I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days with Debra Lee Baldwin, author of two excellent books about gardening with succulents, including a wonderful guide to using succulents in container gardens. Perhaps best of all, I got to spend the night in Debra’s guest bedroom, which looks out onto her gardens. I’m trying not to brag, but I also got to tour Debra’s gardens twice, once with Jean Ann Van Krevlen, and the second time with three talented landscapers in tow. Lucky for you, I took a lot of photos…
Of course a succulent aficionado like Debra fills even her window boxes with succulents. Whether she is looking to highlight the color or shape of a plant, or to frame a view, everything in Debra’s garden is done with intention. Here, she has combined three types of succulents, all with colors reminiscent of a sunset. It’s also a balanced composition in the sense that there are large, medium, and finely cut leaves, with the tallest plant (Firesticks – Euphorbia tirucalli ‘rosea’) in the center, flanked by Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives,’ and graptopetalum paraguayense ‘pinky’ spilling over the side.
Another thing I noticed in Debra’s garden was her affection for one of a kind pottery. She is slowly amassing a collection of hand thrown pots created by ceramic artists and sold at succulent and cactus shows. Debra feels that these pots reflect the natural habitat of succulents and better show off their innate beauty. I have to say, I agree. Also notice that Debra top dressed the soil of those container with small, rounded pebbles.
This is another unique pot. Debra drilled small holes in pieces of broken pottery and created a “necklace” by stringing them on a long piece of wire. There’s also another necklace with beads on it. What a great way to dress up a terra cotta pot!
I’ll finish my tour of Debra’s succulents with this interesting contrast. A water feature surrounded by drought tolerant plants. I hope the birds that use this bath enjoy the view of Debra’s garden as much as I did!
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