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A Great Article on Succulents

This is a good read if you’re still on the fence about succulents.  They can look very lush and inviting!  Succulents can solve your garden problems.  Call or text me to schedule a consultation on incorporating succulents and other water-wise plants into your landscape.

Mediterranean Landscape mediterranean-landscape
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Color Theory in the Garden

Color In the Gardene

As a Landscape Designer, when discussing ideas and plans with my client, color theory is a very important consideration in the overall look and feeling of your garden.  Colors set the tone and can create peace or chaos.  What is the overall sense that your garden projects?  What environment would you choose to look at, pass through, spend time and entertain in?  The right choice of plants for your outdoor areas can increase the livable space of your home and your enjoyment of it.

Read this excellent article on color theory in the garden by Fran Sorin.

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I found a wonderful little nursery one day…


I was in town for my daughter’s soccer game and heard that there are many inexpensive drought-tolerant nurseries in the OC and further South.  I needed to get some plants real quick for a major landscape design I was doing, so I found this little gem on Google and went there right before closing.  Everything was nicely labeled and the people were warm and helpful.  I’m thinking of driving one hour out of my way again, but hopefully they deliver….  I wanted to pass along some wonderful information they have in their blog which discusses drought tolerant fruit trees and succulents. Sakioka Nursery, Westminster, CAagave-blue-glow-watermarked



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I met Debra Lee Baldwin!

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!


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On growing succulents.  The MOST important tip I’ve learned thus far!

 I wanted to share a little secret with you that has changed my life for the better.  I (and my succulent babies) have truly benefited from my recent use of this water gauge.  If you can see by enlarging this current photo, this echeveria is starting to feel better once I stopped watering it so darn much.  See the new growth in the center?  Before this little baby came into my life, it was too hard to tell if it needed moisture by looking at the soil or sticking my finger in it. (Your finger doesn’t go deep enough, nor would most people want it to.)  I got mine from Amazon for about eight bucks and it has changed my succulents’ lives.  Once a week or so (more often in the Summer) go around and check your succulent pots for moisture levels at least two areas of the same pot.  If it says ‘dry’, give it a little water.  Or, if you have fast draining soil, and don’t want to water too often, give it a good drench.  If it reads anything other than ‘dry,’ pass it by.   Make a habit at first by checking your plants every few days so you can get used to the accurate moisture needs of your plant.  After awhile, you’ll learn, and won’t need to check so often.  It’s especially handy, though, for pots without drainage.  You’ll find that they hardly need water.  This little device is truly life altering and I just don’t understand why more people on Pintrest, Facebook or other sites I frequent haven’t mentioned it.  I must thank Ellyn at Waterwise Garden Center in Torrance for teaching me this little trick.  They know their stuff!