Mellifluous, Pulchritudinous Plumeria

They say the most truly memorable moments in a person’s life can be compressed into the space of a few minutes. For gardeners, those extraordinary moments would no doubt include the sight of fi...

Everyone Loves Grevilleas

Every garden should have a grevillea or two. With their whimsical flowers, arching growth habit, and intriguing foliage, they are plants without compare for late fall and winter gardens. Grevilleas a...

It’s a Great Time to Be a Gardener

Not until they reach middle age, or later, do most people develop an interest in gardening. For the first half of their lives, most simply lack the patience required to stop and smell the roses, much...

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 ...

Wiley Coyote Brush

Before people started to consciously landscape with California native plants, there was coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis). During those long years of drought in the late ’80s and early ’...

Orchids are Tougher than You Think

Recently, Stewart Orchids, a wholesale grower in Carpinteria, sent a shipment of orchids to England. The shipment was lost in transit and bounced between continents for several months until it finall...

Firescaping

If you live in the hills or canyons around Los Angeles, expect a fire every 20 to 30 years. Fires are not only inevitable, they are essential to the existence of our chaparral ecosystem. Many chaparr...

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...