Social life in the Meadows

Summer, Julia and Jody enjoying the variety of salads.

Salads, Sweets and Succulents 

By Susan Wolking

The food is always great at the monthly gatherings of the Hidden Meadows Women’s Social Group.  The menus tend to be eclectic, with everyone bringing a dish of their own choice. Our party in August was held at Sharon Cook’s home, and in keeping with the hot weather that evening, we ended up with lots of delightful summery salads and light desserts.

The real star of the event, however, was Sharon’s spectacular succulent garden. As our group of about 20 women wandered

Stapelia hirsuta flower.

around the extensive property, we were met with a multitude of fascinating plants — from euphorbias, agaves and cacti nestled beside huge boulders to a spiky, multi-trunked Madagascar Palm growing in beautiful pot. One member of our group, Debra Lee Baldwin, squealed in delight when she spotted a strange-looking flower with a hairy, dark-red surface. “

That’s a Stapelia hirsuta,” she exclaimed. “It’s also called a ‘Carrion Plant’ because it smells like rotting meat.” She knelt down to take

a sniff, while the rest of us chose to take her at her word.

Debra, who is the author of several books on succulents, was so impressed with the garden that she came back out after the meal started and created a video tour that she posted on her You Tube channel. The video beautifully captures the drama of Sharon’s southwestern-style landscape. Check it out at

Rosemary, Pat, Sharon, Vicky, Debra and Lori in Sharon’s lovely garden.

Sharon’s succulents also can be found at the Seller’s Fair that takes place in Hidden Meadows every month.  Sharon is often there selling arrangements in pots that she makes with cuttings from her yard.

Just a reminder, the Women’s Social Group is a great way to meet other women residing in Hidden Meadows.  Potluck dinners take place once a month at different homes. If you would like to be included on the email invitation list, please send your contact information to Linda Collins at