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sustainability

Goodbye Lawn, Hello Garden Part 2

by Rebecca Sweet
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Phew – I’ve been busy!  As promised a few weeks ago, here’s the next phase of my front lawn-removal project. After deciding on the materials and final shape of the pathways, the next step was to remove the lawn.  A physically grueling task to be sure. Enlisting some help from one with a much stronger […]

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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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Chicken Coop Redux

by Rebecca Sweet
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As many of my readers may know, I adore chickens and have had several grace my garden over the years. Note the past tense. While I love them dearly, I’ve finally realized they’re best enjoyed in other people’s gardens.  I can’t bear to keep them cooped up (no pun intended) in a chicken run, so […]

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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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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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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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Flowers in February? Absolutely!

by Rebecca Sweet
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While visiting the garden of one of my favorite clients yesterday I was really pleased with how it looked in the middle of February.  When designing, one of my priorities is to create a garden that looks good throughout the year.  Luckily, living in Northern California’s zone 9, this is a very attainable goal.  However, […]

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Lani’s Fantastic Fence

by Rebecca Sweet
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Lani Freymiller has created one of the most incredible gardens I’ve ever seen (read more about it here).  Her garden is filled with countless design concepts and creative ideas. So many, in fact, that instead of writing the world’s longest post I’ve decided to write several shorter ones and post them throughout the year. This […]

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The Heirloom Life Gardener – Book Review

by Rebecca Sweet
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A few weeks ago the folks at Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company asked if I’d like to review a copy of their new book The Heirloom Life Gardener, by Jere and Emilee Gettle (227 pages, Hyperion, 2011.  List Price $29.99) I was excited to read this book because even though I’m a passionate gardener and […]

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Garden Designers Roundtable – What’s lawn doing in Hell?

by Rebecca Sweet
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Let me state up front that I’m not a hater when it comes to lawns.  There, I’ve said it. If you have a lawn and you or your kids actually use it, then it’s okay in my book.  Especially if you don’t have unrealistic expectations that you need to saturate your garden with chemicals to keep […]

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Recycling in the Garden

by Rebecca Sweet

  I absolutely love re-purposed items in the garden. Things that may be broken or have lost their usefulness are all too often headed to the dump.  But hold up!  Sometimes all that’s needed is a coat of paint, a little sprucing up and a healthy dose of creativity to use that item in a […]

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Inspiring Fences…

by Rebecca Sweet

I try and visit Sonoma’s Cornerstone Gardens as often as I can, as their gardens are constantly changing and I always see something new that I swear I’ve never seen before!   I’ve written about them in the past, but this time I was really captivated by a few of the fences surrounding some of […]

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The Green Roof at SF’s Academy of Sciences

by Rebecca Sweet

No, this isn’t a scene from Teletubbies.   Last night I attended an APLD meeting in San Francisco to listen to Alan Good, the Academy’s Landscape Exhibit Supervisor, give a fascinating presentation about the building’s green-roof infrastructure and its plant life.   While I found the specific construction of the roof interesting, it was the […]

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Design tips for a low-water Meadow Garden

by Rebecca Sweet
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Today I’m participating in a massive, worldwide blogging event called Blog Action Day, where the topic we’ll all write about is Water. As any California gardener knows, water is our most precious resource.  In this post, I’m going to share a few tips to help you create a lawn-and-chemical-free meadow garden teeming with life, color, scent […]

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Garden Designers Roundtable: A garden for wildlife (the good AND the bad)

by Rebecca Sweet
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In this month’s Garden Designers Roundtable, we discuss how to create a garden that’s inviting to wildlife – creating a ‘habitat garden’. I think it’s safe to say that for the most part, those of us who love gardening appreciate most aspects of nature and get a little thrill when discovering hidden bird nests in […]

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Praying Mantis nests for the tough-to-please teenager

by Rebecca Sweet

  I’ve written about a few ways to engage your older kids in the garden.  It’s definitely not as easy as when they were young.  It takes a little more craftiness than having their own ‘big kid shovel’ to lure some of these kids back into the garden, so I’m always trying something new. One […]

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From ‘Ewww’ to ‘Cool’

by Rebecca Sweet

I walked into Peets Coffee the other day (sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn’t it?) Well, I walked in and saw these interesting looking mushroom kits for sale.  And being an avid gardener who will grow just about anything, I was immediately intrigued.  So, I snatched one up for $15.00.   Having a […]

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Gardeners and their Gardens – ‘Town Mouse’

by Rebecca Sweet

One of the perks that goes along with being a garden writer is the chance to meet the most amazing gardeners. Visiting these gardens are always such a treat, as I feel like I’m getting a sneak peek into the gardener’s soul.  You can almost feel the blood, sweat and tears that went into the garden’s creation. […]

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