Contact Debra Lee Baldwin

Upcoming Presentations
~Sat., April 18, 10 a.m. Weidner's Gardens, 695 Normandy Rd., Encinitas, CA. Free.
~Sat., May 2, 9 a.m., Roger's Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona Del Mar, CA. Free.

Debra in the garden

SPRING 2015 Workshops and Special Events in My Garden

Welcome to my garden! Located in northeast San Diego county in Hidden Meadows, the garden is in my books and videos, and has been featured in Sunset, Better Homes & Gardens, San Diego Home/Garden and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

When you visit, I’ll take you through the garden and show you…
~ My favorite plants (succulent and otherwise).
~ Design ideas you can apply in your own garden.
~ Numerous container gardens and groupings.
~ Vignettes that aspire to sophisticated whimsy.
~ How I handle challenges such as poor soil, frost, pests and scorching sun.

I’ll also answer your garden and design questions and present you with samples of my star-performing succulents! Workshops are conducted by me and guest designers. Included are all materials, a tour of the garden and refreshments. Space is extremely limited.

Email me to register, or if an event is sold out, to be on the waiting list ~
Fri., April 10, 9 a.m. to noon. Tour, lunch and Succulent Bouquet Workshop. $175. SOLD OUT.
Fri., April 24, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tour, afternoon tea and Succulent Bouquet Workshop. $175. SOLD OUT.
Fri., May 8, 9 to noon. Tour, lunch and Succulent Bouquet Workshop. $175. SOLD OUT.
Sat., May 9, 9 to noon. Tour, lunch and Mother's Day Succulent Bouquet Workshop. $175.
Fri., May 15, Tour, lunch and Perfect Plant-Pot Pairings Workshop with Designer Diana Clark. $195.
Fri., May 22, Tour, lunch, and Make a Succulent Sconce Workshop with Potter Marsha Rafter. $195.
Sat., May 23, 9 to noon. Lunch and Intimate Tour of Debra Lee Baldwin's Garden. $125.
Sun., June 7, 9 to noon. Brunch in Debra’s Garden with Laura Balaoro. $175.

End times are approximate. You’re welcome to stay longer if you like. Email me for more information and to register.

“Thank you for opening your beautiful home and garden to all of us. It was a joy to see you again, meet your husband, your cute little dog Lily and all of the other kind "like minded" attendees. Truly I can not say thank you enough for providing such a wonderful afternoon, between your kindness, the delicious refreshments, your garden tour... my day was full and delightful.” – Sandra Palmer

Have Debra address your group

Garden photojournalist and author Debra Lee Baldwin shows how to use sculptural succulents to add beauty, sophistication and whimsy to gardens and outdoor living spaces. Presentations are one hour (45-50 minutes plus Q&A). Before and after, Debra is available to meet attendees and sign books.

DEBRA'S PRESENTATIONS are customized for each group and updated frequently.

Designing with Succulents. Digital slide presentation. As Debra explains how to cultivate succulents ranging from ground covers to tall trees, you'll discover how succulents offer colors, textures and forms certain to inspire your creativity. She also shows what's new and exciting with architectural, geometric and stylish "plants that drink responsibly." Included are ideas for low-maintenance, easy-care gardens and landscapes; container arrangements perfect for patios, entryways and decks; and suggestions for great-looking, design-oriented projects anyone can do.

Succulent Container Gardens. You recognize appealing potted combos when you see them, but do you know why some have more polish, sophistication and pizazz? As Debra shows the work of acclaimed succulent floral designers, she demystifies their techniques and plant choices, and explains how their work illustrates fundamental design principles. Regardless of your skill level or style preferences, you'll gain greater confidence as you discover how to create succulent container gardens perfect for patios, entryways, and bright indoor areas---and to give as gifts.

Succulent Garden Solutions. Debra shows before-and-after photos of garden vignettes and landscapes that have been enhanced with succulents, gives plant selection and design suggestions, and explains the seasonal maintenance succulent gardens need. Container gardening is included. Primarily for Southern and coastal CA gardeners from the Bay Area south.

Plant Show-and-Tell. Ideal for nurseries. Debra introduces various types of succulents, discusses their care, and describes what makes each interesting and unique. May be piggybacked onto a digital slide presentation and/or followed by a potting demo.

Potting Demo. Debra demonstrates how to create a lovely succulent container garden or bouquet. May be combined with a digital slide presentation and/or plant show-and-tell. View a YouTube video of one of Debra's potting demos at Roger's Gardens nursery, Orange County, CA.

Venue requirements

A SLIDE SHOW requires a digital projector, screen, microphone and darkened room, plus a table and chairs for the book signing.

A PLANT SHOW-AND-TELL OR POTTING DEMO can be done outdoors, and requires a work table, a clip-on microphone, separate table for the book signing, and supplies (nursery plants, pots, soil, water, etc.).

Debra Lee Baldwin

Speaker bio

Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored the Timber Press bestsellers Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. Debra's half-acre garden near San Diego has been featured in the San Diego Union-Tribune and Sunset, Better Homes & Gardens, and San Diego Home/Garden, among other publications. She specializes in showing how to use architectural, waterwise and easy-care succulents in a wide variety of appealing and creative applications.

Debra's perspective on design was fine-tuned as a scout for Sunset magazine, and consequently she acquired what she calls "the Sunset aesthetic.” It’s evident in everything she shows in her books, newsletters, videos and presentations. The title "Queen of Succulents" was bestowed on her by Sunset Garden Editor Kathleen Brenzel at the magazine's Sunset Weekend Celebration, where she and "King of Succulents" Robin Stockwell of Succulent Gardens Nursery (home of the annual Succulent Extravaganza) shared the limelight.

According to Australian nurseryman and author Attila Kapitany, in his address to the biennial convention of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America, "The growing interest in succulents among the gardening public in the US can be attributed primarily to one person: Debra Lee Baldwin."

Comments from event organizers and attendees

"You received many accolades at our board meeting for your presentation. There were over 400 people there, an all-time record. It will go down as one of the most memorable evenings. What you are doing is magic." ~ Judy Bradley, events chairperson, San Diego Horticultural Society

"Presentation was superb...Very articulate, interesting, humorous and enthusiastic...Great speaker--best of the day--I never wanted succulents before but I now have a list to incorporate into my garden...Lively and dynamic speaker. Beautiful photos, relevant subject...Great slideshow--didn't want it to end...Loved it--we need more classes like this...Bring her back!" ~ Attendees at the UCCE Master Gardeners spring symposium

"Debra Lee Baldwin and her books have lit up the gardening world." ~ Ron Vanderhoff, nursery manager, Roger's Gardens, Orange County, CA

"Debra, you have given so much and have so much more to give. If there is any one thing I am convinced of about you, it is that while you have been a force in helping and motivating people to be adventurous with succulent plants, you are uniquely you...a writer, teacher, artist and more." ~ Robin Stockwell, owner, Succulent Gardens Nursery, Castroville, CA

Debra Lee Baldwin


Debra is a popular guest on garden radio shows from coast to coast.

John Bagnasco, co-host of Garden America, a national garden talk radio show, says, "Debra is the expert who has made cactus and succulents exciting. Whenever I'm asked about them I mention her and her books."


Debra Lee Baldwin's past speaking engagements include:

Epcot Center International Flower & Garden Festival, Orlando, FL
Sunset Magazine's Spring Weekend Festival
Eco-Xpo, San Juan Capistrano, CA
Succulent Celebration near San Diego
Iowa Arboretum
Honolulu Garden Club
Garden Club of America National Hort Conference
Debra Lee Baldwin, Ruth Bancroft Gardens Philadelphia International Flower Show
San Francisco Flower & Garden Show
Huntington Botanical Gardens
Northwest Flower & Garden Show, Seattle
Succulent Extravaganza near San Francisco
Yard, Garden & Patio Show, Portland
San Francisco Botanical Garden
Denver Botanical Garden
San Diego Botanic Garden
Los Angeles Arboretum
Water Conservation Garden, El Cajon, CA
Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CA
Master Gardener Seminars, San Diego and Orange counties
University of California, Davis
University of California, Berkeley
Charleston, S.C. Horticultural Society
Roger's Gardens nursery, Corona del Mar, CA
Sherman Gardens, Corona del Mar, CA
Descanso Gardens, La Canada Flintridge, CA
Debra Lee Baldwin, Roger's Gardens Spring Garden Show, South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA
San Diego County Fair
San Diego Horticultural Society
Spring Home/Garden Show, San Diego
Cal State Flower & Garden Show, Cal Expo, Sacramento
Junior League of Pasadena
Cactus & Succulent Society of America (CSSA) biennial convention
CSSA affiliates in California, Arizona and Texas
Public libraries, various locations
Garden clubs, various locations
Bookstores, various locations
Nurseries, wholesale and retail, various locations

Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra being interviewed by a Bay Area film crew. Photo by Rebecca Sweet.

Contact Debra for more information.

My goal is to share the beauty of waterwise, easy-care succulents in gardens, containers and landscapes via blog posts, newsletters, public speaking and workshops, photos, videos, merchandise, and social media (Facebook and Pinterest). My books: Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. ~ Debra Lee Baldwin