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    « (Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Lila B. Designs | Main | Garden Designers Roundtable: Inspiration – What I Learned from the Girl from Ipanema »


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    Unfortunately we do not have celebs sauntering into our garden centers like you folks in movie land. So did you want to go up and give him a few tips?

    What do you mean? Isn't Paula Dean in your neck of the woods? Afraid most of my celebrity contact is via the internet. When helping us with PR, our book publicist asked if either of us had designed any celebrity gardens - like Brad Pitts, for example. Uh, no.

    Rebecca Sweet

    One of my favs is Phlomis lanata - a tidy, compact Jerusalem Sage growing to about 3' x 3', evergreen, flowers almost year-round and the deer won't even touch it. Thanks for turning me on to C. foliosa and Margarita 'Bop' - I've now included it among my top 10 favorites!

    Happy to return the favor, since you're the one who turned me onto Phlomis lanata!


    I love penstemon's. I recently planted some in my clients garden and a month later there were bright purple flowers on them. So gorg...!/photo.php?fbid=451686925681&set=a.451681160681.241534.49954425681&pid=5328419&id=49954425681



    What a fun post, Susan. I am in love with your pic of cute little Calamagrostis foliosa. Want! The Baywatch star isn't bad either.

    Seriously, you'd think a well-stocked nursery would be smart enough to stock both cool plants and hunky plant sholppers! We shouldn't have to choose.


    Calamagrostis foliosa? That is awesome! I need to add that to my list of plants to look for.
    I like to put in Tuscan Blue Rosemary instead of boxwood shrubs. Rosemary has flowers and smells fabulous. : )

    Gina, have you tried Rosemary 'Blue Spires' as a sub for boxwood? It has a nice upright habit that handles shearing very well.


    No, I haven't! I just looked it up, and I think I need some of those! : )


    Great advice, Susan. I was thinking maybe the first photo was of your husband and . . . neice or something. Ha :-)

    I'm afraid we're all a bit more ordinary looking around here! But it's rare that I can figure out a way to slip a little beefcake into a garden blog, so when I get the chance...

    Toni - Signature Gardens

    Great post! Blue fescue bit the dust in my garden, so I'd love to try the Calamagrostis foliosa. Love ornamental grasses :-) I sub Dwarf Yaupon Holly for Boxwood. I know, a bit boring, but sometimes it just fits the bill with much better long-term results :-) Perennial 'Henry Duelberg' Salvia or annual reseeding larkspur for delphiniums. I'll have to check out the Phlomis lantana -- I have Phlomis russeliana. So many good plant choices -- so little space :-)

    Blue fescue is all flash and no substance - definitely try the Calamagrostis as a sub. Will check out the salvia - I always love getting plant recommendations!

    Janine Robinson

    you could also have a "what not to plant" tv reality show!

    Great idea! You should pitch it to HGTV!

    Town Mouse

    My tastes are strange and we all know it, but your clients might be interested in the information on the Don't Plant a Pest website (
    For example, instead of Scotch Broom, choose Forsythia, instead of ice plant choose Salvia leucophylla. Great post!

    Hey Townie! I wondered if a post that included natives might lure you over for a visit. Thanks for the resource. There are good alternatives out there, but it takes a little thought.

    lostlandscape (James)

    Gosh, what does the book offer as a substitute to chocolate? In my book there are lots of plants that similarly don't have a substitute. But if you make different choices around the indulgences it's easy to justify them. And for me the verbena has also been a great substitute for lavender. At least for me it blooms more abundantly and longer. Okay, the verbena doesn't have the lavender scent, but it's still a great plant.

    James, if I had a substitute for chocolate, do you think I'd be wasting my time on a piddly little garden blog? I'd be a multi-millionaire for sure!

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