Summer Shadows

– Posted in: Garden Photography, Succulents

Shadows are as much a part of a Southern California summer as sunshine itself. These play with the imagination like a midsummer day’s dream.

Euphorbia shadow_JFR

Above: Flowers of a columnar euphorbia.


Above: Aloe flower and stair rail.


Above: Gazania bloom.


Above: Cyphostemma buds and leaf.


Above: A garden chair seat.
Front, shadows
Above: Pilosocereus pachycladus.


Above: Echeveria agavoides.


Above: Agave colorata.

Pachyphytum pot

Above: Pachyphytum sp.


Above: Ivy.


Above: Aloe ‘Hercules’ at a wholesale nursery.

Above: Texas privet.
Columnar euphorbia_JFR

Another euphorbia.

Aloe shadow, front

Above: Aloe bainesii.


Above: Eeek!

My goal is to share the beauty of waterwise, easy-care succulents in gardens, containers and landscapes via blog postsnewsletterspublic speaking and workshopsphotosvideosmerchandise, and social media (Facebook and Pinterest). My books: Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardensand Succulents Simplified. 

Debra Lee Baldwin
Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored the Timber Press bestsellers Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. Debra is a regular contributor to Sunset and other publications, and her own half-acre garden near San Diego has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens. Debra specializes in showing how to use architectural, waterwise and easy-care succulents in a wide variety of appealing and creative applications.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin

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16 Comments… add one

Leave a Comment

CC July 20, 2013, 8:52 pm

Love the shadows…….sometimes I just do not slow down enough to see the whole pix. the last one – a keeper.:)

Jan Brider July 21, 2013, 1:03 am

Very cool isn’t light amazing!

Gareth July 21, 2013, 1:04 am

For the first time in ten years Glossop the town where I live is having a heat wave and the sun is scorching the grass and making the Tarmac sticky! The other added benefit is I can look into the shadows cast by different plants as in your post!!

Cornish Sam July 21, 2013, 1:34 am

Very interesting

Debra Lee Balwin has an eye for beauty.

Cornish Sam July 21, 2013, 1:36 am

Apologies for misspelt surname.

Jean Marsh July 21, 2013, 10:22 am

Started my morning with a bit of water coloring, and was actually thinking about shadow as I painted and did a few studies. Then I read your article. Perfect. Thanks. Will play this afternoon in the paint box with renewed inspiration!

Patrick July 21, 2013, 3:03 pm

I think this is one of my favorites in a while. Love the hen and chicks.

Margaret (Peggy) Herrman July 21, 2013, 3:08 pm

A simple WOW covers my reaction. Thanks Debra, and thanks, Peggy

Jillian July 22, 2013, 1:23 am

beautiful flowers. Really inspirational! made my morning!

Jessie Bryant July 22, 2013, 10:59 am

Wow! I never thought shadows can be a great subject for photography. I will definitely try this. Thanks for sharing! 😀

John July 22, 2013, 12:17 pm

These are beautiful pictures! Such a unique idea, now I must look at the shadows of my garden!

Debra Lee Baldwin July 23, 2013, 12:47 am

I’m so glad you all enjoyed the post. Aren’t you curious about the last photo? It’s an ant made of cast iron, about a foot long and as high. I got it on a shopping trip to Mexico, and it has since occupied a place of honor near my front door. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep the real thing away.

Lisa@YourEasyGarden July 23, 2013, 3:01 pm

What a creative, original idea! You could make a whole book out of this! Thanks for identifying the plants – and the Eeek! at the end!

Mitch Parker August 3, 2013, 8:21 am

This is really creative. I didn’t know that shadows can produce great and beautiful images. Light is really important in photography. Thanks so much for this lesson. 🙂

Ashley August 12, 2013, 7:47 am

Very creative idea! The pictures of these shadows are so neat. Thanks for posting this!

Cassidy August 15, 2013, 12:08 pm

This is such a fun idea! Succulents do make really great shadows. It’s interesting to step back and look at the “negative” space instead of the plants themselves.