Oh, my, Malibu!

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

While on the Malibu Garden Tour, I hoped for high-end gardens that incorporated my specialty: succulents (plants with juicy leaves and stems).

Homes in the hills of this tony enclave north of Los Angeles are huge, on multi-acre lots. My host had grown up in the area shown here, and recalled how neighbors helped Barbra Streisand protect her canyon home with sandbags when a creek flooded. Afterwards, she sent them all gift baskets of organic produce from her garden.

I liked the fanciful architecture of this estate, which has a coastline view. The garden was formal, with boxwood hedges, hundreds of rose bushes and broad expanses of lawn. Pretty, but not exactly waterwise.

The best part, IMHO, was the stable/art studio.

Chickens from the henhouse of this Italianate villa roamed the lawn. “They help fertilize it,” the owner explained. We checked our shoes.

A goofy approach to going green:  A water softener tank repurposed as a fountain.

Ah, succulents at last! A classical statue pours string-of-pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) into a basin overflowing with aeoniums.

More aeoniums, at a home with a Balinese theme.

 

In the garden of Malibu landscape designer Laurel Stutsman, graptopetalums and Sedum rubrotinctum tumbled over a wall, along with convolvulus and dime-sized Santa Barbara daisies.

And echeverias crowded a yellow-and-turquoise glazed pot. Also in the Stutsman garden was the 5-foot-wide Agave attenuata shown in the first photo—the largest I’d yet to see anywhere.

In garden designer Caroline Mitchell’s low-water front yard were red-flowering iceplants, purple statice, Euphorbia rigida (with chartreuse flowers) and ornamental grasses.

I liked the Malibu Garden Center’s signage and whimsical use of color.

Nasturtiums grew up against a robin’s-egg-blue fence.

Red Adirondack chairs contrasted with purple delphinium spires.

A nursery after my own heart.

Flower spikes of Agave vilmoriniana towered above Pacific View Nursery’s growing grounds in Malibu, adjacent to Pacific Coast Highway.

And I couldn’t resist snapping this photo: In the multicar garage of one of the homes was a vintage Chevy Malibu.

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 Gardensand Succulents Simplified.  www.debraleebaldwin.com 

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Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra Lee Baldwin

Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified, all Timber Press bestsellers. Her goal is to enhance others' enjoyment and awareness of waterwise plants and gardens by showcasing the beauty and design potential of succulents via books, articles, newsletters, photos, videos, social media and more. Debra and husband Jeff live in the foothills north of San Diego. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Her hobbies include thrifting, birding and watercolor painting. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin
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