Succulent Extravaganza Recap

– Posted in: Succulents

The Succulent Extravaganza at Succulent Gardens nursery near San Francisco was an opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones. I gave two presentations and was busy signing books, but I didn’t forget my dear friends at GGW. Here are a few highlights I hope you’ll enjoy. Photo of me by Rebecca Sweet. 


Cathy Leiss of Brisbane, CA wore a succulent headband. The green of the rosettes contrasted beautifully with her auburn hair. Cathy’s a little shy.


The Succulent Fanatics, a Facebook group founded by San Jose master gardener Laura Balaoro, had a display table with creations by members. Some of the items they made were whimsical.


Laura Balaoro filled a coffee cup and martini glass with succulents.


She made this succulent-bedecked bracelet, worn by her friend, Jeanne Eige, too. Laura also gave a presentation showing how to decorate hats with succulents.


Katie Christiansen of Seattle embellished a photo tryptic, which was displayed on the table, with delicate garlands of succulents.


Danielle Romero of California Cactus Center in Pasadena made this composition. I love the way the sansevieria explodes upward and frames a gorgeous, red-edged aeonium. Wouldn’t it be fun to work for a nursery that lets you creatively combine succulents in compositions like this, each one different? Danielle and husband Michael Romero—also a garden designer—brought their baby boy, Mikey, who stole the show.

SFDanielle Romero

Succulent Fanatic Deana Rae McMillion Shroll wore a hat decorated with a band of succulent rosettes.


Tony Krock of Terra Sol Nursery in Santa Barbara demonstrated how to core agaves—a propagation technique. If you carve out the central core of an agave, it stimulates the meristem tissue to produce new little plants. Although this sounds drastic, it’s better than waiting years for an agave to bloom.


Another member of the Succulent Fanatics Facebook group, Kim Jordan Bryce, made necklaces for the members who attended the event. This is the card she gave me with mine. It shows a painting by a friend of hers who is an artist.

SFKim Jordan Bryce

Jen Golden wore an entire succulent garden on her hat. She admitted it was rather heavy.

SFJen Golden

Behind the presenters, the succulent globe that nursery owner Robin Stockwell made for the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show revolved slowly. It was one of the event’s must-see attractions. Nothing like it has been done before—it takes vertical gardens to a whole new level. (For more information on the globe, see my earlier post.) Here, Marialuisa Kaprielian demonstrates how to wire succulent rosettes, with Robin and wife Sanne looking on.


Marialuisa is a San Diego florist specializing in succulents, and at the Extravaganza, she showed how to make a wedding bouquet that combines succulents with flowers.


Marialuisa’s bouquet was used soon afterwards by a bride for her wedding.


Presenters Kim and Kristin Scheidt, a mother-daughter design team, repurposed a fishing creel as a container for succulents.

Kim and Kristin Scheidt

Garden designer Gary Bartl of San Rafael, north of San Francisco, demonstrated his technique of combining rocks and succulents to make a miniature garden that suggests a rocky wilderness.


This one features rose quartz.


A relative (daughter-in-law, I think) of the Stockwells made cupcakes decorated with fondant succulents.


Would you have liked to have attended the Extravaganza? I’d love to know what aspect of it interests you the most.
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
8 comments… add one

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Donna Jones October 6, 2013, 9:16 am

Hi Debra, The Extravaganza was such fun and it was fun to meet you! I just did a post about it as well and shared your awesome book! It’s here: I’m working on some plantings after getting so many good ideas from you at your class…thanks! Donna Jones

Jeannine October 6, 2013, 9:53 am

I love the martini glass and stirrer!

Pam October 6, 2013, 10:58 am

Wow! What a great bunch of creative people at last weekends event! So wish I could have gone!

Kelly October 6, 2013, 11:33 am

This looks like such an unique event. I think it would have been fun to be around other succulent lovers.

Susan October 6, 2013, 3:05 pm

Thanks so much for the follow up report, making not being able to attend, almost tolerable. Every example you included is of interest!!! Kudos to all. Succulent Gardens is most generous and wonderful.

Candy Suter October 6, 2013, 3:20 pm

So much fun! You got some super duper pics! I think everyone had a terrific time! Can’t wait for next year!

Parker October 6, 2013, 5:13 pm

Everything looks so vibrant and unique. I wish I could’ve been there to get a tour of the grounds.

Melody October 29, 2013, 2:20 pm

I love every single thing, but I’m most intrigued by combining rocks & crystals with succulents. I see a new project on my horizon. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

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