Well, there is one more thing I get to check off my list! I met Debra Lee Baldwin–a.k.a. the Queen of Succulents, a.k.a. the Succulent Chic, a.k.a. the Martha Stewart of succulents!!!
In an article from Sunset Magazine, the author said that Debra is THE person responsible for bringing succulents back to the forefront. That’s a bold statement, but I believe Ms. Baldwin can back it up. She has written three books on the subject: Succulents Simplified, Succulents in the Landscape, and Succulent Container Gardens. Update: She’s written a fourth now, a succulent coloring book called Sensational Succulents. It IS sensational as are the rest of them! She regularly writes articles in well-known magazines (such as Sunset). She garners a huge following in the succulent community and, thus, gives talks and demonstrations on succulent design and drought tolerant gardens, with a special emphasis on designing succulent containers. And, she gives away a lot of this knowledge for free (!) by way of YouTube videos and blog articles, Facebook and Instagram, etc. Because she started out as a journalist and photographer, her articles are both entertaining and beautiful. Anyway, I have learned so much from her, I knew I had to meet the woman!
When I arrived at the luncheon that the Santa Barbara Garden Society put on, I am immediately scanned the room and saw her at a table and was amazed that there wasn’t a huge crowd around her. It appeared that a lot of the ladies didn’t know much about her, which was very surprising to me, given her huge following and how dry Santa Barbara is along with the surrounding community. When I stood in line with a couple of ladies ahead of me, I had a nice chat with her assistant Kyle. Laura Eubanks, expert in succulent landscapes herself, told me previously that he would be there and to tell him hello.
Another update: Laura Eubanks has garnered quite the following as well, and is my favorite Landscape Designer. Her company is called Design For Serenity. Check out her Facebook page in which she posts a Tip of the Day every day on designing with succulents. I have learned so much from her through these posts! Thank you so much for sharing so much with us, Laura!
When I met Debra, she was quite nice and even handed me a birthday present of note cards of her succulent paintings with a sweet note from her handwritten on top!!!! She had heard (read?) by email from my husband, that it was my birthday. In fact, my being there that day was my husband’s birthday gift to me! (Thank you so much honey!) I asked Debra to sign two of her books which I already had (another gift from the hub) and we had a nice little chat. I was so thrilled to have that time with her, and to be present during her presentation the rest of the day, which made that 4 hour drive back home from Santa Barbara not too shabby. During her talk, she mentioned a garden center called Terra Sol, which is just north of Santa Barbara and said that they are coming up with new succulent hybrids. Since I was already in town, I had to check out. I wish I would’ve taken pictures of some of the interesting varieties they have, but I often forget to take pictures when I am enjoying myself so much! I took a couple of some beautiful pots that I drooled over. Can you see the drool marks? Ha!