Bauhinias and the Bauhin Brothers

  The greatest compliment that can be paid to a botanist is to have a plant named in his honor. But if two great botanists happen to be brothers, what then? If a plant is given the brothers̵...

Avocado Tree Longevity

Q. I have an avocado tree that has been on the property for almost 70 years. What is its life expectancy? – Grace Hampton, Burbank A. That is very old for an avocado tree. The original ‘H...

Rain Puts Smiles on Gardeners’ Faces

For the nongardening resident of Los Angeles, rain is nothing but a burden. Rain lengthens the daily commute. If you forgot to rake the leaves off your roof, your rain gutters will overflow and creat...

Peruvian Lilies Are Always in Bloom

Q. My Alstroemeria plants in the ground have thrived so far over the winter. They are lush and green but no flower buds. What should I do now to assure blossoms in the spring? Lauralee Oster Chatswor...

When Italian Cypress Branches Bend . . .

Our very heavy snowstorm last month loaded and bent the branches of all of the Italian cypress trees encircling the backyard. The trees have grown very tall. However, they look quite grotesque and br...

Honeysuckle Heaven

Q: The other day I was at Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks and noticed a huge shrub with large, tubular, yellow-orange flowers, which — like all strange flowers I encounter — I could not re...

How to Make Your Own Wine

Winemaking in Woodland Hills? Why not? Grapevines can be grown almost anywhere, including Woodland Hills, which has the highest recorded temperatures in the summers and lowest in the winters in Los A...

Flowers and Crop Rotation

The comfortable days of October are the best days to plant. This is true not only from the standpoint of Valley gardeners, but from the standpoint of trees, shrubs, ground covers, vines, bulbs, just ...

What to Plant Near a Pond

Q: We have a small backyard with a small pond in one corner. When we had the yard landscaped, we ended up with two Melaleucas near the pond. Bottom line, the roots from the Melaleucas have taken over...