Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Sweet Little Fling Garden

View as you enter the backyard
I have been doing some major dilly-dallying when it comes to blogging about my wonderful experience at the San Francisco Garden Bloggers Fling. I think it's because I found it daunting to try to capture a dozen stunning gardens, one fun-filled dinner in a conservatory, and two wonderful nurseries, knowing I'll only have enough time to do one or two posts. But with some encouragement from my fellow Flingers I've decided to blog about one of the gardens that really spoke to me - Rebecca Sweet's garden in Los Altos. Rebecca is co-author of the book Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces. She's also written numerous gardening articles and is a landscape designer. Above is the view as you enter the backyard from the side and stand on the patio. Wouldn't love you that bouganvillea on the right?

We were fascinated by the beautiful birds in this lovely birdcage
Rebecca's yard is filled with so many charming vignettes, and this birdcage is no exception. I've never seen one like this. And how cool to have it outdoors!

Metal birds and wreath above the birdcage
I realized after I got home and looked at this photo that I must have been subconsciously influenced by these birds because I bought some very similar ones while at Flora Grubb Nursery.

Jacaranda blossoms and glass ball in fountain
OK Rebecca, how on earth do you keep your fountain water so clear and clean? Wish I could get that with mine!

Rebecca and her design studio
Hidden from immediate view as you enter the backyard is a little studio that us Flingers salivated over. It is just so darn cute and very personalized. The studio was created out of a former shed. I love the dark exterior and light interior and all the windows.

Path along one side of the studio
Interior of Rebecca's studio, nice and sunny
Tillandsias on the windowsill
Every windowsill in the studio had interesting arrangements.

More tillandsias and some glass eggs
A repurposed fireplace mantel
There were ingenious places to "garden up." And shells here and there.

I was very jealous of all the lovely succulents and agaves I saw in every garden
More succulents and agave
So why did this garden speak to me so much? I think it was because it was another example of a deeply personal garden, something I am very much drawn to these days. And the garden was small enough that I could imagine myself gardening there. The interesting vignettes and tidy space spoke of a loving hand. Thank you Rebecca, for sharing your space and allowing us to dream.

[Notice I didn't once complain about the heat? Inside joke for Flingers. :-)]

This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2013. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.


  1. It is a sweet garden...She sure does make succulents and agaves look wonderful. gail

  2. I've had the same problem blogging about Fling ... so many fabulous gardens and photographs thereof ... however am I to choose? Rebecca's was a very liveable garden and she was a most gracious hostess.

  3. I loved Rebecca's garden too. You posted some wonderful photos that really captured its spirit. I don't actually know Rebecca, but I heard her give a talk at the NW Flower and Garden Show, and enjoyed it very much.

  4. Oh lovely, beautiful. I felt many of the same things about Rebecca's garden. She is such a dear.~~Dee

  5. Rebecca's studio is amazing! I think all of us dream of having a garden shed like this. I also love the fireplace mantle--what a creative idea! I agree that sometimes I am more drawn to small gardens when touring because they are so much more personal, not to mention they're not as intimidating--they look "doable." Glad you had such a great time in spite of the heat, Jean.

  6. What a beautiful article and photos - I'm so, so happy you had the chance to visit my little garden and 'shack in the back'! ;) And I'll complain for you - wasn't that horrific heat just....well...horrific? It delights me to no end that despite the sweltering conditions you were still able to appreciate my little paradise. Thank you for such kind words - this is a lovely thing to wake up to this Monday morning! XO - Rebecca

  7. I've been dragging my feet on the blog front too... must be the heat I'm experiencing now that summer is in full effect here in TX. I too loved Rebecca's garden, there were so many great details and areas to enjoy looking at again and again. May we all allow ourselves to bring out life's sweet memories in our own little gardens.

  8. Jean, I love your vision of Rebecca's garden! I agree; this was my favorite, too. And it was really delightful to see you!

  9. Lovely picture of Rebecca by her studio. Hers was a calm, comfortable garden where I think we all felt as though we belonged there. I love seeing the gardens through others' eyes....we all focus on different areas.

  10. What a wonderful tour of Rebecca's garden. I have her book and it is filled with great ideas. I have an 'office' in our house, but it doesn't look ANYTHING like that fabulous studio. I am also fascinated by the birdhouse.

  11. Just lovely to sit and read about your garden blogger's fling. Such a pretty garden!


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