This article courtesy of Rebecca Sweet of Harmony in the Garden.

The garden was in dire need of a garden overhaul (see before picture at left). The home is darling with its mix of jewel-toned colors and Craftsman-style charm. However, the half-dead lawn overrun with weeds and California poppies certainly wasn’t doing it any favors.

As she does with all of her clients, Rebecca's first meeting involved discussing all possibilities and ideas to help focus their goals. They ultimately ended up with a wish-list for the garden that included having plants that were colorful, inviting, low-maintenance and low-water.

Read more about the garden makeover process via this link. You can also see the full list of Sunset Western Garden Collection plants used in the garden, along with Rebecca's reason for choosing each (full list below). 

(After)

Purple Diamond® Semi-dwarf Loropetalum – grows to a manageable 3′ x 4′

Purple Pixie® Dwarf Weeping Loropetalum – a cutie pie groundcover that reaches 1′ x 4′

Black Adder Phormium – a longtime favorite of mine with jet black foliage, growing to 3×3.

‘Lemon Lime’ Nandina – a chartreuse nandina that stays green with no red highlights, growing to 3’x3′

EverColor® ‘Everillo’ Carex – a favorite of mine that I plant in almost all my gardens, as it holds its bright colors throughout the year

‘Sunshine’ Ligustrum – a privet?  Yep, but not just any privet.  A sterile chartreuse variety that grows to just 5’x4′ and stays evergreen and tidy throughout the year without spreading throughout the garden.

Platinum Beauty™ Lomandra– always a fan of the dark green variety, this new variegated version makes my heart soar.  It’s one of the toughest, and most beautiful, evergreen grasses you can use in the landscape.

‘Meerlo’ Lavender – my favorite lavender of all time (you can read why I love it so much here), with incredibly fragrant, variegated foliage that looks fabulous every day of the year.

‘Amistad’ Salvia  – this larger variety has dark green foliage with giant, deep purple blooms for months on end, grows to 5′ x 4′ and will draw in every hummingbird in the area.

‘Ember’s Wish’ Salvia – I first saw this blooming in a nursery at Lake Tahoe last year, and fell in love with its coral flowers. They’ll look beautiful planted near the maroon foliage of the loropetalum.

‘Love and Wishes’ Salvia – a slightly smaller variety than ‘Amistad’ with more deep purple blooms.

Illumination® ‘Apricot’ Digiplexis® – another in the Illumination series, the apricot blooms of this perennial is guaranteed to stop people in their tracks.  It looks like a foxglove, but is so much hardier, with blooms lasting from Spring through Fall.