My Succulents Model for Manju

– Posted in: Succulents

Born and raised in India and now living in San Diego, my friend Manju Raj combines a love of the ornate and colorful with an appreciation of the colors and symmetry of succulents. Recently Manju began making succulent-inspired jewelry. I knew GGW’s readers would enjoy seeing out-of-the-ordinary, garden-inspired earrings and pendants, so I posed a few with the succulents on my patio. (Of course Manju’s jewelry looks good on people, too!) To see more of her items, visit Manju’s website.

Echeveria imbricata pendant w euphorbia

Above: Euphorbia polygona ‘Snowflake’ models an Echeveria imbricata pendant.

Aloe polyphylla earrings w aeonium

Above: Earrings depicting spiral aloes (Aloe polyphylla) dangle from  Aeonium haworthii.

Agave v-r set w agave

Agaves are edgy, keep-away plants. The above earrings and pendant, featuring Agave victoriae-reginae, add some yin to that yang. The model is a rather fierce little Agave xylonacantha.

Aloe polyphylla pendant w aeonium

Above: Manju’s spiral aloe pendant. Below: Sedum nussbaumerianum earrings.

Sedum nus earrings w Sedum nus

Btw, Manju welcomes your comments and constructive criticism. For example, she wanted a red succulent for her line, so she chose a rosy-red Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ hybrid. But does it “read” more like a rose or camellia? (Email her directly, if you like, at

Aeonium pendant w cactus

Are you an artist or designer who, like Manju, has found inspiration in the beauty of succulents? If you sell mail-order, I’d love to see what you’ve come up with. Email me at Thanks!


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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5 Comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Bonnie Wagner December 1, 2013, 8:44 am

That is a fantastic idea and the combo is stunning. I’m sending it to my nephew,
who is a jewelry wholesaler.


michaele anderson December 1, 2013, 8:48 am

These are stunning pieces and their understated complexity are highlighted beautifully by your perceptive pairing with the plant material. The combinations are mesmerizing.

Sarah December 2, 2013, 3:43 am

Beautiful Thanks for sharing. I love the jewelry *and* the succulents! 🙂

Gail Klein December 7, 2013, 5:20 pm

Your continuing exploration all aspects of succulents is welcome and reminds me that one can enjoy them ‘cradle to grave’ (ours as well as theirs) in all living environments. What a blessing.

Candy Suter December 15, 2013, 10:06 pm

I missed this post sweetie! Beautiful jewelry and I love how you show it off!

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