laurendunec1

Nigel Noyes / Getty Images

Bay Area succulent lovers rejoice.  It's time for the annual celebration of agaves, aloes, and echeveria at the largest succulent party in Northern California. Trust us, it's worth the trip to Monterey County. Here's what not to miss at this year's Succulent Extravaganza.

Linda Peters / Sunset Publishing

1)  Catch a presentation from an expert

There's a fabulous line up of speakers and plenty to learn for beginners and seasoned gardeners.  Succulent guru Robin Stockwell will demonstrate how to design and install very low water gardens (hint: involves cacti and a heavy gloves).  Designer and author Baylor Chapman will be sharing some of her secrets for creating living succulent centerpieces.  Sunset's own Janet Sluis will show off the low-water plants in the Sunset Western Garden Collection as well as present ideas for companion plants for succulents. Photographer Saxon Holt will be sharing his tips on capturing gardens through the camera lens to create captivating images. Designer Andrea Hurd will be sharing her tips on designing climate-appropriate gardens. Author Debra Lee Baldwin will walk you through how to create stunning low-water container gardens.  The Ruth Bancroft Garden's succulent expert Brian Kemble will take you on a tour of succulents of the world.

Andrea Gómez Romero / Sunset Publishing

2) Visit the DIY design bar

Get your hands dirty at the succulent DIY design bar and create mini vertical gardens, succulent wreaths, or sweet container combinations.  With so many options for plant material for your creations, you'll feel like a kid in a candy store.

Thomas J. Story / Sunset Publishing

3) Choose your favorites to take home

Check out Succulent Gardens' new displays 'Curated Collections for Instant Gardens' for the best succulents for shade, mixed borders, and containers.  Plants are grouped according to water needs and light exposure to that you can go home with all you need to create an instant landscape.

Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

A few of our favorites to look for include spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla), artichoke agave (Agave parryi), and giant chalk dudleya (Dudleya brittonii).

Nigel Noyes / Getty Images

Linda Peters / Sunset Publishing

For the full line-up of the festival activities and speakers, visit the Succulent Gardens event page.

You May Like