Gardens of Alcatraz – Update

Alcatraz gardens in the ruins

No, this is not the view from Alcatraz, The Rock, the old prison in San Francisco Bay.  I am on vacation, relaxing on a family reunion at the beach.. So I have pulled a post from July 2009 with an update on the Gardens of Alcatraz. I was recently invited by The Garden Conservancy to tour the[...]

Debra’s Cactus Cupcakes

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You’ve seen cupcakes that look like cactus. Isn’t it time cactus looked like cupcakes? I came up with the idea when I was hosting a gathering of succulent-loving friends.  It led to my latest video, “Cactus Cupcakes,” in which I show how domino cacti (echinopsis) are easily transformed into party favors. Each fetching little cactus is nestled in a silicone cupcake[...]

Early Light in the Bancroft Garden

Bancroft Garden

Recently I photographed at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, about an hour from my home, and needed to arrive before dawn. The Bancroft Garden is one of the most iconic gardens in America, full of mature cactus and succulents in a summer-dry climate, a testimonial to Ruth’s plant choices 50 years ago and successful gardening[...]

On Instagram, Nobody Cares About Your Dog

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I’m currently celebrating having attained 10,000 Instagram followers by giving away all four of my books! See details.  Instagram is pure eye-candy, one luscious photo right after another. Captions tend to be brief or nonexistent. If you have a favorite topic, such as “echeverias,” you can scroll through glorious echeveria photos simply by searching for #echeverias. Not only does[...]