Muertos that Garden? ¡Claro!

– Posted in: Succulents

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

– Posted in: Succulents

"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 [...]

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 Circuitous Route to Writing Success

– Posted in: Succulents
Screen shot 2015-04-19 at 3.18.23 PM

When Designing with Succulents became a bestseller in 2007, few people knew what was really going on with me. I'm sharing it now because it might encourage others to persevere through difficult times. A bit of backstory: For half my life, I didn't live up to my potential due to fear of failure. A highly accomplished writer whom I liked, admired and envied [...]