Sibling power

Gardening team shares secrets for keeping plantings beautiful year-round

  • Print
  • |
  • Email

Sibling power

Pansies, nemesias in white, pink, and blue, and red penstemons border the path. Star jasmine climbs the wall.

Claire Curran

Click to Enlarge

  • Sibling power

    Gardening sisters Barbara McFadden (left), Brenda Gousha (right), and Patrice Longmire.

Sisters Brenda Gousha and Barbara McFadden founded their landscaping business six years ago with the mission to create and maintain flower gardens in Southern California's Rancho Santa Fe area. Gousha, who has a degree in ornamental horticulture, and McFadden, a Master Gardener, pooled their talents to select their clients' plants, position them, and keep the beds and borders looking beautiful. They called their business Sisters Specialty Gardens.

Making the rounds of high-end homes is nothing new to the sisters; as kids, they tagged along with their father, who cofounded San Diego's Weir Bros Custom Homes. As demand for Gousha and McFadden's services increased, they sought additional help, recruiting Patrice Longmire, an honorary sister with a great eye for floral design.

Most of their clients want year-round flower color, lush greenery, and no bare spots or dead blooms. Such perfection takes time, effort, and gardening savvy, so it's not surprising that the women learned to streamline their techniques for garden design and maintenance. Follow their guidelines in your own garden and you can't go wrong.

Groom plants often. When cutting back perennials and annuals to clear sidewalks or paths, trim the plants at a 45° angle (cutting downward toward the path's edge), rather than perpendicular to the ground. "It looks better," Longmire says.


Page 12


Insider Guides

Places We Love!
Enchantment Resort
For a most soothing Sedona experience, tuck yourself...