Rebecca Sweet

1) When did you first start gardening?

The gardening bug bit me when I was about 3 years old. My parents (who were also just learning to garden) had installed one of those instant “roll-out gardens,” the kind that come in a roll with the seeds and sod mixed together. After a few weeks of watering, they were thrilled with their very first garden! They weren’t the only ones who were thrilled. Mesmerized by the beautiful colors, I toddled over (when they weren’t looking) and picked off every single flower, filling my little pink bucket with decapitated flower heads.

2) What is your favorite plant in the garden?

Having lived and gardened in this home for the past 35 years, there are a LOT of plants with emotional ties everywhere I turn. My favorite plants are those that transport me to another time or place in my life. It’s next to impossible for me to pick a favorite, but if I had to, I’d say it’s the scent of my orange tree’s blossoms. The soft scent fills the air in early spring and reminds me of my great-grandmother’s garden, where I would visit when I was just a small child.

3) What is your proudest gardening moment?

My proudest gardening moment happens every time my mother (who, in my eyes, is the ultimate gardener and my mentor) asks me for a little gardening advice!

4) What tool could you not live without in your garden?

My go-to gardening tool, one that’s never out of reach, would have to be my favorite pair of Fiskars® PowerGear Pruners. I am always pruning when I walk around my garden and need pruners that are ergonomically correct yet fit comfortably in my hands. So many pruners are too large, or they’re not easy to use (causing a terrible bruise on the palm of my hand). As Goldilocks said, “These are just right!”

5) What inspires you the most?

Sonoma and Lake Tahoe are near and dear to my heart, providing me with endless inspiration. Whenever I feel mentally “stuck” a walk among the vineyards with their red and yellow fall colors or taking a deep breath of the crisp, clean air of Lake Tahoe never fails to inspire.


Rebecca Sweet is a garden designer with her design firm Harmony In The Garden, located in Northern California. Her gardens have been featured in Fine Gardening Magazine, Fine Homebuilding Magazine, Beds & Borders as well as regional newspapers and publications.

In addition to designing gardens, Rebecca is also a featured columnist for Horticulture Magazine, a contributing editor for Fine Gardening Magazine, and a freelance garden journalist. Rebecca contributes content to online garden sites as well, including Fine Gardening Online, Real Simple Online, Nest in Style and is a founding member of the Garden Designer’s Roundtable.

Rebecca is co-author of Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Gardens, due in bookstores February 2011.

In her popular blog Gossip in the Garden, Rebecca shares gardening tips, design strategies and how-to videos for both the novice and experienced gardener.

Visit and to learn more about Rebecca.