Harmony in the Garden Blog


My Top 30 Native Plants for the Garden

Eriogonum grande var. rubescens I’ve been designing gardens with native plants for decades, using both California native and those native to the different regions of the US.  And, after all these years, I’ve come up with my Top 30 favorite native plants that thrive in a garden setting.  What makes these plants a favorite? Most …

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a flower's power

A Flower’s Power

I had both the world’s worst and the world’s best manicure yesterday. For my birthday, my husband gave me an indulgent day at the spa gift certificate, complete with a facial, massage, lunch, and a mani-pedi.   I didn’t really want the manicure because, let’s face it, for us gardeners, a manicure lasts about as long as a daylily’s bloom. …

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Pipevine Swallowtail and Quince

Harbingers of Spring – Flowering Quince & Pipevine Swallowtails

The first day of spring is finally here – HOORAY!  There’s lots happening in the garden right now, but I have to say the #1 harbingers of spring are my giant Flowering Quince shrubs.  There’s nothing subtle about these flowers, ushering in spring loud and clear, shouting to the world that spring is here! Bright …

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'Mozart' rosemary

Rosemary in the Garden

A designer once told me she never plants rosemary in her garden because it’s too common. Huh?

Of course, everyone has a right to their own opinion, but not planting something just because it’s common? 

Personally, I happen to LOVE rosemary in the garden and incorporate it into as many designs as I can.  

Whether it’s the upright ‘Tuscan Blue,’ mid-size ‘Mozart’ (in the photo, left) or the groundcover ‘Prostratus’ (and everything in between,) I can’t get enough of this plant.

It’s an especially treasured plant for those of us who share our gardens with marauding deer, rabbits, and gophers, as the highly aromatic leaves tend to repel them.

At the same time, because of its long bloom time, it’s a bee magnet (mason bees, honey bees, and bumblebees) as well as hummingbirds, and butterflies. 

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obelisks and tuteurs

Four-Season Structure with Trellises, Tuteurs, and Obelisks

Late winter is the perfect time to talk about adding four-season structure to the garden, using something as simple as a decorative tuteur, trellis, or obelisk. Take a look outside, and you’re likely to see bare branches beginning to swell and bulbs pushing their way through the soil. So before your garden wakes up in …

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Formerly called ‘Gossip in the Garden’, this is the blog for Harmony in the Garden where I share all things garden-related. I’ve been designing gardens throughout California for over 20 years.  I have lots to say and lots to share!

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