Posts Tagged ‘Debra Lee Baldwin’

Are You a Plant Collector, Gardener or Both?

As she researched her book, The Bold Dry Garden, it dawned on Sunset’s garden editor Johanna Silver that plant collectors are not necessarily gardeners, and vice-versa. The subject, Ruth Bancroft, is both gardener and collector—as is Brian Kemble, the curator of the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, CA. Since 1980, Brian has helped Ruth (now age 108)…

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My Must-Have Garden Tools for Spiny Succulents

Succulent garden tools

The tools I use when working with spiky, spiny succulents include 12-inch tweezers, kitchen tongs, artist’s brush, chopstick, scissors, metal teaspoon, inexpensive garden gloves, and duct tape. Long-handled tweezers are useful for removing bits of debris and topdressing from prickly plants and those with tight leaf axils—anyplace for which your fingers are too big or that you prefer not to touch. Amazon sells 12-inch stainless steel…

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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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I Come Out as a Cactus Lover

When profiled by Garden Design magazine, I took the opportunity to come out as a cactus lover. Well, I had to. They asked about trends in the world of succulents. I believe my progression is fairly typical. Most of us start out loving succulents that look like fleshy roses—echeverias, graptoverias and the like. As people gain appreciation for the…

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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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How Not To Kill Succulents

How to Kill Succulents

What IS it with New Yorkers? Whatever we’re cheerfully crazy about on the West Coast is dismissed by somber-clothed subway sprinters as idiotic. Or at least that’s the vibe I got from a reporter with New York Magazine, who disguised her weather envy with a lot of polite questions. Evidently what she really wanted was yet more reasons…

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Rick’s Aloe and Butterfly Garden

The current population of monarch butterflies is a mere 4% of what it formerly was. These once ubiquitous butterflies are on the brink of extinction. Anyone with even a small garden, in any part of the US, can help reverse this sad trend. I knew that Rick Bjorklund’s garden in San Diego would delight me with its aloes,…

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Holiday Decorating with Succulents

Holiday decorating with succulents This time of year, the succulent elves bundle up, go into the garden, and transform it into a holiday wonderland. Should I reward them with cocoa, or considering their size, chocolate chips? When you’re not much bigger than a caterpillar, you take your life in your hands when you decorate a serrated succulent. But…

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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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No-Water Succulents for Southern California Gardens

  Certain readily available succulents not only get by on rainfall alone, they’ll grow in nutrient-poor soil and can handle searing sun and frost. No-water succulents for Southern California gardens that are native to the Southwest and Mexico include dasylirions, agaves, cacti and yuccas. They thrive from south of the border to the Bay Area and…

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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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