Don’t Forget to Notice the Natives

    “Don’t forget to smell the roses” is a piece of advice meant for those who have lost their ability to savor the moment. In a world of rationed water, whose expense inc...

Millennial Gardens

By now, almost every subject on earth has been discussed in millennial terms, so why not consider the millennial garden? Actually, if you were looking for a location to plant a garden that would last...

California Native Hedges

Question: Can you discuss options for hedges on a ranch? I have over a thousand feet of property line and need something that will not use too much water. Answer: When discussing options for hedges, ...

Ceanothus & Other Natives

In the wake of a recent column, where I discussed the challenges of growing California lilac (Ceanothus), I received the following e-mail from Pam Boyd, who gardens in Porter Ranch. “Two years ...

Plants that make their own fertilizer

As if their fragrant blue flowers were not enough of an attraction, California lilacs (Ceanothus) have another attribute that makes them a sure choice for Valley slopes and gardens: the ability to ma...

California Natives: Their Time Has Come

NOTE:  the following was written in 1993, but has lost none of its relevance in the 20 years that have transpired since then. . Sooner or later, Los Angeles gardens and landscapes will be composed pr...

Paradigm for 21st Century Gardens

When you replace a lawn with water-thrifty plants, you save money by significantly reducing water use by eliminating application of lawn fertilizer and weed control products, the need for a weekly ga...

What to Grow Under Redwood Trees

Q. I have 11 coast redwoods in my yard. They are beautiful, BUT it is very difficult to find anything to grow under them. Between the root system, soil acidity and the shade, my options are limited. ...
blue periwinkle (Vinca Major)

Firescaping

‘Firescaping” is a word invented for those who are prepared to live near the wilderness without illusions. If you make your home in close proximity to chaparral – the dominant ecosy...

Theodore Payne’s Wildflower Hill

In the waning years of the 20th century, people seem to have two contradictory desires. On the one hand, they crave extraordinary excitement and thrills – from heart-stopping action movies to n...