Seen at the Succulent Extravaganza

– Posted in: Succulents

Admittedly, this year’s Succulent Extravaganza at Succulent Gardens nursery near San Francisco was a bit of a blur for me. When I arrived, I quickly assembled plants and supplies for the two presentations I was giving; set up the book table and signed and sold books; and briefly said hello to friends I see just once or twice a year—including my GGW co-blogger, Saxon Holt. It was so hot and humid my hair had a mind of its own, and I mopped off all my makeup. Even so, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Were you there? If so, please assure me I managed to look and sound less freakish than I felt!

I knew I was at the right place when I saw this license plate in the parking lot:

Aloe license_annotated_resized

The Succulent Fanatics Facebook group had a table displaying a variety of creative and decorative design ideas.


The group’s founder, Master Gardener Laura Balaoro of San Jose, brought a whimsical composition of succulent cupcakes.


San Rafael garden designer Gary Bartl posed with one of his Sierrascapes (in a Mark Muradian pot) in front of Saxon’s display of photo posters.


 What a cute and clever idea—succulents in a three-tiered hanging fruit basket from a second-hand shop:
The nursery owner told me this succulent heart was broken (some symbolism there, perhaps). I advised they should fix it, prop it upright, and use it to draw couples who want an unusual engagement photo. Just think how many succulents they’d sell to people using succulents as a wedding theme.
 It’s not difficult to pull off a presentation when the plants are this lovely. Ruffled echeverias speak for themselves. IMG_2292resized
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
3 comments… add one

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joan carroll, mg retired October 7, 2015, 8:35 am

lovely pictures. I’m only armchair traveling now. Thank you.

commonweeder October 7, 2015, 10:02 am

I wasn’t at the Succulent extravaganza but on our trip to California recently we did get to admire many succulents – which are not as prevalent, or at least not as dramatic and extravagant. Wonderful photos.

Laura Balaoro February 1, 2016, 6:03 pm

Thanks for sharing my whimsical cupcake succulent composition Debra. Great photo.

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