“Succulents Simplified” Book Review
Summary: If the description, “Low water plants for lazy gardeners” is music to your ears, then succulents may be the answer to your “I-want-to-garden-but-don’t-have-time-for-needy-plants” prayers! If so, you’ll not find a more comprehensive and beautifully designed resource to assist you in your quest for knowledge about these fantastic (and hallelujah, low maintenance!) creatures.
Title: Succulents Simplified – Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties
Genre: Reference, How-To
Gardening Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Author: Debra Lee Baldwin
Publisher: Timber Press, Inc.
Date of Publishing: 2013
Format: Soft Cover
Photos: 334 color photos including gorgeous color-rich close-ups of individual plants and beautiful shots of entire succulent gardens.
Content: “Succulents Simplified” is divided into three parts:
- Enjoying, Growing, and Designing with Succulents
- How-To Projects That Showcase Succulents
- 100 Easy-Care Succulents
Each section is equally as interesting as the one before, and presented in a very reader-friendly format. Although the author establishes in the preface that she is a proponent of calling succulents by their Latin names, she’s also included the common names wherever possible. I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled if I can remember that grayish-white succulent with the rosettes is called a “Ghost Plant,” let alone rattling off “Graptopetalum paraguayense,” so thank you, Debra Lee Baldwin!
After explaining to us why we all are seduced by succulents (come on, admit it), Baldwin gets right down to the main reason most of us probably picked up her book in the first place: “Keeping Your Succulents Fat and Sassy.” The best part about this section for us lazy gardeners is the “What’s wrong with your succulent?” pages, outlining symptoms, causes, and remedies for the common succulent ailments. I’ve dog-eared these pages, as I tend to be an over-waterer (which, thanks to Baldwin, explains my squishy stems and trunks).
Part Two includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions for a wide variety of DIY projects that will take your succulent skills to a whole new level. Favorites include Succulent Squares, Living Picture Vertical Gardens, Hanging Baskets, and Succulent Bouquets! Baldwin completes the book with an annotated list of 100 of her favorite easy-care succulents including windowsill plants, ground covers vines, shrubs, and trees, taking into consideration heartiness, responsiveness, and availability.
“Succulents Simplified” is extremely comprehensive and user-friendly, and should be regarded as a definitive guidebook for both new and experienced succulent lovers alike.
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