Debra Lee Baldwin

Succulents That Like Stress

– Posted in: Succulents
Stress, Aloe dorothaea (sc)

If there's a good thing about our too-hot Southern California summers, it's that heat makes certain succulents turn color. A case in point is Aloe nobilis, which in my garden grows in nutrient-poor decomposed granite with minimal water. In winter, the same plant reverts to green. Such "stressed" succulents---which seal moisture in their leaves as [...]

My Garden’s Blue Belly Lizards

– Posted in: Miscellaneous
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 [...]

The Naomi Campbell of Succulents

– Posted in: Succulents
Euphorbia meloformis

I was pairing some newly acquired succulents with containers I had kicking around, and discovered that one plant in particular, Euphorbia meloformis, looks great in just about anything. It's symmetry, ridges, stripes and red-green-brown hues make it the Naomi Campbell of succulents. Similar to spherical Euphorbia obesa (baseball plant), Euphorbia meloformis is whimsical, visually appealing, easy to grow, [...]

Barbra Streisand’s Secluded ’70s Retreat

– Posted in: Garden Visits
Art Deco gate

  For nearly a decade, I covered homes, gardens, architecture and design for the San Diego Union-Tribune, visiting the city's (and sometimes Southern CA's) most gorgeous homes. One of the most memorable was Barbra Streisand's multi-house compound in Malibu (she has since moved, and no, I didn't meet her). I own the article's copyright, so for your [...]