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

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Learn About My Online Class! This lush and colorful succulent combo in a pedestal pot looks difficult, but it’s simple once you know how. With the help of the step-by-step instructions and photos that follow, you’ll soon be making your own lovely DIY floral-style succulent centerpieces, gift arrangements, and more.  To create this floral-style centerpiece, the…

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Davis, CA garden blogger Gerhard Bock has the precise mind of a scientist, the sweet demeanor of a teddy bear, the photo skills of a magazine photographer, the wit of a TV show host, and a love of succulents comparable to mine. His “Succulents and More” blog is one of the few I subscribe to,…

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I’ve long been a fan of El Blog de La Tabla, a daily garden blog out of Spain written and researched by Maria Jose Holguin. A bonus is that it’s written in Spanish that is not difficult to understand, which provides daily practice that I enjoy. But you can always click on the “English” option.…

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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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Long a pariah plant, cactus is gaining popularity. You could even say that in the gardening world, “cactus is the new black.” Here’s why spiny succulents are catching up with smooth ones, notably in art, home decor, clothing and gift items.  A little perspective: The first edition of my book, Designing with Succulents (Timber Press,…

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Why should you—and can you—grow Aloe vera?  It’s arguably the most commercially grown succulent (followed by the tequila agave and supermarket kalanchoe). The medicinal and cosmetic value of the plant’s gel-filled leaves have been recognized for millennia, and it is reputed to have been part of Cleopatra’s beauty regimen. Google “Aloe vera” and you’ll get…

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For my sea-themed potting demo at Roger’s Gardens, I combined rosy-pink barnacles with cuttings of a pink-tipped, cream-striped crassula, and did a multiplant arrangement in a seashell pot. These were something I decided to do on the spur of the moment. Roger’s Gardens (the largest independently owned garden center on the West Coast) is all about…

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To see amazing succulents in elegant art pots, attend a Cactus & Succulent Society Show. The largest in the US is the annual Inter-City Show at the Los Angeles Arboretum mid-August. Judges award ribbons and trophies based on how well a specimen is grown, its rarity, and how well it’s “staged” in its pot. Pots aren’t…

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Succulent bouquet with echeverias

When I need a hostess gift, thank-you present, or an arrangement for a special friend, I make a bouquet of succulents.   I start by selecting a coffee mug or glass container (usually a jar, thrift-store vase, or clear bottle), the size of which determines the size of the arrangement. Then I head into the garden with…

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Below are a dozen great ideas from Patrick Anderson’s garden in Fallbrook, CA. But first, a bit of backstory… Visiting Patrick Anderson’s garden in 1998 was the first time I had seen a residential garden that featured large aloes and agaves. In my YouTube video, “Patrick Anderson’s Succulent Garden,” I take you on a tour of the residential garden that…

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