Visit Botanic Wonders & See Al Klein’s Succulent Rarities

Euphorbia mammillaris variegated at Botanic Wonders nursery (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

You think you like succulents? Al Klein of Botanic Wonders nursery calls them “an addiction.” Al is a comet on the cactus and succulent scene. It seems he’s everywhere, doing speaking engagements, selling on the show circuit, greeting nursery visitors, and sharing a lifetime of info and enthusiasm. Al’s story bubbles out of him as…

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See Josh Allen’s Rare Aloe & Cycad Nursery Near San Diego

Aloe vaombe in bloom mid-February (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Josh Allen is making his dream come true: Developing a nursery and botanic garden specializing in rare succulents and cycads. “There’s a big market for beautiful, hard-to-find plants,” he says, adding that creating new hybrids and “playing with plant genetics” are what he does best. He especially enjoys Aloe hybridizing and  breeding rare and desirable…

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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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Can You Grow Ariocarpus?

Ariocarpus, CA Cactus Center (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

It’s autumn and the ariocarpus are in bloom. Typical cacti, they do it spectacularly. But atypical of cacti, they’re not easy to grow. Unless you live in Texas or northern Mexico, forget about growing ariocarpus out in the open.

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Plant Expert Tony Avent on Mangaves

Mangave 'Red Wing'

Tony Avent, Plant Delights Nursery According to plant expert Tony Avent, owner of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, NC, “the world of mangaves is exploding. The colors and forms continue to break new barriers of previously inconceivable foliage.”  Founded in 1988, Tony’s nursery is a premier source of rarities and natives, and offers more than 1,400 kinds of…

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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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