Super Succulent Celebration 2018: March 23rd – 24th
Don’t miss this 2-day event packed with activities for Succulent Lovers! Speakers, demonstrations, workshops, unique vendors, authors & more! Free admission and parking! 8am-4pm Friday & Saturday, March 23rd & 24th. See you there! Watch for more details soon. Click here to register for this event by email. Sign up for our Super Succulent Celebration Free Plant email list, and receive 1 free plant!
Meet Our “Succulent Celebration Celebrities”:
Nan Sterman is passionate about plants. Plants in gardens, plants in native habitats, plants on the farm or in the nursery all captivate her. Nan’s passion began early; she was part of California’s “back to the land” movement in the 1970s. She earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Botany and Biology, and a Master’s in developing training and information products. In the early 1990s, Nan’s academic training and plant passion fused into a career as a garden journalist. She has written for all the major gardening publications, regionally and nationally, and has two regular columns for her hometown newspaper, the San Diego Union Tribune. Gardening books, photography, talks, lectures, international garden tours, and eventually designing gardens are became part of Nan’s work. Because of her biology background, Nan understands the plants and the land in ways few other designers or journalists do. As a California native, paying attention to seasons, soils, and waterwise practices are in her DNA. Nan spends much of her time working on her award-winning TV show, A Growing Passion. The “growing” part of A Growing Passion is the plants that weave the series together. Her show airs on public television in San Diego and is online at AGrowingPassion.com. Why plants? “Plants are everything to us.” Nan says, “They are basis of the Earth’s food chain. Plants are what we eat; they make up the fabric of the clothes we wear, the materials we build with… Plants are the basis of our medicines, our fragrances… They make the oxygen we breathe. They are the beauty that surrounds us. We can’t live without plants.”
Jeff Moore has written and released 3 books, including Aloes & Agaves in Cultivation, Under The Spell of Succulents, and Soft Succulents. Here is what he has to say about his life:
“I grew up in Solana Beach (family moved there in 1965 from Costa Mesa), have surfed most of my life, but sadly now I surf like I did when I was a beginner. Wobbly old-man taking off, look out! But I still try to get in the water. I was in the second graduating class of Torrey Pines in 77. I met my wife Lori at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. We have two sons, 23 year old is working and living in San Francisco, the younger boy is a sophomore at Cal Poly (all four of us went there – nice place to spend 4 or 5 years of your youth). We have a golden retriever named Shelby who entertained the crowd at one of your earlier succulent celebrations by taking a swim in your pond; Can’t trust her around pools. Regarding hobbies – well, it’s pretty much the plant thing. And that has evolved into photography, and then book-making – all still with the succulents. I’m in Pacifica near SF right now, on a two week speaking engagement to the various C&S and plant societies up here. This traveling road show succulent evangelist thing has become sort of a hobby as well. I brought a truck up of books and plants and hope to come home empty.”
Laura Eubanks has been a landscape designer for the past 15 years. She’s been married to Greg for 34 years and still introduces him as her “First Husband” just to keep him on his toes. Laura and Greg are Mom and Dad to four beautiful kids and expect their first Grand baby mid-March of this year! In a former life, Laura was a used car salesperson and a day care provider. Fortunately for the Succulent World, she sucked at both before finding her true calling as a Designer. Her favorite place to vacation is Palm Springs in September because she loves the heat. Laura and her family enjoy fostering for the local Animal Shelter and have had as many as 14 cats running around the house at one time. Her goals for the future include taking a day off, sleeping past 6 am, and going one day without being poked by a cactus.
Debra Lee Baldwin
The name Debra Lee Baldwin is synonymous with Succulents; last year, she received a life achievement award as Horticulturist of the Year from the SD Horticultural Society. This “Succulent Celebration Celebrity” is an award-winning garden photojournalist as well as a best selling author of three books. She has been crowned the “Queen of Succulents”, spoken from coast to coast, has more than 100,000 social media followers, and produces a weekly e-newsletter about the trends and events in the world of succulents and design. Debra has a hobby of making bird feeders out of repurposed objects, and she enjoys watching the birds from her office window. To quote Debra Lee, her feeders range from mostly elegant and pretty to silly! She also loves to be known as the “grandma who knows bugs”…and reptiles too, by her active 9 year old grandson.
Robin Stockwell was raised on the coast of Northern California. He has worked in nurseries from the age of 12 and began growing succulents in 1972. In 1980 he opened Succulent Gardens in the Barnyard Shopping Village quickly developing a following of being more than a boutique, but a place for people to relax and enjoy themselves. Robin’s competing passion in life is surfing!
In 2003, after 18 years away from growing, Robin opened a new location in Castroville, CA by the name of Succulent Gardens designed for demonstration and education in the use of succulent plants. It became known by professionals and enthusiasts alike as the “candy shop”. Robin has received numerous awards and has been the subject of articles in print, TV, and radio. Robin has spent almost 40 years focused on the functional use of succulents with over 600 varieties in his collection. Robin appreciates exploring the mysteries of succulents and encourages gardeners to use them to alter one’s perspective of the world of plants.
No biography of Robin would be complete without mentioning his passion for surfing…especially the cold winter waves of the Northern California Coast!
Tom Jesch has had a love affair with plants since he was 9, collecting cactus on his basement
windowsill. Growing up in the country between Tahoe and Reno in Nevada, he and his two
brothers were camping, hiking and hunting at an early age. He developed a love and reverence
for the beauty of nature that carried with him through life. He began working at a nursery
when he was 12 and became assistant manager of that little nursery by fifteen. His passion for
plants is infectious to this day.
Tom began oil painting in his youth and still loves to paint as time permits. He loves people and
loves to tell a story making it come to life. He enjoys conversing about science, the sea, fish,
weather, biology, politics, history and art, being able to capture an audience with facts and a
“off the wall” sense of humor.
Being in the nursery business now for about 50 years, he’s grounded in agriculture developing
passions anew continuously. He and his wife, Jackie have 3 daughters, love to travel, camp,
spend time with family, visit art galleries, explore new places and garden.
Steve McDearmon is a local landscape designer and landscape contractor. His love for succulents started while in College at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, graduating with a degree in Environmental Horticulture. He went to work directly out of college for a large San Diego based landscape company. After about 6 years, and the realization that commercial landscape wasn’t really his cup of tea, he began working for the Nursery formerly known as Daylily Hill (yes, that’s a Prince pun for those of you paying attention), now called Water wise Botanicals. As one of their in-house designers, he was mentored by Tom Jesch, and continued there for 7 years. During this time, he was able to immerse himself in the world of succulents, and their care … the ones that work great, and not so great in the landscape. He has since gone on to become a licensed landscape contractor installing landscapes of all styles and shapes, but it’s the succulent gardens that are the most fun. He strives to give his customers extremely low-maintenance, yet colorful and textural gardens. Oftentimes, the succulents win out in this endeavor. He loves the challenge of combining materials that will work best for the individual site he’s working on. He also loves the challenge of helping customers figure out what they want, even when they don’t know what they want. His work has been published in Debra Lee Baldwin’s books, San Diego Home and Garden Magazine, Country Gardens Magazine, and most recently in Ranch and Coast Magazine.
When not designing and installing landscapes he loves to spend time with his wife and two boys, ages 6 and 10. He loves being told by his wife that he must take his 10-year-old surfing or take both of them to the skate park. It’s like a dream come true.
A long time ago, in a land far away, a little boy was lost in the succulent rich environs of South Africa. Desperate times indeed, Kelly Griffin would have surely perished, if not adopted by a family of jackals. He grew stronger, but the hyenas at school remained cruel and were always laughing at him. Child protective services finally intervened, placing him in a nice human family – Indiana Jones for a dad, and a fairy princess for a mother. The deep emotional scars of his early years left him only with his passion for succulents the rest of his life, becoming one of the top hybridizers, and experts in tissue culture, of succulents worldwide. These days he can still be found returning to his beloved Africa, or scaling snake riddled cliffs, only to discover a new variety in a faraway land.