On my recent trip to San Francisco for the garden bloggers “fling” when we visited Rebecca Sweet’s beautiful garden, what struck me about her design strategy was “garden vignettes”, “design spotlights”, and “skinny spaces”. Rebecca Sweet is an innovative garden designer who lives in northern California and wrote “Garden Up-Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces”. And she certainly uses every vertical space available!
What makes a garden personal and a reflection of you? Think of decorating your interior space when you put personal collectibles or mementoes from travels on your end tables or shelves. You create little vignettes of items that go together to make a statement and express what you enjoy.
Well, that is what drew me to Rebecca Sweet’s garden in San Francisco. She had a small to medium garden, but every time you went around a corner or entered a new space, you stopped to look at the small collection of objects that she had arranged to express a feeling, experience, or set the stage. So, even though the square footage wasn’t large, the good use of space, both horizontal and vertical enhanced the garden space and it took a long time to take everything in.
The visit inspired me to visit my local salvage yard to pursue some “finds” to enhance my outdoor space.
Some people would call it clutter, but each piece looked like it was carefully selected and displayed. Call it a museum of garden “stuff”, in a painterly style.
Clustering and collections were used throughout the garden just like you would decorate your house.
A heavy use of succulents and agaves was very noticeable, but we are in California where these things thrive! I call this kind of design California Fusion, with a layered and lush approach to design.
No space was left untouched. Even behind the shed, the trash recycling area, and the kids play area, usually neglected areas, was thoughtfully designed.
Rebecca Sweet was a very gracious hostess as well as her dog who was a rescue “Borgi”, a cross between a Border Collie and Corgi.