New book released by Hidden Meadows resident, Debra Lee Baldwin


Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin has just released the tenth anniversary, second edition of her bestseller, “Designing with Succulents,” a book that launched worldwide interest in succulent plants.  Timber Press, the nation’s largest publisher of gardening books, is the publisher.

The completely-revised edition of “Designing with Succulents” is “basically a brand new book,” Baldwin says. “It had to be. An awful lot has happened in the world of succulents and design since the title’s initial release.” Illustrated with 400 photos—100 more than the first edition—“it encapsulates the essentials of the original along with a decade’s worth of appealing and innovative ideas,” Baldwin says.

Baldwin, who lives in Hidden Meadows, calls succulents “plants that drink responsibly” because they store water in fleshy leaves and stems in order to withstand dry spells.

Like the plants she specializes in, Baldwin is something of a global phenomenon, having produced 200 YouTube videos with combined views of nearly 3,000,000. She also has tens of thousands of followers on social media, produces a popular e-newsletter, maintains a comprehensive website (, and speaks far and wide at major garden venues. In June, Baldwin was named “Horticulturist of the Year” by the San Diego Horticultural Society—a lifetime achievement award—for her efforts in promoting awareness and appreciation of succulents.

Australian nurseryman and author Attila Kapitany, in his address to the biennial convention of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America, credited Baldwin as the “primary person responsible for the growing interest in succulents on the part of the gardening public.”

Pat Welsh of Del Mar, CA, author of “Southern California Gardening Month-by-Month”, praises Baldwin’s books as “the very best and most useful on the subject of succulent gardening.” Others by Baldwin are “Succulent Container Gardens” and “Succulents Simplified”.

Baldwin will launch her new book and speak on the topic of “Designing with Succulents in the New San Diego Garden” at the San Diego Horticultural Society meeting, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Monday Oct. 9, Congregation Beth Israel, 9001 Towne Centre Dr., University Towne Centre. Members free; guests $15; free parking.