KPBS-TV in My Garden


“As the market for water thirsty plants dries up, sales of cacti and succulents are thriving — and San Diego’s North County is ground zero for all things succulent.” So begins a segment on KPBS-TV by Alison St. John, a bureau chief who has been covering local issues for decades. Alison interviewed me in my garden about the growing popularity of succulents.


View the segment on YouTube (5:17).

Above: I showed Alison the “dancing ladies” section of my garden. For those of you who are curious, I’ve yet to carve the rest of the pads.


Without a TV camera resembling a mini-motorcycle, it would have been just another visit from a couple of nice people who wanted to see the garden.


Alison St. John is a terrific reporter. She does her homework, is detail-oriented, lovely, personable, easy to talk with, and asks the right questions. She seemed genuinely interested in the topic, and the segment is comprehensive, entertaining and informative. She also has a cool British accent.


The cameraman picked the location for the interview. I had staged three areas in advance for him to select from, but he positioned us with the tool shed and wheelbarrow in the background, fortunately out of focus. Alison had suggested we talk about my books, so you bet I had them on hand.


She immediately put me at ease, asking about how I got into gardening, succulents, writing books, and what’s ahead in the world of succulents.


Timber Press works so hard to get the word out about their books, every little bit helps.


I enthused about spineless opuntia, a great firebreak and background plant that gets by on rainfall alone. Plus you can eat it.


After the interview, we walked around the garden and I gave Alison some cuttings for hers — Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’ and Aloe arborescens ‘Variegata’.


A few days later, she sent an email with a photo showing how she had potted them up. You know what that means, right? She’s one of us!

from Gardening Gone Wild


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