Blog Posts by Sunset Magazine

  • 15 Favorite Roses to Grow

    The West's best flowers for borders, beds, bouquets, and containers.

    Julia ChildJulia Child
    'Julia Child'
    An award-winning rose, this floribunda has buttery yellow blooms and a sweet fragrance.
    More favorite floribundas

    Tangerine trees and….Tangerine trees and….
    'Marmalade Skies'

    We love this floribunda with tangerine-orange blooms on strong stems.
    How to plant a bare-root rose

    Easy GoingEasy Going
    'Easy Going'

    This floribunda has bright green foliage and peachy golden yellow blooms that don't fade.


    Crimson blooms on a very disease-resistant bush make this rose a real winner from the coast to the desert.

    Ebb TideEbb Tide
    'Ebb Tide'

    This fragrant floribunda has deep purple blooms that are darkest in cooler weather.
    Disease-resistant roses

    Abraham DarbyAbraham Darby
    'Abraham Darby'

    This David Austin beauty has apricot-to-yellow blooms. It's sweetly fragrant and a repeat bloomer.

    Betty BoopBetty Boop
    'Betty Boop'

    Three-inch double blooms of yellow-ivory with cherry red edges cover this shrub rose.

    Hot CocoaHot Cocoa
    'Hot Cocoa'

    A Sunset test garden favorite, this floribunda rose has ruffled petals and a color that's hard

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  • 8 Succulent Winter Roasts

    Classic and unexpected cuts to star at your table, with sides to match.

    You can grill it, tooYou can grill it, too
    Garlic-Rubbed Tri-Tip with Mint Caper Salsa
    Tri-tip for Christmas? Yes--this wintertime take on the barbecue classic is elegantly Mediterranean.

    Yield: Serves 10 to 12
    Total: 45 Minutes


    10 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
    1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
    2 teaspoons pepper
    3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    2 boneless tri-tip roasts (2 to 2 1/2 lbs. each)

    3/4 cup each roughly chopped parsley and mint
    1/3 cup chopped shallots
    2 anchovy fillets
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
    1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
    1 tablespoon each lemon zest and juice
    3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Sprinkle garlic with salt and mince to combine, then mash to a paste with flat side of chef's knife. In a small bowl, mix paste with paprika, pepper,

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  • 15 Best Plants for Cool-season Color

    Brighten gray, drizzly days with the West's best cool-season flowers.

    Shiny dark green leaves look great all yearShiny dark green leaves look great all year
    Candytuft (Iberis)
    Candytuft plants grow 8 to 12 inches high and wide; their narrow, shiny dark green leaves look great all year.

    Pure white flower clusters are carried on stems long enough to cut for bouquets. Choose 'Alexander's White' (pictured), 'Autumnale', or 'Autumn Snow; they bloom in spring and again in fall.

    Plants thrive in full sun or part shade and regular water. Candytuft needs well-drained soil and should be sheared lightly after bloom to stimulate new growth.
    26 favorite perennial flowers

    Adds intense color to dark corners of the gardenAdds intense color to dark corners of the garden

    Made for the shade, florists' cineraria adds intense color to dark corners of the garden.

    Cineraria grows to 2 feet high and wide with daisies ranging in color from white through pink and purplish red to blue and purple. Plants need partial or full shade along with regular water and loose, rich soil. Discard after bloom, even where perennial.

    Here it's combined

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  • 15 Festive Winter Arrangements

    These simple displays can be created using items found outdoors--maybe even in your own backyard.

    Even humble twigs and stones become artEven humble twigs and stones become art
    Curated winter arrangement
    Arranged together on a tray with a glass cloche, even humble twigs and stones become art. Mix various textures and heights to keep the display interesting. This one includes a river rock, a trough of bark holding a tumbleweed twig, thyme in a wooden planter, and a pinecone on a bed of moss.

    Get the look: Cheese board (similar to one shown, $89;; glass cloche (8 in. high, $15;; aubergine grasscloth placemats ($5.95 each;

    As festive as an evergreenAs festive as an evergreen
    Mini holiday tree

    As festive as an evergreen bough but less expected, a cypress-tree door decoration will see you through the holidays and beyond. Set a potted mini cypress on a plastic saucer, wrap in a burlap bag, and nail the drawstring to your door (adding a twig of barberry if you like). Keep the tree well watered, and plant it at the end of the season.

    Get the look: Natural burlap

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  • 15 Beautiful Christmas Wreath Ideas

    Decorate your home and garden with the West's winter colors and beautiful natural materials.

    Christmas without being too Christmas-yChristmas without being too Christmas-y

    Clusters of yellow-orange kumquats and a few green citrus leaves add contrast to a red Leucadendron base. Dried palm stems provide a dash of orange. The colors are evocative of Christmas without being too Christmas-y.

    Design by Zenaida Sengo of Flora Grubb Gardens and floral designer Susie Nadler of Cutting Garden; sold by Flora Grubb.

    A base of silver Leucadendron A base of silver Leucadendron
    A base of silver Leucadendron gives this wreath silky highlights and a metallic sheen that catches the light. Plum Sempervivum, pale purple Kalanchoe cuttings, and green rosemary sprigs stud the base.

    Design by Zenaida Sengo of Flora Grubb Gardens and floral designer Susie Nadler of Cutting Garden; sold by Flora Grubb.

    Lichen-covered walnut branch pruningsLichen-covered walnut branch prunings
    Lichen-covered walnut branch prunings from an orchard north of San Francisco form this wreath. The branch ends are wired together into a circle, then the wreath is dressed up with gray and pink Tillandsia (aka air plants).

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  • 8 Favorite Cookie Recipes

    Discover delicious cookie recipes to fill your gift bags and cookie jars.

    Create glamour from doughCreate glamour from dough
    Lemon Meringue-Filled Gingersnap Snowflake Cookies
    With a simple cookie cutter, you can create glamour from dough.

    Time: 1 hour.
    Yield: Makes 50 sandwich cookies

    1 cup butter, at room temperature
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
    1 large egg
    3 1/2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons ground ginger
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg, and freshly ground black pepper

    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    3 large egg whites
    Zest of 1 lemon
    Powdered sugar for dusting


    1. Make dough: Beat butter and brown sugar together in a bowl with a mixer on medium speed. Mix in molasses, then egg, until blended, scraping bowl as needed.

    2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices; add to butter mixture on low

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  • 15 Amazing Foodie Gifts

    Handmade kitchen gadgets, delectable treats, and more for the gourmand or avid home cook.

    We fell for this trayWe fell for this tray
    It was meant to be merely a prop, but we fell for this leather-handled tray sold by Heath. Walnut tray, $275; 14 by 21 1⁄2 in.;
    More gifts for the home and garden enthusiast

    A new heirloomA new heirloom
    Ceramic bowl
    A hand-thrown bowl from Heath Ceramics of Sausalito, California, doesn't just elevate salad--it's a new heirloom. Classic Holiday Salad Set bowl and tongs, $160;

    Zingy Mexican moles are an exceptionZingy Mexican moles are an exception
    Mole sauces
    Our food editors rarely go for jarred sauces, but these zingy Mexican moles are an exception. $36 for 3 (15 oz.) jars;

    Packs a smooth wallopPacks a smooth wallop
    Wylie Howell corn whiskey, distilled in Northern California, packs a smooth wallop. The stellar hooch is named after the maker's bootlegger grandpa, who graces the jug. $119;

    Will keep for weeksWill keep for weeks
    Wine preserver
    Insert this wine preserver's needle through the cork, shoot argon into the bottle, and pour a glass. The

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  • 15 Great Gifts for Travelers

    From must-have accessories to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, here's how to make your favorite adventurer's holiday a treat.

    30 no-sweat miles per charge30 no-sweat miles per charge
    Electric bike
    Our staffers fought to road-test the Electra Townie Go, an e-bike released in 2013. You pedal, but a battery and motor offer extra oomph--30 no-sweat miles per charge. $2,300;

    Biking the West

    A graphic, clear-toned bellA graphic, clear-toned bell
    Bike bell
    The bike enthusiast on your list can ring in the new year with this graphic, clear-toned bell. Pattern bike bell, $22;

    A tailored but tough toteA tailored but tough tote
    Tote bag
    A tailored but tough tote from Filson of Seattle (around since the Klondike Gold Rush) will hold plenty and hold up for many a trip. Canvas carry-all, $245;

    Stands up to any weatherStands up to any weather
    Waterproof backpack
    Designed in Portland, the Zipper Roll Top Backpack stands up to any weather; it's made with waterproof, treated canvas to keep goods dry around town or on a hike. From $149;

    Our guide to camping in the West

    Sleek, petite new thermoses Sleek, petite new thermoses
    These sleek, petite new thermoses keep soup hot

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  • 15 Gifts for the Home & Garden Enthusiast

    This holiday season, provide comfort and joy to your loved one's sanctuary.

    Gardens under glassGardens under glass

    Give gardens under glass--diamond-shaped terrariums made in Sacramento from upcycled window glass. Glass Diamond containers from $65 each;

    Stylish home for solitary beesStylish home for solitary bees
    Bee house
    Peace on Earth, goodwill to pollinators (and the people who love them). All will enjoy this stylish home for solitary bees, which settle in small cavities. Bee house, $26;

    Make your own sweet gift treats

    A hand-cut silhouetteA hand-cut silhouette
    Pet portrait
    The best way to go to the dogs: Present proud owners with a hand-cut silhouette of the family pooch. Available in 38 breeds and 2 sizes (5 by 7 in. and 8 by 10 in.); custom portraits on request. Dog silhouettes from $15 each;

    Rustproof copper Rustproof copper
    This extra-wide rustproof copper trowel is as useful as it is beautiful. Castor trowel, $58;

    Glazed stoneware plantersGlazed stoneware planters
    We love that these glazed stoneware planters from Petersen Pottery Company were inspired by the interplay of

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  • 8 Great Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

    It's just not Thanksgiving without lots and lots of leftovers. Feast again with turkey tetrazzini, enchiladas, tostadas, chowder, and more.

    Cranberry ThumbprintsCranberry Thumbprints
    Cranberry Thumbprints
    Instead of using jam, fill these bite-sized cookies with your extra Thanksgiving cranberry sauce.

    : Makes 25 cookies
    Total: 1 Hour


    About 2/3 cup cranberry sauce, drained
    1 cup unsalted butter
    3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 1/2 cups flour
    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    Pinch of salt
    3/4 cup pecan pieces


    1. Heat oven to 350°. Whirl sauce in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds; set aside.

    2. Beat butter and sugar together in the bowl of a standing mixer until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour, spices, and salt, then mix on low speed until blended, scraping inside of bowl as needed. Stir in pecans.

    3. Form dough into 1 1/2-in balls and set 1 in. apart on a greased

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