This post is so long over due! As you may know I was fortunate enough to attend Waterwise Botanical’s Succulent Celebration in June where Debra Lee Baldwin spoke and celebrated the release of her new book, Succulents Simplified. It was such a great event and I’m so glad I went! I was also lucky enough to receive a signed copy of the book and wanted to do a review to share with you!
First off, if you haven’t seen or read Debra’s other two books, Succulent Container Gardens and Designing with Succulents, you should definitely take a look at those too!
Succulents Simplified is a great guide book for succulent enthusiasts and those just discovering the amazing world of succulents. The book is divided into three sections and each are filled with rich content and photos. I’ll take a look at each part and tell you what I loved about it!
Enjoying, Growing, and Designing with Succulents
This section is packed with information about caring for succulents both in containers and in landscapes. It covers why succulents are appealing for plant lovers and landscapers alike. Throughout this section Debra provides striking pictures of a wide variety of succulents and labels each one. If you are like me and not very good at identifying the succulents you own, this is so helpful! It’s also nice for making a succulent wish list as you go throughout the book :). Some of the topics covered in this section include water, sunlight, and other climate requirements for various types of succulents. She talks about common misconceptions with succulents when it comes to care and especially watering. There is also great list titled “What’s wrong with your succulent?” that lists symptoms of common problems and how to remedy them. This is so helpful! This whole section is really great for someone who needs guidance and direction for helping keep their succulents looking happy and healthy. It’s really helpful to have photos right alongside the text to help drive home the points she’s making. For visual learners like me that makes all the difference!
How-to Projects that Showcase Succulents
This section is a lot of fun and very different from her other books. It gives easy step-by-step instructions for making beautiful projects with succulents. One of my favorite things about this section is that each of the projects utilizes different techniques for both pairing succulents and arranging them in whatever type of “pot” you may be using. Even if you’ve worked with succulents before, this section is likely to prove you with new insight and ways you can create with succulents! It’s also perfect for the beginner because there are a wide variety of projects included that you can choose from.
100 Easy-Care Succulents
Remember in the previous section I mentioned how all of the plants in the book are labeled? I loved being able to easily identify plants that way, but this last section is even better. This section lists 100 succulents that are relatively easy to find and easy to care for. The plants are listed in alphabetical order by genus and there is a picture of every single one! Some have even more pictures, so you are sure to know exactly what plant you are looking at. While I didn’t find all the succulents I own in this section, I was able to find a large number of them here. It comes in very handy when some of you ask me what plants are in my photos :). This section makes me wish I knew the names of all my plants, but I think that is something that I’ll have to work on over time. Another thing that is great about this section, is with the name and photo of each plant is a short description. The descriptions include things like hardiness, what colors the plant will be when stressed, and other fun facts. It’s great! You come away not only knowing the scientific name of your plant, but a little more about it too!
Overall I have to say Succulents Simplified is wonderful! Of all of Debra’s books, this is by far my favorite. It’s very down to earth, easy and fun to read, and it really does simplify succulents for everyone! It’s packed with great information and photos and you just can’t beat the price! Plus, for those of you who prefer digital copies of your books, there is a Kindle version as well! If you haven’t already, definitely hop on over to Amazon and pick up a copy of this fabulous book! You’ll be glad you did!