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"In her new book, Succulents Simplified:Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties, Baldwin even tells of a Jade plant that has lasted for more than two decades in her garden with various stages of neglect! Besides needing low-water, most succulents need minimal maintenance. We are so done with whiners and prima donnas! (Sorry, Roses.)"
"This fresh and entertaining volume certainly deserves a green thumbs up."
When people ask me how I became interested in succulents, I tell them I toured an amazing succulent garden on assignment for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Horticulturist Patrick Anderson and his aloe garden opened my eyes to the beauty of succulents and their potential in garden design.
Yet even as I say this, around the edges of my awareness floats a much earlier memory. I was eight or nine years old when I went with my mother to a home in a wealthy community for an occasion I don't remember. When we returned home, my mother described the house to my father: "Big picture windows, but imagine having to clean them. Views of the golf course, but the property is too steep. Surrounded by trees, but they shed leaves and bark. Big deck off the living room, but no garden."
No garden? There had been an astonishing one, in pots on the deck, with plants unlike any I'd seen before. They looked like eels, starfish, and coral. One was a perfect little sphere with a green-and-maroon herringbone pattern. Others were necklaces of blue-gray buttons, rubbery silver-blue roses, and sticks of green chalk with windowed tips.
My mother concluded wistfully, "Maybe someday Debbie will have a house like that."
Why would I want it, I wondered, if it came with dirty windows, messy trees, and near-vertical land? On the other hand, who wouldn't want that deck garden? It became something I longed for, along with a saltwater aquarium, a hot air balloon, and an unlimited supply of chocolate marshmallows.
I no longer want any of those, but succulents continue to seduce me. I'm that little girl again when I see a succulent I haven't seen before, or even a well-grown one I may have seen dozens of times. You might assume I have a vast collection, and although I do own dozens of varieties, I don't consider myself a collector. Fascination need not be possession. I'm equally happy looking at succulents in a nursery, at a show, or in someone else's garden. In particular, I enjoy capturing and recording succulents' myriad shapes and textures with my camera.
For most of my career, I've written about all sorts of plants. Words are still my first love, but nothing describes a plant or a garden as well as a photo. As I practice this art form, I often think of how "photography" means "writing with light." Camera in hand, I circle a succulent, looking for the best light. In slanted early morning or late afternoon sun, red margins burn neon bright, spines incandesce, fuzzy filaments shimmer, and leaves reveal glowing hues of rose, orange, purple, and blue. As you might imagine, it was difficult to winnow the selection of photos for my books. So many have merit, or illustrate an important point, and I was continually thinking, "But I have to show them this one!"
Succulents Simplified, my third book about succulents, is a kind of prequel to the previous two. It's a guide for novice enthusiasts, a quick reference for anyone seeking an overview, and a vehicle for presenting design ideas I'm excited about. Throughout, I share my perspective on a subject that has become my passion.
My husband loves this book! It's beautifully illustrated and easy to use....a real winner!Published 17 days ago by Janet P.
This book is a great reference for anyone looking to start their own indoor or outdoor garden.Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
Beautiful photos--and very helpful advice and guidance in establishing a succulents garden. Definitely worth purchasing to add to your personal garden! Enjoy!!Published 1 month ago by Nimble Fingers
Beautiful book, filled with information and striking pictures. A great gift for plant-loving friends. Author has continued with another of her successful, informational books.Published 1 month ago by C. Patricia Carlson