playing around with rocks.”

Her design work, she adds, "makes me a kid again, playing in the dirt.”

Laura Eubanks quote

Laura with daughter Hannah. Laura's wit and wisdom are often quoted. Photo: Brody Q. Scotland, Instagram (@brodyqat)

Laura Earns Recognition from "Leap to Success"

Leap to Success, a nonprofit organization that helps women overcome abusive pasts, gave Laura Eubanks an award and created a video interview that you simply must see. The depth of her wisdom will inspire you, and you'll gain a greater appreciation for your own childhood (believe me, yours was better than hers). From the Leap to Success website:

"Laura Eubanks grew up in a state of near constant abuse and describes her childhood as a “blur,” which led her to dissociate from her situation as a mechanism to survive. She married Greg Eubanks when she was 20, and he continues to be a tremendous pillar of support who strongly aided her in her healing process. When her father passed away years later, she suffered a major breakdown, and was admitted to a mental facility. With the tools she gained there, she began to rediscover herself, and started to turn to gardening as a way to find peace and serenity.

As her passion and talents for gardening grew, she turned her hobby into a business, planting flowers for neighbors and friends. By word of mouth, she gained more clients, and began working when her children were in school. Laura now applies her green thumb worldwide. She recently returned from San Paulo, Brazil, where she installed two demonstration gardens – now visited by more than 350,000 people. She also has a strong social media following on Facebook, and her YouTube videos on succulent planting and design get thousands of views.

Laura suffered years of abuse and hardship that many of us could not even imagine. Her openness to sharing her story, and how her pain evolved into her passion for gardening and eventually her business, shows us all that it is possible to move past hardship and create the life that we want for ourselves."

Laura Eubanks’ Top Ten Tips for Succulent Garden Design

Laura Eubanks of Design for Serenity is a celebrity succulent garden designer in Southern California. Her “Succulent Tip of the Day” sent her popularity skyrocketing on social media, and her YouTube channel recently exceeded 4,000,000 views. Here, Laura shares her Top Ten Tips for Succulent Garden Design. The photos are from two videos I made…

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Enjoyed this article? Please share it!


  1. Sharon Lovejoy on August 13, 2019 at 11:07 am

    This is an eye-opening article filled with heart. Thank you, dear Deborah, for your generosity of spirit, thank you for never failing to share, thank you for giving Laura a hands-up when she needed it. She is amazing and so are you!

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 13, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Sharon — Wow…coming from someone I admire as much as you…what an incredible day-brightener! Thank you dear friend, author, artist and all-round amazing lady!

    • Marie Pham on August 13, 2019 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you Debra for sharing with the succulent community on what happened to Greg Eubanks. I love you and God bless you. Thank you for linking the Gofund page. Already took care of it. Love and light. Marie Pham

      • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 14, 2019 at 12:23 pm

        Thanks, dear Marie! You’re a real sweetie. Much appreciated.

  2. Camille Newton on August 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    I have always loved Laura Eubank’s colorful gardens. My son Connor built a succulent garden for his school, and in the last few months parts of his garden were bull-dozed (I think in an effort to get rid of Sticks on Fire plants that some parent thought were too dangerous). So we have been looking on line for ideas to repair the garden – and we have been especially inspired by Laura’s use of varieties of rocks and gravel – especially since his garden is required to be handicapped accessible. I had a hard time convincing Connor to add gravel until he saw Laura’s beautiful rocky paths.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 13, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      Hey there Camille! I remember you taking me to see Connor’s garden a couple of years ago, and I enjoyed meeting him as well. Yikes, a bulldozer? That seems a bit excessive. I’ve become a huge fan of rocks. They need no care at all, provide mulch that keeps weeds at bay and moisture in the soil, and they look great!

  3. Denise Chippero on August 13, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you so much for the wonderful article on Laura. I am so lucky that I found both you and Laura when I got very interested in succulents. Your books were the first thing I bought. I even got to say hello to you in San Jose many years ago. 🤗

    My husband and I had the pleasure of spending time with Laura and Hannah at Mountain Crest when she did an installation and a workshop last June. . She is truly one lovely person. Her light shines on everyone she meets.

    We will continue to pray and send love to Laura, Greg and their entire family.

    Thanks again,

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 13, 2019 at 8:37 pm

      Hi Denise — Thank you for the heartfelt comment and sharing your fond memories. I’d sure love to go to Mountain Crest someday. Maybe I can mooch a place to stay from Laura.

    • Cathy behr on May 15, 2020 at 5:01 pm

      Thank yu so for all the inspiration Laura has given me in designing my small succulent garden in half moon bay. I’ve had a grand time creating it all…. as an artist and retired art teacher I’ve come out of my studio to realize another venue for creating a hundred times thank. Laura is a delight to watch and learn from.

  4. Tacy Andersen on August 13, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Thank you Debra. I needed to read this today. I was feeling like I was falling away. Her story of climbing out of childhood, self-confidence, and financial issues in 2008 mirrored me. My first life-changing fall after I achieved adulthood and marriage was losing my best friend and husband that I knew for 30 years to be gone when I was 45. But the travel again with Laura with the new beginning of climbing again with her succulent crafty project to meeting you like myself when we met at Succulent Extravaganza with my driftwood succulent pieces with the Succulent Fanatics. And yep her push and pull and building and staying on course to be able to say this job, not for me. I think you did an amazing job with article and interview. We all are praying for quick recovery and health for Greg. I also inspired to do more videos now too.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 13, 2019 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks, Tacy dear. I remember you well, and your lovely driftwood designs. When I was a freelance journalist covering homes and gardens for various publications, I loved doing profiles. That was 20 years ago, and I still love doing them. Everyone has a story but not everyone can pursue his or her passion quite as exuberantly (and fearlessly) as Laura. It’s interesting that she crashed and burned but managed to bounce back stronger than ever. Doubtless Greg helped pull her through. And now she’s helping him pull through.

  5. Debbra Corbin-Euston on August 13, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Great, great article Debra! Laura deserves it! I’ve shared it on my social media. Great read.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 13, 2019 at 8:27 pm

      Thank you, Debbra! Say, do you really spell your name with two b’s?

  6. Carol DeRoma on August 13, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you, Debra, for the insightful, timely, appreciative, professional and loving tribute to Laura, her passion and her family. You are always on point and i appreciate all of the knowledge you share of yourself as well. Hope to meet you one day! Carol from Melbourne Florida!

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 13, 2019 at 8:26 pm

      Hi Carol — Thank you! It’s a treat to hear from a Floridian. Laura will no doubt be pleased too, when she comes up for air.

  7. Arsenia Serafica on August 13, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    Thanks Debra for sharing, I watch her videos and she is so amazing designer too like you. And you are so great for taking her in your wings and introducing her to the other designers.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 14, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks, Arsenia dear. I don’t really consider myself a designer, certainly not of landscapes as Laura is. I’m a garden photojournalist, and I’m good at recognizing talent. People sometimes assume that the designs shown in my books are all by me…very few of them are. I think that’s the books’ strength: they showcase the best of the best. Of course I learned from the talented people I interviewed and photographed, and that helps me do my own designs. As can anyone.

  8. Wagner Campos on August 14, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Thank you Debra

    Even living far away
    Without ever meeting her in person
    Only on my computer screen
    I fell in love with the shape
    For the sympathy
    And rampant confidence
    For the pleasure of teaching
    For not keeping selfish followers
    For the charming smile
    For the love of the family
    Her work team
    Her Divine talent
    For the strong insistent of trying
    Laura, Greg and Design for Serenity
    They deserve all the joy of this world.
    I love them from a distance
    By the breeze that touches me
    I hope and pray for her partner
    And so she never loses her glare

    God bless them

    A brotherly hug from the distance that separates us

    Wagner Campos

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 14, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      That’s lovely, Wagner. Thank you!

  9. Elise on August 14, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Nice to see two talented women support and elevate each other, so that they can share their gifts with the world. I enjoy your books and have benefited from your newsletter and the videos that both you and Laura share – thank you!

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 14, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks, Elise. I really appreciate the encouragement, and I know Laura does too!

  10. Marjory Harris on August 14, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Great article, Debra! Laura has been a huge inspiration through her YouTube videos. I redid much of my garden to make it easier for me in my “old lady” years. I had almost 50 years of horticultural experience, but never learned the techniques Laura uses in her tapestries. Now I have a number of tapestry areas and am starting a new one to honor her and Greg.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 14, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Thanks Marjory — Indeed, Laura is a true innovator. Of all the videos on my YouTube channel, the two I made of Laura (before she was making her own) are far and away the most popular.

  11. Cheri Lynn Noda on August 14, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    Debra Lee Your heart is gold! Laura truly is blessed with you as a wonderful Friend! We all love you and Laura and Greg and her family.
    Greg is walking as I just saw in instagram and Am so happy to see that as we all are! I am going to plant a garden in Succulent Babies on Facebook ,I pray for Greg and Laura and family.Thank You Debra ! Cheri Noda

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 15, 2019 at 11:16 am

      Hi Cheri — Thank you! It’s rewarding to me to use this platform occasionally to help others. It’s something I didn’t foresee when I was focused on brand-building, but what a great outcome. Yes, Greg is up and walking now, and the prognosis is excellent. Such good news and much to be thankful for. And the GoFundMe is doing well, too—last time I checked, they were more than halfway to their goal. It’s such a financial wallop, all this happening so far from home, and they’re not able to work to recoup their losses. How wonderful so many have been so incredibly supportive!

      • Cheri Lynn Noda on August 15, 2019 at 3:19 pm

        Yes I know the hard ship ,I donated .Wish I could help so much more!!!
        I wish him to be okay and stronger every day and Laura To be ok as well.You Lady are truly beautiful and kind!
        I thank you for all you do and say!
        Love and Hugs

  12. Joyce Laubach on August 15, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Debra – thank you for the alert about the Eubanks. Your article helped me appreciate Laura and Greg even more, when I wouldn’t have thought I could admire them more. I am a Floridian – SW Gulf Coast, zone 10A. Although many discouraged me from planting succulents when we moved here from PA 1.5 years ago, I was hooked and determined, thanks to you and Laura. I’ve found that with careful plant selection, mounding, and soil amendment, my succulent garden is thriving. Sure, I’ve had my losses, and I expend a lot of effort moving some of my containers around during rainy season, but the only variety that consistently fails is Aeonium. (And it’s only my stubbornness that made me try a few times with that.) I gladly donated what I could, as a small token of appreciation for all the knowledge and pleasure I’ve derived from Design for Serenity videos and Facebook posts.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on August 15, 2019 at 11:22 am

      Hi Joyce — Good for you. Florida is indeed challenging, especially for highly desirable rosette succulents. Aeoniums don’t want summer rainfall, echeverias need a greater temperature difference between day and night, and neither likes humidity. You’ll have greater success with succulents from the tropics, like hoya, Christmas cactus, lepismium and the like. Also Agave attenuata. Throw in a few colorful bromeliads, and you’ve got a garden!

  13. Mary Dionne on August 18, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Words just can’t tell Lauri how wonderful, and unique, and inspiring she is! Because of her you tube videos, I am up to my ears in succulents and having a blast!😜👍 I will keep you in my heart, and prayers and hope everything turns out well. Thanks Lauri, and God Bless you and Greg!

  14. Laura Eubanks on September 6, 2019 at 11:49 am

    So much love for Debra and her generous, thoughtful subscribers!
    Our family is blown away by the support generated through this post!
    May you all be blessed beyond measure!
    Greg is getting stronger by the day. It’s such a relief not to have to worry about exhausting our retirement savings to pay for all of these unexpected charges not covered by our insurance!
    Most Sincerely,
    Laura, Greg and Family

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on September 6, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Hello Laura dear — Thank you for the lovely comment. I’m glad Greg is regaining his strength, and I’m so proud and pleased that my newsletter subscribers and site visitors have been caring and generous. I’ve long known they’re a terrific bunch, and this certainly confirms it. I know if you and I could, we’d give them all a huge hug!

  15. Debra Lorimer on September 24, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    Hello Debra, I really enjoy watching your videos on YouTube and I also really enjoy watching Laura also. In fact I watch them daily. I look for new posts daily as well. I LOVE you both. Thank you for sharing Laura’s story. I just learned this past March that I have heart failure and cardiomyopathy. As I relax your shows are such an enjoyment. Thank you again!

    From one of many fans,

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on September 24, 2019 at 7:10 pm

      Hi Deb — Thank you! I’m glad we’re helping you to relax. Were you named after Debbie Reynolds, too? There must have been six Debbies in my Kindergarten class.

  16. Jan on May 30, 2020 at 1:50 am

    So lovely that Greg has recovered well.

    Laura on Youtube has been one of the highlights of lockdown for me in Adelaide, Australia, and have been watching many of yours as well, Debra. Keeps me going!

    I built a new house and started a new garden a la Design for Serenity in 2018… more of my own design elements, but all succulent and xeriscape, plus a couple of rock ribbons as an homage to Laura.

    Couple of years on, it’s the talk of the district – people take walks past our place just to see the garden and compliment us. Very different from the hard stare I initially received from the landscaper when I asked him to fill the beds with the gravelly, sandy rubbish he had lying at the back of the yard, instead of ‘good soil’. He drops by now and then, to marvel and cadge cuttings, lol.

    I’ve also helped design a neighbours place in a totally different, semi-formal style with succulents – she gets the same type of attention. I’m slowly converting all the neighbours! One of them still struggles along with poorly roses and hibiscus in our arid/Mediterranean climate with intense summer heat (120ºf, I kid you not.) – I’ll convert them yet!

    All thanks to seeing a video of Laura’s back in around 2016… She literally changed my gardening life… instead of struggling, I now have about 1 hour maintenance every 6 months – love it!

    I want to say I appreciate both you and Laura for having influenced our lives for the better.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on June 1, 2020 at 1:39 pm

      This is a lovely tribute to Laura, Jan, and I’m honored to be included. Thank you for your kind words, and for taking the time to let us know! It’s especially wonderful that you’re so far away, yet have benefitted as much as people in our own area.

      • Jan on June 5, 2020 at 4:36 pm

        Well I have to include you, Debra… for a few years my friends have been receiving urns full of succulents on birthdays and the like – that was all you!
        Mound! Mound! Rest the chins on the pot!
        About to tackle a succulent chair, that should be a lot of fun. I don’t know where I’d be without you two ladies – struggling along wondering why gardens were so hard, probably. 😉

        • Debra Lee Baldwin on June 5, 2020 at 4:56 pm

          Aw, Jan, you’re a sweetie. One of the first succulent planted chairs I saw was in Laura’s garden. Hm. Let’s see that was back in 2013, during her “pumpkulent” days (she innovated the succulent-topped pumpkin). She also used a similar method for a chair salvaged from a thrift store and fetching little party favors.

  17. Sue Fuller on March 15, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    I love your allegator topiary filled with succulent plants. Do you sale them at all?

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on March 15, 2022 at 7:50 pm

      I’m pretty sure that particular alligator is one of a kind. For wonderful succulent topiaries, both planted and forms ready to be planted, see my succulent topiary page.

  18. Teri Sims on February 9, 2024 at 12:10 pm

    I always watch Laura’s videos and not only enjoy them but get great ideas.

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