Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing, & Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties by Debra Lee Baldwin

(Timber Press, 2013)

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If you crave some winter color or are simply looking forward to summer planting, consider adding some succulents to your life. Once you get started, they are so easy to propagate that it may be hard to stop collecting. Succulent expert Debra Lee Baldwin offers an excellent guide to the geometric plants with her latest book, Succulents Simplified.

The author, a garden photojournalist, took most of the book’s photographs, which showcase the uniqueness of these “plants that drink responsibly.” Her friendly, informative tone makes for an enjoyable read. This book is overflowing with inspiration for growing and designing with succulents.

Part one contains basic care tips and advice for incorporating succulents both inside and outside your home. Baldwin provides instruction on using the colors, sizes, and shapes of these varied plants to make a statement. She describes how to propagate succulents, identify common problems, select plants to suit a particular area in the garden, and freshen up an overgrown container.

Part two features how-to projects with step-by-step instructions, but creative ideas are actually sprinkled throughout the book. Discover ways to work succulents into flower arrangements, create low-maintenance container gardens or vertical gardens, and embellish hair accessories, party favors, and holiday ornaments.

In part three, Baldwin recommends 100 easy-care succulents. From sempervivums to sedums and cacti to echeverias, it includes many unusual and beautiful plants you will want to try.

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