Design

Make a Succulent Cornucopia

A succulent cornucopia makes a refreshing update on the traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece, and then after the holiday, you can remove the plants and pot them.  As early as midsummer, craft stores begin stocking holiday containers like this wicker cornucopia (also available online). I took mine to the nursery and went up and down the aisles muttering, “Succulents…

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Ten Reasons Why You Really Need Rocks

Here are ten reasons why your landscape—especially if it includes succulents—really needs rocks, large and small. Remember when crushed-rock front yards were a ’60s retirement-community cliche? Not any longer! Nowadays smart designers cover bare soil with rocks to create gardens that are as sophisticated and good-looking as they are practical. “Before” photo of driveway planting   Driveway garden, “after” (newly installed)…

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Gerhard Bock’s Review of Designing with Succulents

It’s a thrill for an author when a reviewer “gets” what a book’s all about. But succulent expert/blogger/photographer Gerhard Bock frankly floored me with his insights and evaluation of the second edition of Designing with Succulents.  Excerpt: Sometimes the second edition of a popular book is little more than a cosmetic update, maybe featuring a…

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Circular Succulent Garden

When I first saw fitness coach Amy Van Liew’s circular garden and spherical fountain, I envisioned how it might look replanted with colorful succulents. A great fountain and garden bed deserve to be seen, especially when in the middle of a magnificent home’s entryway. In the spring, when I took this photo of Amy, the flowers in the…

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Create a Soothing Succulent Sitting Area

Agave victoriae-reginae

If you enjoy gardening, you’ve no doubt experienced how it can be a form of meditation and a treat for all the senses. But have you considered how simply looking at certain plants induces a feeling of serenity? You can discover this by enhancing a sitting area with succulents that incorporate geometric patterns and spirals. The eye…

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Make a Succulent Mug Gift Bouquet

Make a succulent mug gift bouquet the next time you need a little something for a friend or hostess. This transcends the traditional flower-stand bouquet and has utility long afterwards. 

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Use Crushed-Rock Top Dressing to Enhance Your Succulent Designs

Do consider using crushed-rock top dressing to enhance your succulent designs. In the ground or in pots, your succulent compositions will look and perform better if bare soil doesn’t show. Top dressing lends a finished look, and plants benefit from the way it disperses water. In the open garden, soil exposed to sunlight is likely…

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Succulent Wreath Tips and Ideas

Do you like the succulent wreath that my friend Denise made during a wreath party at my home? To create a similar one, you’ll need about 100 cuttings, a wire wreath form, 24-gauge florist’s wire, a chopstick, and a bag of sphagnum moss. The form, moss and wire are available at any craft store. Cuttings will root right…

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Debra Talks Succulents on KPBS News Radio

KPBS and NPR with Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra’s interviews on KPBS radio news have been making the rounds on television and the Internet. Succulents are more popular than ever and—as Debra explains on-air—San Diego is taking the lead in championing their success.     Check out Debra’s YouTube channel and her three bestselling books for more expert info on succulents.    …

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Got a Pot? Elevate it!

Potted plants look better atop stands, says San Diego designer Diana Clark, who sometimes has them custom-made to enhance her succulent compositions. Diana created all the plant-pot pairings shown here. As you look at them, ask yourself: Does the stand matter? Would the composition look just as good without it? Chances are you’ll agree with Diana that…

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