Needles + Leaves 2.0

Variegated Graptopetalum Paraguayense Needles + Leaves

It's hard to believe that it's been nearly two and half years since our last blog post! How on earth did that happen?! Well, there are a lot of reasons, but mostly we've had some amazing opportunities to grow Needles + Leaves in other areas.  From creating our hearts out for local craft shows, teaching workshops, doing custom business installations, opening our online succulent retail store, and raising the six kids we have between the two of us, we've had our hands pretty full! All that being said, we unintentionally put adding to this space on the back burner for way too long! 

 Needles + Leaves succulent booth at the Carlsbad Street Faire Spring 2018

Needles + Leaves succulent booth at the Carlsbad Street Faire Spring 2018

Looking back, we wish we would have treated this blog more like a journal so that you could have come along with us on all of our succulent adventures as they happened. Plant shopping, coming up with new DIY ideas, exploring cute Instagramable (that's a word now, right?) cafés, setting up shop at craft shows, and building our home nursery, are just a few of the things we should have been documenting. 

So, what's changed? Why start now? Well, over the past couple of months a lot has changed for us. We went from spending nearly everyday together, to living about two hours apart. The move was pretty unexpected and a little devastating at first. We closed our shop and we both cried. (Which is shocking if you know me!) We figured that was the end of that.  We had some people offer to buy the business, but the more we thought about it, the more we could't imagine Needles + Leaves existing without us! I mean, we ARE Needles + Leaves! We started brainstorming on how to make it work from a distance. We came to the conclusion that a two hour drive would definitely make running a business together more challenging, but not impossible. 

 Krista taking inventory at our home nursery.

Krista taking inventory at our home nursery.

A big part of our plan to keep Needles + Leaves alive is placing a bigger focus on the blog, which is how this whole venture started for us anyways! As much as we love going through the creative process together,  blogging is something we can do together but separate. 

We are so excited to be officially re-openeing our shop in the coming days!  We love being able to bring you the most beautiful succulents Southern California has to offer.  We are always amazed to see where our customers live around the country, from down the street to New York City! We get so much joy from sharing our beautiful plants with you all. 

Please check back in to see what we are up to in the coming weeks and months! We can't wait to begin sharing projects and information with you again!

Happy Planting!

Tawni + Krista




GrowIt! Mobile App Succulent Giveaway


We are so excited to be teaming up with GrowIt! Mobile to bring you guys a super easy and awesome giveaway!

One Grand Prize winner will receive a $50 Lowe's gift card, a copy of our book DIY Succulents and a box of assorted premium succulents, hand picked by us! Two additional winners will receive $25 Lowe's gift cards and our book! Keep reading for giveaway details ↓

GrowIt! is a gardening app that lets you "garden socially" for free! We were a little skeptical about joining another social network, but GrowIt! is so much more than just a place to share plant photos!

Use GrowIt! to gather information about specific plants such as basic care, watering and soil needs, hardiness zones and more! You can organize plants into projects and create shopping lists before heading out to the garden center! One of my favorite parts about this app is the "Help Identify This Plant" feature!

Ultimately, GrowIt! mobile is a place to share and gain plant knowledge, something we are really passionate about!


Here is how to enter the giveaway:

❶ Download the GrowIt! app
❷ Post a plant picture on the app
❸ Include the hashtag #needlesandleaves in the comment section of your plant photo!

(Giveaway ends January 24th, 2017. Open to US and Canada only.)

Steve Barton Art

 Oceanside local, Steve Barton, creates a gorgeous tropical oil painting on a surfboard.

Oceanside local, Steve Barton, is a world renowned artist who is known for his distinct loose impressionistic style and signature Wavy frames. From bright and bold tropical landscapes to serene still lifes, from canvas to surf boards, Steve's ever growing repertoire continues to expand.  As a long time fan and collector of Steve's work, it was such an honor to hear that Steve had done an original watercolor inspired by one of my photographs. I was recently invited into Steve's studio to preview his new desert scape and succulent inspired pieces and I'm thrilled to be able to share his new work with you all. 

It was such a treat to get to sit down with Steve to discuss his artistic vision for the future as well as get some insight into a little Barton history. 

 Artist Steve Barton 

Growing up, Steve learned to paint alongside his mother, who painted New England landscapes to sell as folk art at craft fairs. Steve remembers selling his first painting, a covered bridge, at a bank in New Hampshire for $375 at the age of 16. Not a bad start if you ask me!

Steve began painting full time after moving to California in 1994. Inspired by the beauty of coastal palm trees, he began focusing on tropical landscapes and tranquil scenes depicting what you might imagine your dream vacation getaway to be. One day in 1999, Steve's creativity was sparked after stretching a canvas way too tight. He loved the way it added dimension to his painting and complimented his unique style, so he began creating "Wavy" canvases on purpose.  Because wavy canvases require wavy frames, Steve had his work cut out for him to create a frame to accompany his newly invented wavy canvas. He describes his first Wavy frame as "Frankenstein's monster", with bolts sticking out everywhere and glue oozing out of the cracks. Over time, he was able to perfect his Wavy frame which is now his trademark. 

Steve's inventiveness has caught the eye of art lovers around the globe leading to many amazing opportunities including a recent collaboration with the Walt Disney Company. 

Always looking to expand his artistic horizons, Steve has recently found inspiration in the desert landscapes of the Southwest. Prints of his new paintings titled "Needles" + "Leaves" are now available at!

Check out these amazing videos of Steve painting "Needles" + "Leaves"!

As to be expected, I had to snap a shot of some of the aeoniums at Barton Studios!

 Gorgeous Aeonium 'Zwartkop' plants basking in the California sun. 

Gorgeous Aeonium 'Zwartkop' plants basking in the California sun. 

For more information on Steve and his art, please visit and follow Steve on Instagram @SteveBarton!

 Watercolor and oil painting "Needles" by Steve Barton via Needles + Leaves blog.