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regional design

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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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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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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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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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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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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New Garden App – Sunset Western Garden Book

by Rebecca Sweet
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I’m a huge fan of the latest edition of the Sunset Western Garden Book (read my review here), and to say I’m over the moon with excitement at the big news of their new garden app is an understatement. A few weeks ago I was honored to be invited to Sunset’s Headquarters where I was […]

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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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Why Grow That When You Can Grow This?

by Rebecca Sweet
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I’m thrilled to introduce one of the best books to hit the stands this year – Why Grow That, When You Can Grow This, by  my good friend Andrew Keys (Timberpress, 2012). Now you may be thinking “Oh – she’s clearly biased, no doubt, since she just said they’re good friends.”  Fair enough.  But if […]

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Garden Designers Roundtable – Memory and Plants

by Rebecca Sweet
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We all tend to collect our memories somewhere – scrapbooks, journals, photo albums, memory quilts, recipes or family movies (just to name a few).  But for many of us, our gardens are what carry us through the years, bringing back fond memories through sight, scent, touch and taste. Personally, I can’t help but think of […]

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A Colorful Garden in Tucson

by Rebecca Sweet
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While visiting Arizona last month I couldn’t wait to tour a few private gardens to see first-hand how these determined and creative gardeners deal with All. That. Heat. Driving through Tucson’s wide suburban streets, where the homes and landscaping tend to blend together, my heart skipped a beat when I noticed this garden’s ‘fence’. Not your […]

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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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Garden Designers Roundtable- Danger is my middle name

by Rebecca Sweet
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There’s something alluring about beautiful plants that have a bite to them. In fact, I just attended a fascinating talk by desert-designer-extraordinaire Scott Calhoun, who believes our fascination with plants that make us bleed is akin to the Stockholm Syndrome – ha! While I don’t go out of my way to design gardens that will intentionally impale […]

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Garden Designers Roundtable: Designing with Natives

by Rebecca Sweet
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The natives are coming, the natives are coming!    Each passing year brings more and more native plants to our California nurseries, and I couldn’t be more pleased. In response to this growing demand, even the smallest nursery these days seems to have a section dedicated to native plants. However, there are some clients who are […]

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Pasadena’s Arlington Garden

by Rebecca Sweet
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While driving around Pasadena early the other morning, I had a few hours to spare before the Huntington Gardens opened. Imagine my surprise when, while looking for a coffee shop, I accidentally stumbled upon this treasure!  Tucked away in the middle of a residential neighborhood is one of the most exciting public gardens I think […]

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Garden Designers Roundtable: Our Home Gardens

by Rebecca Sweet
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In this month’s Garden Designers Roundtable, we have the honor of writing about our own personal gardens. While this may seem like an easy post to write, it’s actually been quite difficult for me.   How can I possibly share my garden with you in a way that conveys all that it means to me? While […]

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Garden Designers Roundtable – Favorite Gardens

by Rebecca Sweet
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The topic for this month’s Garden Designers Roundtable is Garden Travel/Best Gardens.  While I immediately thought of the many beautiful gardens I’ve seen on my travels, there’s one that I’ve recently had the pleasure of visiting, and one that I can’t get out of my mind.  It’s a private garden here in Northern California, created […]

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