Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Freeland and Sabrina’s garden in California

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Rebecca Sweet

Today’s photos and tip were sent in by Rebecca Sweet, one of my favorite people/garden designers. She visited garden designers Freeland and Sabrina Tanner at their garden and home in Napa, California, last week. It’s a stunning garden (I’ve photographed it twice, and hyperventilated from the gorgeousness…), with so many details to take in that it can make your head spin. Rebecca zeroed in on this little tidbit.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Rebecca Sweet

She says, “While visiting Freeland and Sabrina Tanner’s beautiful Napa garden, I couldn’t help noticing the simple yet elegant edging along their garden beds.  It turns out they made the edging themselves using leftover cuttings from their purple-leaf plum tree and Sambucus  ‘Black Lace’ shrub.  Not only is this attractive right now, in its dormant stage, but it gets even better throughout the year when the branches begin flowering in the spring followed by tiny, burgundy foliage.  They have to be careful, though, to replace the edging each year before the branches begin rooting,  turning into a potential nightmare to remove.  And a word to the wise – think twice about which branches to use if you decide to make these for your own garden.  One gardener they know used cuttings from a fig tree, which rooted at the speed of light and were nearly impossible to remove!” Good advice, Rebecca…

Want to see more of Sabrina & Freeland’s garden? I’ve featured them in the GPOD here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. There’s also a slideshow of their garden here. You’ll find a couple of their designs in other gardens here and here.  Crazy, I know! They are a couple of garden-designing POWERHOUSES. And incredibly nice, too, I must say.

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

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View Comments


  1. daffodilplanter 02/29/2012

    Leap Day is a lucky day when it brings us so many photos from the Tanner garden! Thanks to you and Rebecca for snapping. Blizzard blowing up in the Sierras right now, which makes it especially fun to see the sunny Napa scenes.

  2. mosaicgardener 02/29/2012

    Beautiful Garden - love the edging...and the stones!

  3. pattyspencer 02/29/2012

    I've seen this type of fence before only I believe grape vines were used. I don't believe they rooted. It's an attractive type of edging but to have to pull it out before they suckered would be too much work for me. I do like the rest of the garden tho.

  4. sheilaschultz 02/29/2012

    Freeland and Sabrina's gardens always make me drool, their design ideas are so creative... and this one is just plain fun. It has to be beautiful when the branches bloom and leaf out. Thanks Rebecca and Michelle!

  5. tractor1 02/29/2012

    I don't see any point in expending ones energies putting in live branches that only need to be removed before they create a nuisance. If I wanted a living border for a veggie garden I'd plant a row of carrots, basil, parsley, radish, something both attractive and useful.. remember the marigolds from two days ago, I plant those too. When I prune my fruit trees, even ornamental crabapple and pear, I snip all the branches into small bits and toss them in the creek to get rid of them. I used to burn them but open fires are no longer permitted. I also haul cuttings and fallen branches into the woods where I have a brush pile for critters. Fruit tree cuttings should be properly disposed of as they bring the plant diseases that attack fruit trees... one should do the same when pruning roses as they are related to apple. If folks want a gardening tip they should make it a habit to collect *all* prunings and dispose of them far away from where they were cut.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/29/2012

    I'm so glad I clicked on the links provided to see other parts of the Tanner's garden. They certainly do have a wonderful talent for adding those perfect finishing touches. I confess to breaking one of the Ten Commandments when I saw the picture of the enchanting gate made of shovels and rakes...I seriously "coveted" it.

  7. riverain 03/01/2012

    Thankfully, some people garden with creative artistic abandon despite tractors disapproval... I think it is a whimsical touch and enjoy the idea.

    The energy expended on this is similar to the energy spent creating beautiful flower arrangements and gourmet foods... which dont last anywhere as long as a season. Some people dont see the point, but I do!

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