Tom Cole’s Remarkable Rare Aloe Nursery

Aloe lukeana, red-orange

Tom Cole’s aloe-collecting hobby has turned into a unique nursery. Hundreds of seed-grown African aloes thrive in pots or in the ground at his Cold Spring Aloes near Lotusland in Montecito, south of Santa Barbara, CA.

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See Hidden Agave Nursery’s Rare Agaves

Hidden Agave nursery garden (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Hidden Agave Nursery is more than a source of rare and unusual agaves, it’s fast-tracking this popular succulent genus to its full potential. Owner Jeremy Spath specializes in species and cultivars that don’t get overly large, perform well in gardens, and are exceptionally beautiful. I share his fascination with

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Laguna Beach Succulent Gardens

Sansevieria, fountain at Laguna Beach Water District (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

On the Laguna Beach Garden Tour I go hunting for succulents. Nearly all varieties thrive in Laguna’s mild coastal climate. But what gets me every time are the flowering annuals and perennials that snuggle up to the succulents.

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Visit Pigment, San Diego’s Chic Succulent Boutique

Hanging succulent globes (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

See Pigment’s simple-but-sophisticated pots that frame succulents perfectly. Colors range from intense hues to white, cream and pastels. Many customers are young professionals living in apartments and condos with no space for gardening. Succulents are their pets,

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Rojas Succulents Nursery Tour

Crassula falcata variegated (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

If you’re looking for a great succulent nursery to tour, head for family-owned Rojas Succulents on 1-1/2 acres in Fallbrook, CA. They do everything right. Superb plant material ranges from garden succulents to collectible rarities, including unusual variegates (striped or multicolored leaves).

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Where do YOU shop for succulents?

Mail order succulents

Find out what to do if the succulents you want aren’t available near you. See others’ favorite succulent sources, mail-order and walk-in, and share yours in the comments below. Please tell us your city or region, what you’ve purchased, and anything else that might be helpful.  

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A Garden of Collectible Succulents in Corona

Sherman Gardens succulent garden

Do you collect special succulents that you’d like to grow outdoors in your garden? If you’re in Southern CA, do visit the cactus and succulent garden at Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona Del Mar, CA. It offers so many great tips and ideas! Pat Roach and I in Sherman’s succulent garden. Imagine…a dear friend…

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Professor Mordant’s Sea-Sand Succulents

Bizarre succulents

Every year as Halloween approaches, I recall my visit to Professor Mordant’s remote island to tour his collection of sea-sand succulents. The island was rumored to be an eerie, inhospitable place—a volcanic outcropping devoid of vegetation, nothing like the mainland resort where I and other garden photojournalists had been sunning ourselves in style. I alone…

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