Debra Lee Baldwin

Muertos that Garden? ¡Claro!

MrMsMuertos600x600_annotated

I love the culture of Latin America, especially Dia de los Muertos (All Saints Day, Nov. 1). It’s a celebration of loved ones who have passed away and who, one day a year, return to be honored and fondly remembered. Depictions of los muertos show them happily doing things they enjoyed in life, and are a charming, highly collectible folk[...]

KPBS-TV in My Garden

IMG_1655

“As the market for water thirsty plants dries up, sales of cacti and succulents are thriving — and San Diego’s North County is ground zero for all things succulent.” So begins a segment on KPBS-TV by Alison St. John, a bureau chief who has been covering local issues for decades. Alison interviewed me in my garden[...]

My Garden’s Blue Belly Lizards

IMG_1557annotated_resized

If you garden in the Southwest, doubtless you have Western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis), also known as blue bellies. They do push-up displays on boulders and scurry if you get too close. They’re part of my garden’s ecosystem, and I’m grateful to them for eating insects. Other than that, I seldom gave them a thought…until recently. Boys visited this summer—my[...]

After the Lawn: A Front Yard of Succulents

Gleason5, 1.15, 1 yr_2

Chris and John Gleason of San Diego did a brave thing: They tore out a perfectly fine front yard. Most people who want to save water merely let their lawns die and replace them with less thirsty plants. The Gleasons went several steps further. They got rid of a healthy ornamental plum tree and a privacy hedge that[...]