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Five Minutes with Tracey Toby

I remember the first time I stumbled across a group of Echeveria Glauca in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Back then I was new to the gardening territory and like any other newbie, I have always thought that succulents and cacti belong in the dessert. After joining Instagram I started following Tracey Toby, an experienced gardener who lives in the Blue Mountains NSW.

I asked her a few questions to find out what plants are capable of surviving our NSW Winter and Summer. Here's what she had to say:

What are the challenges growing succulents / cacti in the Blue Mountains?

The climate in Winmalee (lower Blue Mountains) is a perfect climate for growing succulents and cacti all year round.

What is your most prized succulent / cacti?

All my succulents are my pride and joy. I love them all. My Romeo is my most expensive purchase to date and growing beautifully.

What are your top 5 succulents / cacti?

My top 5 succulents are:

  1. All varieties of agave (Agave Blue Glow is my favourite)
  2. Echeveria Violet Queen
  3. Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg
  4. Echeveria Imbricata Blue Rose
  5. Senecio Rowleyanus or String of Pearls
 Agave Blue Glow
Tracey's Agave Blue Glow (source: Instagram)


How do you overwinter your succulents / cacti?

Our winters are mild. Winmalee is a frost free area. I keep most of my potted succulents on a covered verandah and courtyard area. I have succulents in my garden exposed to the elements and they all do well.

Other than succulents & cacti, what else is growing successfully in your garden?

I grow lots of plant varieties:

Grafted Japanese Maples
Grafted Weeping Cherries

    Crab Apple Trees
    Japanese Maples
    Silver Birch
      Bird of Paradise
      Crepe Myrtles
      Chinese tallowood
      Flowering buds
        Tracey Toby's Front Garden in Spring
        A section of Tracey's front garden in Spring (source: Instagram)

        I have to ask you about Azaleas because mine haven't improved since the heatwave.

        Azaleas need little attention once they are established. If you've only put them in recently you should be giving them plenty of water. They do like dappled sunlight so if you've put them in full sun, it might be too hot for them. They are pretty hardy otherwise.

        Thank you for your time, Tracey. If anyone else is wondering, my azaleas had suffered a serious third degree burn from the heatwave.  Since the interview, I have moved the azaleas under a tree. I am still hoping for a full recovery and I refuse to declare time of death just yet.

        Follow Tracey on Instagram @traceysfavouritethings to see her garden.

        Latest Collection

        1 comment

        • traceysfavouritethings

          A big thank you Jules ? ? & thank ? ❤️?? you to all my Instagram friends all around the world ? who follow me and like my posts ?. Im feeling very grateful to have made so many friends who share the love ? of succulents & Plants. I’ve learned so much more about succulents & am more confident growing them with all the fantastic tips & knowlege you all share ????☘️?

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