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 art. Imagine my delight in discovering beautifully made muertos who garden!

Maria Isabella

I filled Maria Isabella’s basket with succulent cuttings—aeonium rosettes and haworthias—but any kind would work.


Juanito’s terracotta ollas hold tillandsias.

Mr. and Mrs. Muerto and I have an announcement: They’re the first items for sale in my new online shop, just in time for fall decorating, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and holiday gift-giving!

Each sturdy figure is approximately 14″ tall, made of papier mache, and has a base for stability. Price: $29 apiece or $49 for the pair. Supplies are limited. Each item is handmade, so details vary. Plants are not included.

For Thanksgiving, I’ll fill Maria Isabella’s basket with tiny squash or pumpkins. In spring, the Muertos will carry big bouquets of dried flowers. At get-togethers, Maria Isabella will present spicy nuts or hard candies, and Juanito, toothpicks.

Can you help me with ideas for other occasions?

I also may line Maria Isabella’s basket with plastic, add cactus mix and plant it with succulent cuttings. (As with any nondraining container, I’ll water very sparingly.) The cuttings shown here, though not planted, should last a month or more. The tillandsias need semiweekly soakings to keep them hydrated.

Que tengas un día maravilloso en su jardín!



Debra Lee Baldwin
Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified, all Timber Press bestsellers. Her goal is to enhance others' enjoyment and awareness of waterwise plants and gardens by showcasing the beauty and design potential of succulents via books, articles, newsletters, photos, videos, social media and more. Debra and husband Jeff live in the foothills north of San Diego. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Her hobbies include thrifting, birding and watercolor painting. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin
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