Greenhouse for succulents in display garden

Succulents at the Spring Home/Garden Show

Succulent display garden

I zipped around San Diego’s Spring Home/Garden show right before the judging, cell in hand. (When in a hurry, I use my phone to take photos in dim light instead of my fancy-schmancy Canon.) I was delighted with what I saw. No question I’m biased, but the display garden (above) showcasing plants from Desert Theater nursery, and designed by Steve McDearmon of Garden Rhythms and Katie Christensen of Miss Katie’s Garden, was my favorite. You could plunk the whole shebang in your front yard for a great-looking, low-maintenance lawn-replacement landscape.

The show is the first Fri.-Sat.-Sun. of March every year. You’ll have to pay parking, but you needn’t pay the admission price of $9 at the door. Obtain a FREE PASS by going to the show’s Buy Tickets page and entering this special code for my fans and followers: DLBA.

Have fun!

Succulent display garden

Apologies for photos that lack credits. None of the display gardens had names on them because they were about to be judged. If you want to ID them in a comment below, please do!

Greenhouse for succulents in display garden

St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (display garden above) helps adults with developmental disabilities. Gardening, propagating plants and selling them is a big part of it. I love the greenhouse in their display garden!


Do I detect a trend brewing? This lovely display combines succulents (dudleyas) with red bromeliads and other low-water tropicals.

Succulent vertical display garden

Melissa Teisl and Jon Hawley design gardens as Chicweed Design & Landscaping. Although they sold their floral shop in Solana Beach, you can still see aspects of it in their gardens, like the lovely vertical display above. I’ll bet the sandbox behind it was inspired by their little boy.Potted aloe garden by Chicweed

This mosaic pot filled with succulents also is in Chicweed Design & Landscaping’s display garden.


Speaking of lovely succulent container gardens, this one is by Katie Christensen for Desert Theater. The gorgeous purple plant is a dyckia, a type of bromeliad that’s succulent. Dyckias would doubtless be more popular if they didn’t have leaf edges as sharp as steak knives. (Katie, are you bleeding?)


Also in the Desert Theater display is “Miss Katie’s potting bench.”

Succulent container gardens

Miss Katie brings a feminine aesthetic to succulents.


Judges give bonus points for labeled plants. This is a charming way to do it, don’t you think?

IMG_4306The display garden above, which incorporates agaves and dasylirions, utilizes a lot of interesting hardscape and topdressings, which after all are THE ultimate way to have a waterwise garden.

echeverias in metal bowl

And isn’t this stunning? So simple! Pass the oil and vinegar. (Kidding.)

Don’t forget, you can get a free pass by going to the Show’s website and entering my special discount code: DLBA. If you missed it this year, subscribe to my newsletter (below), and I’ll give you a head’s up for next year.

Enjoyed this article? Please share it!


  1. Candy Suter on March 4, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    I love everything! Your photos look great even though there with your phone. Wow I wish I could see it in person but this is the next best thing. Thank you Debra!

    • Debra on March 8, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Thanks, Candy Bear! Coming from you, high praise indeed!

  2. Dr. S.K.Sarkar on August 23, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Hi.. I am from India. How can I get succulent seeds from you?

    • Debra on August 24, 2016 at 8:04 am

      The Cactus and Succulent Society of America does seed sharing. I start everything from cuttings.

  3. Jodi Thirtyacre on October 23, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Hello, can you tell me the name of the red palm tree like plant in the first photo? Thanks!

    • Debra on October 23, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Hi Jodi — It’s a cordyline. DLB

  4. Jodi on October 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    2nd photo, I meant. Thanks!

  5. Sara michelle boehm on January 5, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Wondering if any of your readers are giving away some of the extras they have so I can start my own. Willing to pay for shipping
    Thanks sara

  6. Denise Cloud on June 21, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    WOW! This is heaven to me. My name is Denise Cloud and I love everything. I want to join everything. Right now I’m unable to attend anything due to Muscle Atrophy affecting both arms/legs too along with Herniated disks L3,L4, L5, & S1. So I am loving online shopping. I want to start a small community succulent meet/greet next year here in Murrieta,CA. And grow from there. So please overwhelm me with cuttings I can buy to get started and prayers to walk again without assistance. Thank you for listening.

  7. Debra on June 25, 2023 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Denise — I love your enthusiasm! May you heal quickly and completely, and soon be able to walk again. Debra

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.