Australian Natives

If you take a map of the world and draw a horizontal line through Los Angeles, you will eventually reach southwestern Australia.  Any plant that grows there can grow here, too.  The sea- bordering, s...

Of Cabbages and Kings

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: . . . of cabbages and kings.” (from Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll) It is no wonder that cabbages make an appearance ...

Citrus Colors

Did you ever wonder why limes are green and every other type of citrus fruit is either orange or yellow?  The reason for this, I recently learned, is that limes (and lime trees) are the most cold sen...

Replant Disease

Have you — or, more precisely, one of your newly planted fruit trees or roses — ever been a victim of replant disease? Now that spring is upon us in earnest, planting decisions are being ...

From Aleppo Pine to Silk Tree

“For about 8 years we enjoyed a lovely Aleppo pine on my hillside yard.  This tree was purchased in a large box and was quite mature when we brought it in and it flourished for many years.  We ...

Life is a Process of Planting Seeds

“Life is a process of planting seeds for the future.  This is how Adam (from adama, the Hebrew word for earth) got his name.  For the virtue of earth is found in the plants that grow out of it and in...

Slope Planting, Plumeria Pruning

We moved to a new house in Castaic twenty-seven years ago.  There is a steep slope in back.  It requires a combination of trees, bushes and ground cover to keep the soil in place. We have sprinklers ...

7 Plant Wonders of Los Angeles

Below is a list of what are, in my humble opinion, the seven wonders of the Los Angeles plant world, as well as some honorable mentions. 1.  I initially thought of making such a list many years ago w...

The Benefits of Rain

How long has it been since we had rain like this?  A long, long time.  So long, in fact, I had forgotten what a significantly rainy winter could do for a garden. The beneficial effects of this wet wi...

Rough Bark vs. Smooth

It happened that a certain student, full of philosophical curiosity, went to a sage, someone steeped in ancient wisdom, and complained, “I don’t understand,” the student began. “Why did God create a ...