a visit to Succulent Gardens

Last Friday I visited Succulent Gardens in Castroville CA for their big extravaganza. There were excellent speakers scheduled, and since I have a thing for succulents, I NEEDed to go! Spent the entire day there, reluctantly departing at 4 p.m. when the event was over. What an experience! So overwhelmed with all of the beautiful succulents and great ideas. I am pretty sure another trip is in order... 

I have been feeling a pull towards my gardening, landscape and color planting side of my life. I spent many years in the retail nursery industry, and I find that I miss that part of my history. I am an avid gardener, it is part of ME, it is what I do and is one of the things that makes me the happiest- being in the garden! 
I would love to get back into working with clients to beautify their gardens. I especially enjoy what I call "landscape decorating"; or dressing up an area, making it look interesting and pretty. This trip filled my head with all sorts of new ideas and inspiration for potted plant gardens, water-conscious gardening, and floral design. All my favorite things! For me, gardening is a way of life, my hobby and my business! 

Living wreaths
I got to listen to Debra Lee Baldwin, author of Succulent Container Gardens; Baylor Chapman of Lila B Design; Flora Grubb of Flora Grubb Gardens both from San Francisco; and David Leroy of Bernard Trainor + Associates of Monterey. 
All of the speakers were very interesting and informative, discussing the future of gardening in California, in regards to watering and the trends they are seeing coming up. 
Baylor showed some great ideas for using succulents in floral arranging and using interesting containers to plant them in. The lighting made it impossible to take pictures in the seminars, so you'll have to take my word for it. Flora talked about gardening with low water use in mind, giving the client color, beauty and a lush look without using so much valuable water.
David Leroy of Bernard Trainor spoke about "Succulents in Contemporary California Landscapes". His slide show was breathtaking! Take a look at their website to see the fantastic landscapes they have designed. Some of the sites brought chills- think California coastline, cliffs, dunes, views for miles.

A few shots from around the nursery-

Sempervivums in display garden
Sempervivum, Echveria and Agave
This is the natural color! 
A heart-shaped tapestry of colorful succulent varieties

 Do you see something you need in your garden? I'd love to make something for you.


  1. Hi, Laurie -- It's so interesting to see what caught your eye. You shot things at the Succulent Extravaganza that I missed. Honestly, I wish I'd had another day there. Maybe next year I'll come a day early just to do photography.

  2. Hi Laurie, Thanks for stopping by my blog. And can I tell you I am so jealous us your succulents! They are crazy expensive here on the Easy Coast.

    1. hahah! I can't believe I just wrote Easy Coast instead of East. NYC is most certainly not an easy city!

    2. That's funny, some would say California is the "easy" coast! It is easy to grow many things here, including succulents. Though there are some that don't survive our winter here without some protection. Thanks for taking time to stop by. I always enjoy your creations.


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