Explore and Create Your Own Garden Wonderland with Leslie Bennett and Sunset Plant Collection

Do you ever wonder what makes a magical, meaningful garden? Leslie Bennett explores this exciting concept in her new book, “Garden Wonderland: Create Life-Changing Outdoor Spaces for Beauty, Harvest, Meaning, and Joy.” Filled with lush landscapes, tried-and-true guidance, and plenty of inspiring plants, Leslie’s book is a treasure trove of stunning photos and practical advice, informed by her years of experience gardening on the West Coast. These stunning landscapes are home to bold colors, rich stories, buzzing pollinators, and some of Leslie’s favorite plants from Sunset® Plant Collection! 

Today, we’re shining the spotlight on seven plants that make an appearance in “Garden Wonderland” and many of Leslie’s landscaping projects:

Clarity Blue™ Dianella: Leslie says, “Useful as an attractive pathway edger, this easy-care hybrid can tie into other blue foliage in the landscape. It contrasts nicely with other nearby foliage, and also serves as a visual link across the landscape as it grows happily in sun or shade.”

Platinum Beauty® Lomandra: Leslie recommends this versatile lomandra as an evergreen fronting and punctuation in the landscape across both sunny and shady exposures. She continues, “We love how the frosty hue brightens up a shady spot, and the way the grassy foliage contrasts with broader green leaf shapes nearby.”

A lush garden with a winding stone path, surrounded by various green plants, trees, and flowers. There are wooden chairs and a bench with blue cushions and a bird feeder hanging from a tree.
Photo: Rachel Weill/courtesy Ten Speed Press

Digitalis ‘Apricot’ Illumination®: “These super pretty flowers bloom beautifully in sun or part-shade conditions and have a long flowering season. Plus, they are gorgeous in cut flower arrangements! It’s absolutely one of our favorite hardworking plants to use in our gardens!”

‘Totally Tangerine’ Geum: “This is one of the earlier flowers to bloom in spring, and they just keep going!” Leslie adds, “We love these for their bright color and open-face blooms that are visually impactful in the landscape and in the vase.”

Chef’s Choice® Rosemary: This richly flavored, spicy rosemary is Leslie’s go-to for both culinary harvesting and for use as a low, evergreen edible space divider in the landscape. Pollinators love its winter blooms too!

Love and Wishes™ Salvia: Leslie’s go-to salvia for the landscape, its convenient medium size is accompanied by lush green leaves and super long-lasting blooms. She adds, “The bloom color is such a pretty, saturated hue that plays well with and adds depth to whatever color palette we’re creating.”

A close-up shot of a garden bed featuring green and purple foliage, with purple-pink flowers in the foreground and a variety of leafy plants in the background.
Photo: Rachel Weill/courtesy Ten Speed Press

‘Meerlo’ Lavandula: “Although it can grow to be substantial in size, we use this as a front of planting border or pathway edger. We especially love that it’s evergreen in our Northern California climate and can link visually with other variegated plants in the landscape. The fragrant foliage and blooms can be used like more traditional lavenders and are also well-loved by pollinators.”

A lush garden with a variety of plants, shrubs, and trees, enclosed by a wooden fence, featuring a grassy lawn in the foreground and a wooden barrel near the center.
Photo: Rachel Weill/courtesy Ten Speed Press

Leslie Bennett’s “Garden Wonderland” is more than just a guide—it’s an invitation to transform your garden into a personal oasis of beauty, meaning, and productivity. Her curated list of Sunset Plant Collection favorites offers a glimpse into the plants that have shaped her own stunning designs. We hope you find inspiration in Leslie’s selections and feel empowered to create your own “Garden Wonderland.” Happy gardening!

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Your zip code 50307 is in Zone: 5b with a temperature range of: -15 to -10 °F.

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