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Designing With Succulents | Book Review

Designing with Succulents

A book review on Designing With Succulents by Debra Lee Baldwin.  Having a landscape with succulents might be easier than it seems. Succulents offer plentiful colors, textures and shapes that provide stunning project possibilities for any landscape designer and gardeners. Moreover, succulents are very resistant to drought due to their water storage in their leaves, stems, and/or roots. Due to this fact, many landscape designers have been using theses species to create a xeriscape, reducing the need for supplemental water from irrigation. Debra Lee Baldwin, who is completely in love with succulents, share with us in her book “Designing With Succulents” some of hers and other people experiences of working with succulents over the years. Following her tips, advice and thorough explanations about how to work with these magnificent plants, you will be able to create and maintain your own succulent garden.

Designing with Succulents

Front cover of Designing with Succulents. Photo credit: Sarah Suassuna

Designing With Succulents

The book is divided in two parts, “Design and Cultivation” and Plant Palette, with a total of ten clear and well-organized chapters, resulting in a comprehensive and didactic guide. In each chapter the author focus in a different subject and, together, prepare the readers not only to design a succulent garden, but also to maintain it. The Part One, which consists from Chapter One to Six, is about Succulents’ Design and Cultivation. If you are new in the garden field, you will find, in this part, the information needed to start. In the course of the Chapter One, the author makes a great description of some initial characteristics that are important to consider such as insolation analysis, soil evaluation, water and irrigation design, preparation of the garden and how to maintain it. This chapter touches on all the planning stages that the readers should respect when designing a garden with succulents. Other more general explanations made by the author, for those who are beginning to understand a garden, are about basic concepts of Garden Design such as Scale and Proportion, and Repetition and Contrast. In this chapter, you can also find some beautiful pictures of front yards, slopes, and terraces.

Designing with Succulents.

Inside the book, Designing with Succulents. Photo credit: Sarah Suassuna

How to Work With the Succulents Colors Departing from basic concepts and advancing into more practical topics, Debra tells us, in Chapter Two, how to work with the succulents colors from the leaves to the flowers and from your front yard to pairing plants and pots. In addition, you can find a short list of succulents organized by color as to the leaves, and by shape as to the flowers to support species selection. Get it HERE!
Designing with Succulents

Inside the book, Designing with Succulents. Photo credit: Sarah Suassuna

Excellent Design Exmples Included Throughout Chapter Tree, the readers will find several possibilities of outdoors succulents’ gardens. Many of the design examples, such as green roof, rock, desert, beach or even labyrinth gardens might hook and surprise the reader given the unexpected result. Likewise Chapter Tree, Chapter Four is about the various possibilities of use of succulents in small places from pots to wreaths. Different from previous chapters, from Chapter Five to Chapter Six readers will find more information about how to maintain the succulents garden. While in Chapter Five, the author explain how to deal with succulents in a colder climate, in Chapter Six the author knowledgeably share with us her terrific experience about what did work and did not work for her in situations that she needed to get rid of weeds. Moreover, she gives us some planting and propagation tips, completing the maintenance reference guide. Get it HERE!
Designing with Succulents

Inside the book, Designing with Succulents. Photo credit: Sarah Suassuna

Important Details Make This Book Worth it! In Part Two, which consists of Chapter Seven to Nine, the author concentrates her attention in succulents’ species. Readers will find some well-organized lists divided over three consecutive chapters: “Tall and Immense,” “Midsized, Small Succulents”, and “Companion Plants”. Since this part of the book works more as a guide, it might be unexciting to some readers, but, at the same time, it is what was missing to make a whole book for anyone willing to work with such plants.
Designing with Succulents

Inside the book, Designing with Succulents. Photo credit: Sarah Suassuna

Why would anybody get this book? In summary, if you are a gardener, a landscape designer, a teacher or even someone who is a succulent lover, this is a must have book. Following the steps and tips written by Debra Lee Baldwin, you certainly will be able to plan, plant and maintain any succulent garden. In the end, you will see that taking care of succulents is much easier than you initially thought, and the final result will pay off.
Designing with Succulents

Inside the book, Designing with Succulents. Photo credit: Sarah Suassuna

Pick up your copy of Designing With Succulents today!

Article by Sarah Suassuna Return to Homepage

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