Debra Lee Baldwin specializes in showing how top floral and garden designers use dynamic, sculptural succulents in a wide variety of eye-catching applications.
Her own garden, which has been in Sunset and Better Homes & Gardens, is in the foothills northeast of San Diego, where temps range from below freezing to upwards of 100 degrees.
Succulents, Debra explains, “are plants that drink responsibly. They store water in fleshy leaves and stems to survive dry spells, like when you forget to water them. They’re a terrific option for good-looking, low-maintenance landscapes and containers.”
Debra, a garden photojournalist, got her start writing about homes, gardens, architecture and interior design for the San Diego Union-Tribune, then went on to scout, write and shoot for major magazines. In 2005, her editor at Sunset suggested she do a book on succulents. “That changed my life,” Debra says.
Debra’s latest book, Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties, introduces the best succulents for gardens and containers, explains how to grow and use them, and gives step-by-step methods for design-oriented projects.
“Succulents Simplified is a guide for novice enthusiasts, a quick reference for anyone seeking a good overview, and a vehicle for design ideas I’m excited about,” Debra says. “Throughout the book, I give my perspective on a subject that has become my passion.”
Her first gardening book, Designing with Succulents, came out in 2007 and spent 19 weeks on Amazon's list of the Top Ten Bestselling Gardening Books. The sequel, Succulent Container Gardens (2010), topped the charts as well. Like Succulents Simplified, both are from Timber Press, the nation’s leading publisher of gardening books.
Additionally, Debra shares her photos and expertise via articles, blog posts, newsletters, workshops, YouTube videos and on her website, http://www.debraleebaldwin.com. She is an in-demand speaker on the horticultural circuit, and she keeps in daily contact with succulent enthusiasts worldwide via email and Facebook.