Rebecca Sweet

Surprising Sources of Fall Color Surprising Sources of Fall Color

Surprising Sources of Fall Color

This is my favorite time of year, with fall colors at their peak. The towering maples, liquid ambers, and black oak trees are on fire right now, clearly the stars of the show.  But there’s plenty of drama happening lower to the ground, too, thanks to some surprising sources of fall color. And it’s not […]

Drab to Fab – My Front Entry Garden Makeover entry garden makeover

Drab to Fab – My Front Entry Garden Makeover

When designing the front entrance of a client’s new garden, I know I’ve succeeded in creating something special when: 1.  I spy someone walking down the street and they begin to slow their pace, 2.  They then lean in to take a closer look, and… 3. They whip out their cell phone to snap a […]

Four Seasons of Salvias Salvia elegans and 'Bearrs' limetree

Four Seasons of Salvias

Yes, you read that right – I have FOUR seasons of salvias in my garden.  Now keep in mind, I live in a temperate zone-9 climate, so my winter isn’t going to be like a Midwest winter.  But even if you live in colder areas, there are salvias for spring, summer, AND fall. I went […]

Transforming a Sloping Front Garden sloping front garden

Transforming a Sloping Front Garden

Transforming a sloping front garden is tricky for a variety of reasons:  poor drainage and water run-off, soil erosion, and difficulty in maneuvering around, just to name a few.   I recently visited my client’s garden to see how it’s fared one year later, and WOW – it’s amazing!    I usually tell my clients to wait […]

Creating Contrast in the garden heat loving deer resistant perennials

Creating Contrast in the garden

Creating contrast in the garden is such an important design principle, I thought it would be helpful to show the many different ways I accomplished this in my modified meadow. You may remember my post Creating a Rain Garden (if not, click here.)  In that article, I mentioned my goal was not only to transform […]

Garden Inspiration Using Dead Trees & Branches dead branches

Garden Inspiration Using Dead Trees & Branches

Today I’m sharing some inspiration using dead trees and branches. What do you do when a beloved tree gives up the ghost?  Or when several trees need to be removed to make way for a new home or garden?  Or when you come home from vacation to find a giant oak tree fell over, seemingly […]

Plants for the 4 C’s: Corners, Cracks, Crannies & Crevices nooks corners cracks crannies

Plants for the 4 C’s: Corners, Cracks, Crannies & Crevices

When designing gardens, I never forget to focus on what I call the 4 C’s:  corners, cracks, crannies, and crevices.  When looking at a garden, my philosophy is this:  any bare spot is a planting opportunity.  And, I mean ANY bare spot.  A little nook where two stones don’t quite meet up, or a gap […]

Succulent People of the San Diego Botanic Garden san diego botanic garden succulent people

Succulent People of the San Diego Botanic Garden

While spending the day at the San Diego Botanic Garden, my favorite moment was walking around the corner and discovering I was in the middle of a party with life-sized Succulent People. Pat Hammer (who was also the Botanic Garden’s Director of Operations,) is the genius behind these incredible works of art.  She even made […]

A Magnificent Monochromatic Garden

A Magnificent Monochromatic Garden

Welcome to Lani Freymiller’s magnificent monochromatic garden! What’s a monochromatic garden?  It’s one that uses a very limited color palette. I’ve noticed that gardeners are often reluctant to try their hand at creating a monochromatic garden for fear of it looking a tad uninspiring.  Which is understandable, as it can be a tad tricky to […]

Gardening Under Oaks: Learning to Love Dry-Shade Plants gardening under oaks

Gardening Under Oaks: Learning to Love Dry-Shade Plants

Gardening under oaks and learning to love dry-shade plants go hand-in-hand.   Sensitive to summer irrigation, fertilizers, and root disturbance means creating a garden near an oak tree requires a delicate touch.  Indeed, it can be tricky to accomplish. That’s why the careful selection and placement of dry-shade-loving plants is critical for the tree’s overall health.  (Does anyone […]

Fabulous Francoa – for the dry shade garden Francoa '

Fabulous Francoa – for the dry shade garden

Francoa ramosa is one of my favorite perennials for dry shade.  I’ve had them grow equally happy in fairly deep shade to bright shade, requiring little water once established.  In fact, in my zone 9 garden, they’re evergreen, dying back a bit to form a tidy green mound before starting the show all over again […]

Ornamental Oxalis in the Garden oxalis

Ornamental Oxalis in the Garden

I LOVE ornamental oxalis in the garden! Before you all think I’ve lost my mind, I’m not talking about the horribly invasive oxalis weed that threatens to take over lawns and gardens everywhere.   I’m talking about the many varieties of colorful and well-behaved ornamental oxalis hybrids. The ornamental varieties often get overlooked in the nurseries, […]