Photo: Jim McCann for Sunset Magazine
2014's event will focus on succulent landscaping--how to design, build, and maintain succulent landscapes that beautify without taxing already stretched water resources.
Speakers and Presenters
Kathy Brenzel the Garden Editor for Sunset Magazine will be our keynote presenter this year and will discuss the changing landscape in California.
Debra Lee Baldwin and Brian Kemble are also scheduled for repeat performances! We will look forward to hearing their commentary on the new gardens being installed during the event.
There will be several new gardens designed and installed before the event by landscape professionals. There will also be several gardens installed during the event. Each of these gardens will set the stage for an interactive event focused on answering questions about landscaping and gardening with succulent plants.
Above: the first Extravaganza garden designed by Julia Bell
The gardens will demonstrate "designing with succulents" by offering different examples of how succulent plants can be combined. In some cases this will include non-succulent companion plants. Other issues to be addressed include plant palette and selection, handling, watering, fertilizing, growth rates, and pest and disease issues.
Did you see the June Sunset magazine article about drought?
The photo at the top of this article is the front page of their special report on gardening during the drought plaguing the Western US. It's a succulent.
To me, that's phenomenal.
It probably doesn't strike a lot of people the way it would strike me.
But that picture right there indicates a sea change in the world of horticulture, particularly in the Western United States.
By publishing the article and using that picture, Sunset magazine is sending a message that our landscape is changing; wake up! The landscape is changing!
Here is the leading horticultural magazine in the Western United State saying "this is important."
What is "this?"
One of our Master Gardener volunteers told me a story about one of her friends nursing a 30 year boxwood through the drought. She's thinking "If I can just get it through the summer, it will rain." Well, it will rain, but not enough.
I've been thinking about this stuff since the 1970s. There really is a difference in attitude toward the plant material (succulents) now. There's a change in people's mentality throughout the world about what's going on with water, its availability, and its use as a valuable resource.
If you look at the sequence of what Sunset has done, you'll see that they've added many succulent varieties to their garden guide, succulents are on the cover, and they recently published a booklet on water conserving plants. Succulents are prominent in that.
The Succulent Extravaganza is an example, and this is year number four, of Succulent Gardens putting into practice the implications of the Sunset message.
Many of you already understand the challenges we face and and the way succulents can help meet the challenges in our gardens.
The 2014 Succulent Extravaganza is planned to help gardeners, landscape professionals, and plant enthusiasts learn more about the many aspects of using succulent plants in the garden.