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Plant Profiles

Spring’s One-Hit Wonders: Flowering Quince, Forsythia & Spirea

by Rebecca Sweet
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The other day I overheard two women talking about their spring gardens and one of them stated matter-of-factly that she’d never plant a flowering quince since it blooms for such a short period and then just sits there the rest of the year.  While its true that it blooms only once, in my opinion that’s […]

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Pyracantha Pandemonium

by Rebecca Sweet
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It started out just like any other January day. For the past week, I had been admiring one of my favorite shrubs growing in my side yard – the humble pyracantha. I had been wondering to myself why more people didn’t love this shrub as I do.  Didn’t they realize all the seasonal beauty it […]

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Tantalizing Tillandsias

by Rebecca Sweet
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There’s something about tillandsias that makes my heart sing.  Even just saying the word is fun.  Maybe its due to their seemingly endless array of colors, shapes and textures.  Maybe its because of their somewhat freaky appearance.  Or maybe its because they’re one of the easiest ways to make a really creative statement in your […]

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I’m a caladium convert

by Rebecca Sweet
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I’ll admit it – I’ve never given much thought to caladiums, perhaps subconsciously dismissing them as an uninspired, old-fashioned stalwart. But having trialled several dozen this year (thanks to the good folks at Classic Caladiums) I can proudly say I was dead wrong – there’s nothing uninspired with these plants.  I’m officially hooked! Similar to coleus […]

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Captivating Coprosmas

by Rebecca Sweet
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Time and time again I’ve had astonished clients ask me ‘What IS that plant?’ when spotting the smooth and shiny foliage of a colorful coprosma.  Commonly known as a ‘Mirror Plant’, coprosma’s foliage looks as if tiny little elves snuck in and meticulously shellaced each perfectly shaped oval leaf. Yes, they’re that shiny. Finding foliage with […]

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Euphorbia euphoria

by Rebecca Sweet
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This weekend my garden will be one of several featured during the 5th annual Garden Bloggers Fling Garden Tour.  Am I nervous having my personal garden shown to 75+ of our country’s most amazing, talented and influential garden bloggers?  Uh…YES!  So every day this week I’ve been working in my garden, trying to keep up […]

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Sarcococca and Daphne – the stars of my February garden

by Rebecca Sweet
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Here we are February 1st, and my garden couldn’t be smelling any sweeter!  I wanted to share with you two of my winter superstars as they’re some of my favorites for adding heavenly fragrance to this typically cold and bleak month.  In my temperate Zone 9 garden, there’s still a few random leaves hanging on […]

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Hooray for Heucheras! An interview with Terra Nova Nurseries

by Rebecca Sweet
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Heucheras (aka: Coral Bells or Allum Root) are one of my favorite perennials in the garden, whether adding spots of color in the front of the border, massed together in drifts or nestled into a container.   I’d be lost if I couldn’t use these little treasures in my designs, as their foliage comes in […]

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Top 10 Favorite Orange Plants

by Rebecca Sweet
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It’s that time of year again when our homes and gardens are decked out in orange and black, and mine is no exception.  And what better occasion than Halloween to talk about one of my favorite colors in the garden – orange!  Last year I wrote about my favorite black plants, so it’s only fitting […]

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Eggplant Extravaganza

by Rebecca Sweet
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I’ve been traveling a lot this summer and am so glad to finally be home!  But after nearly five weeks away you can imagine the state of my garden. Fortunately (for my garden, not for me!), my husband was home for most of the time so he was able to keep it watered and somewhat […]

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Oxalis in my garden

by Rebecca Sweet
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I love Oxalis in my garden. No, not the horribly invasive oxalis that has taken over my lawn, but the colorful and well-behaved hybrids available in nurseries everywhere. Come and take a look….

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Knock-out Kniphofias

by Rebecca Sweet
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Kniphopfias (aka: Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily) are one of my very favorite flowers to add vertical interest to the garden.  Seeing their snake-like stalks rise from a clump of lush leaf blades is always a joy to behold as they stretch their long necks what seems like several inches a day. I don’t […]

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Rosemary in the garden

by Rebecca Sweet
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I was talking with another gardener last week, when she told me she never plants rosemary in her garden because it’s so common. Huh? Of course everyone has their own opinion of what they like and don’t like, but not planting something just because it’s common?  Oh well – we all march to our own […]

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Heavenly Hellebores

by Rebecca Sweet
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  Hellebores are typically pretty easy to grow here in Northern California, requiring partial shade, well-draining soil and moderate irrigation.  They come in a staggering range of colors, from the deepest maroon to the palest ivory.  They’re usually categorized as either having upright blooms on tall stems  (aka: caulescent) or no stems, typically with downward facing […]

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Have you ever seen a tree’s knees?

by Rebecca Sweet
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While visiting New York’s Innisfree Garden last summer, I saw something that I’ve never seen before – the ‘knees’ of a tree.  Yes, that’s what they’re called! From what I’ve gathered, this is unique to cypress trees that are planted near water.  The roots growing under the water send up woody projections, called knees. What’s […]

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Wordless Wednesday – The Aloes of Laguna Beach

by Rebecca Sweet
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A few weeks ago I spoke at the Laguna Beach Garden Club, and was thrilled when my host insisted we walk along the coastline before catching my flight home. The aloes were in full bloom, the sun was shining, artists were painting, hummers were humming, dolphins were swimming – in short, I was in heaven. […]

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Gorgeous grasses in the garden

by Rebecca Sweet
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If you’re familiar with my blog, then you know I love grasses.  And luckily they’re becoming more and more common in most every nursery, with many selections to choose from.   Yes, grasses are all the rage and for good reason. Why?  Generally speaking, grasses will grow in just about any type of soil, most […]

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Dutchman’s Pipevine

by Rebecca Sweet
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While visiting my friends in Connecticut last week I couldn’t help but fall in love with the massive Dutchman’s Pipevine that seductively draped over their arbor. It’s giant heart-shaped leaves seemed to glow from within when backlit by the setting sun. The tendrils gently coiled downwards, adding an almost ethereal appearance to this cozy space.

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A Phormium flowers

by Rebecca Sweet
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This year my ‘Sea Jade’ phormium surprised me by sending up a few tall stalks of flowers for me to enjoy.  Phormiums (aka: Flax) don’t always bloom around here, but I think due to our very wet spring they’ve  decided to reward our patience by showing us what they’re really capable of! Phormiums are one […]

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