Landscape Panoramas 2017

As I photographed California landscapes in 2017, I found myself composing lots of panorama photos. I visited a number of expansive landscapes in my quest to find inspiration for gardeners in adapting to our summer-dry climate.  Using panorama cropping to evoke a sense of wide open spaces, my journeys started in the early spring when[...]

Echeverias, the Loveliest of Succulents

Is any plant lovelier than a ruffled echeveria, especially one in hues of magenta, lavender, bronze or gold? These rosette succulents are soaring in popularity, and new cultivars are being introduced all the time…like this amazing indigo variety from Wright Nurseries: Look for echeverias throughout my books, in many of my videos, and enjoy photos of[...]

Fire Recovery in Northern California

The devastating Northern California firestorm that swept through Mendocino,  Napa, and Sonoma Counties in October left the earth scorched. Now less than three months later we begin to see the landscape recovering. With a few inches of blessed rain since the fires, the annual grasses have started to green up, creating a eerie juxtaposition to[...]

Succulents as Firebreak

Dr. Camille Newton of Bonsall, CA, texted me immediately after the Lilac Fire to say that eight homes on her street had been destroyed, yet hers was unharmed. “Succulents saved the day,” she said.  Such reports aren’t unprecedented. Suzy Schaefer’s succulent garden in Rancho Santa Fe “saved our home,” she told me (and national media) after the Witch[...]

Succulent Topiary Holiday Tree

A succulent topiary tree holiday centerpiece needs less care than a floral arrangement and lasts much longer—several months or more. Its requirements are similar to those of a succulent wreath: bright but not intense light (rotate occasionally for even exposure), weekly watering (from the top, to evenly moisten the moss), and pinching back if cuttings[...]