Tuesday, 20 August 2013
Review of a new book on Succulents
This review comes from Andrew Sloane, who visited us November last year & told us how he had designed and created his fabulous new gardens - with cacti etc.
This book on succulents is very good, especially for succulent novices. I have read it from cover to cover and have penned the attached review for the MGS magazine in January.
SUCCULENTS SIMPLIFIED by Debra Lee Baldwin
Timber Press...$24.95 RRP
Debra Lee Baldwin is one of California's leading lights in writing about and giving talks on succulents and this is her third book following the success of “Designing with Succulents” and “Succulent Container Gardens”.
This book has three different sections. Part 1 deals with basic growing and design techniques such as watering needs, fertilising and how to propagate through cuttings. Part 2 goes into more sophisticated design ideas for the garden, pots and also how to make succulent bouquets with practical advice about how to combine or contrast different colours, textures and varieties. Part 3 lists her 100 favourite succulent plants which she has successfully cultivated in California including a half-page description, photo, botanical and common name and practical tips about growing them as well as providing details on mature size and hardiness of each plant.
It is a very well presented book in large paper-back form with excellent photos. As I am enjoying cultivating aloes, Part 3's listing of 16 different aloe varieties was of particular interest for me, although I felt she could have explained how to grow these from seed. This defect is probably due to the tremendous amount of succulent nursery gardens that abound in California so that cultivators can buy a small plant rather than start from seed, which is not so much the case in Europe.
This is a perfect book for a novice succulent collector but also will provide design ideas and lots of enjoyment for more sophisticated succulent gardeners. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anybody interested in learning more about succulent plants.