Gardening from the couch: Succulent Container Gardens
She was writing about some of the most beautiful homes and gardens in Southern California when Debra Lee Baldwin noticed that more and more designers were using succulents in landscape designs.
Not only did they go well with the arid climate, but their lines and colors mixed well with contemporary architecture and its dramatic lines.
And, like so many of us who write about gardens, she began to purchase them for her own garden.
"It has become politically incorrect out here to have a lawn," said the author of the new book, "Succulent Container Gardens."
Succulents are the answer. "They like water and they look more lush and lovely when they get it. But they will make it through dry weather. They will hunker down and drain their leaves."
Photo credits: Debra Lee Baldwin
We gardeners in the Mid-Atlantic may not think about using succulents, but we should.
And Debra's new book, with dozens of photos of eye-catching plant and pot combinations, tells us how.
With plenty of drainage, succulents in pots can handle the early season rain we often get in our micro-climate. And, better yet, succulents can handle the August-Septembers heat and drought without missing a beat.
And no worries about who is going to water while we are on vacation!
"They don't like to be cold and wet," Debra warned. But many varieties will go dormant in the protected cold of a winter garage and re-emerge in spring. The cold actually encourages blooming.
Planting them in containers makes it that much easier to move them inside for the winter.
And dotting the garden with these imaginative plant/pot combinations can add interest during a lull in blooming.
Lawn and garden centers, even here in in the East, are carrying more succulents and others can be ordered on-line. Succulents are easy to propigate, too, if you have someone who will share.
Like Debra, I have been seduced by succulents, and I am going to plant my deck pots with them this year.
It will be such a different look.
And such a relieve not to have to water morning and night.
I am giving away two copies of Succulent Container Gardens. I will randomly choose a couple of winners from among those posting comments here.