by Kate of Centsationalgirl.com

The Sunset Western Garden Collection® approached me with an offer to spruce up a planting bed with a few of their plants and I readily accepted, knowing ours was in such sad shape. I've subscribed to Sunset Magazine for over a decade, it's such a wonderful resource for those of us that live in the West, always featuring landscaping ideas, inspiring interiors, and not to miss travel destinations from Arizona up to Alaska.

I had a neglected half circular planting bed at the top of the stairs, it's a focal point in the yard so it was time to add just a few new plants so that it wasn't an eyesore anymore. It's on a drip system so we knew we could pull out the ugly, trim the overgrown, and replant with a few new varieties.

Two weeks after planting, it's looking so much better!

The first thing we did was pull out the dead plants then prep with new soil.

In years past, I've planted with cool tones, incorporating lavender or purple blooms, I prefer them to red or orange blooms in our yard so the few plants we added are in the same purple palette. We have a few varieties of lavender and dried grasses that grow well in Northern California and need little water.

Pictured below are 'Love and Wishes' Salvia (left) and 'Meerlo' Lavender (right) – also I love using black mulch, it shows off the plants so well, see even yards need a touch of black!

On the adjacent flight of stairs is a pot of Chef's Choice® Rosemary, 'Black and Bloom' Salvia, and 'Beyond Blue' Festuca grass.

I've had this bird bath for over ten years, from my kitchen window I watch all kinds of birds playing in it so I keep it filled water for the wildlife.

The Sunset Western Garden Collection® was introduced in spring 2012 and is a plant collection designed specifically for the Western gardener. Their partnerships with local growers allow them to customize the collection to best meet the climatic differences diverse gardening regions in the West so for those of you who live in the Western states, look for them at your local nursery!