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plants

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

by Rebecca Sweet
Thumbnail image for Spring’s One-Hit Wonders:  Flowering Quince, Forsythia & Spirea

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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Festina Lente – Filoli’s winter garden

by Rebecca Sweet
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 Festina Lente.  Powerful words used since ancient times by the likes of emperors, military commanders, authors, artists and even Shakespeare himself. Translated, festina lente means ‘hurry slowly’.  Personally, I think  my neighbor’s bumper sticker says it best –  ’Hurry up and slow down‘. Out of the corner of my eye I discovered this plaque placed […]

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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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Goodbye lawn, hello garden! Part 1

by Rebecca Sweet
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It’s a new year and with it comes the oh-so-familiar new year’s resolutions.  And while I rarely keep the ones I make (lose weight, exercise more, blah blah blah) this is a resolution that’s long overdue and one that I’m thrilled to undertake: getting rid of my unused front lawn. With California’s lowest recorded rainfall […]

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Looking at your garden with fresh eyes

by Rebecca Sweet
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As a designer and a consultant, I’m often asked how I go about deciding how and where to begin when it comes to transforming a garden bed.   I understand where this question comes from.  While visualizing where to begin is relatively easy for me, I realize that’s not necessarily the case for others.  In fact, […]

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Create longer-lasting fall color in the garden

by Rebecca Sweet
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There’s something magical about fall colors in the garden, isn’t there?  My favorite time of year is the moment I open my front door and see my Japanese maples and Crepe Myrtle trees have turned their fiery shades of yellow, red and orange – signaling the calm before the storm (the storms from both winter […]

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Shades of Gray in a No-Lawn Front Garden

by Rebecca Sweet
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I’m thrilled to announce that one of the gardens I designed for a client is featured in this month’s Sunset magazine (if you don’t subscribe, you can read about it here in their online version). While the folks at Sunset did a fantastic job capturing the drought-tolerant aspects of this garden (the homeowners reduced their […]

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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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Transforming a side yard from Blah to Beautiful

by Rebecca Sweet
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In honor of my new book, Refresh Your Garden Design, I’ll be spending the next few months writing about the many different aspects of color, texture and form.  Whether its gardeners I’ve met who have embraced these design principles to the fullest, simple solutions you can use to transform your own garden, or perhaps  specific […]

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Refresh Your Garden Design with Color, Texture and Form

by Rebecca Sweet
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I’m over-the-moon with excitement to announce that my new book, Refresh Your Garden Design with Color, Texture and Form is officially finished and will be available in bookstores next month – Oct. 20th, to be exact! After seeing a review copy for the first time last week, I can honestly say that I’m immensely proud of this […]

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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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Mixing flowers and succulents

by Rebecca Sweet
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There’s no doubt about it, Debra Lee Baldwin certainly knows her succulents.  But when visiting her Escondido, CA garden again a few months ago, I was struck by something else – the flowers.  Not the flowers of succulents (which are amazing enough), but regular ol’ perennial, annual and native flowers that casually grow throughout the […]

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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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Using white flowers in the garden

by Rebecca Sweet
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My garden has been on a few different garden tours this past month which, despite the work involved in getting everything cleaned up, is always a fantastic opportunity to see my garden through others’ eyes.  Its always interesting to see which plants are a hit, and which ones seem to go unnoticed, and I’m often […]

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One Windowbox, Four Ways

by Rebecca Sweet
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I don’t typically read fashion magazines, but living with a teenage daughter means a stack of them are usually lying around the house in one room or another. While I can usually pass them by without feeling the urge to read about ‘The Top 10 Must-Have Heels For Summer’, I’ll admit I’m a sucker for […]

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Flowers and memories – the good and the bad

by Rebecca Sweet
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The other day I sat down with my father and we were laughing about the time when I decapitated my parents’ very first little garden.  I was only two years old, and my dad was anxiously waiting for the day when the new ‘seed mat’ they had carefully tended over the past few weeks would […]

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Grand Boca Grande

by Rebecca Sweet
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I just returned from a quick trip to Boca Grande, a tiny little island off of Florida, where I spoke about vertical gardening to the island’s local garden club.  Without a doubt, one of the perks of my job is the chance to see new things and meet new people – something I wouldn’t trade […]

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Lawn Gone! Book Party, Review and Giveaways

by Rebecca Sweet
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To celebrate the release of Pam Penick’s new book, Lawn Gone! Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard, you’re all invited to attend her Lawn Gone Book Party – with some very cool party prizes! Six garden blogging friends and I are hosting 7 great giveaways this week, all related to the theme of – […]

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Wake your Winter Garden – Inspiration from the Washington Park Arboretum

by Rebecca Sweet
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There’s something magical about a winter garden, and I never pass up an opportunity to visit one – especially one that’s known for looking it’s best during the bleakest months of the year.  While attending a family wedding in Seattle this past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the J. Witt Winter Garden in […]

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