Yucca, Tangerine, and Hellebore

  What do a yucca tree, a tangerine tree, and a hellebore have in common?  Not much, really, except that, if you live in the San Fernando Valley, you can grow all three of them in your own backy...

Primrose Jasmine, Thickets, Cherimoyas

The more I learn about primrose jasmine, the more I like it.  This time of year, it’s nice to look at, too.  Long shoots are bedazzled with butter yellow blooms.  Primrose jasmine will cover a ...

The Avocado is a Shy Fruit

The first time you taste an avocado, it does nothing for you.  You really do not know what to make of it.  It’s not sweet or tart.  It’s more gooey than creamy.  There may even be somethi...

Nutgrass, Gardenias & Plum Trees

Q: Some friends of mine had a beautiful lawn here in the San Fernando Valley, but they have nutgrass growing in it. I had never heard of it, but everyone on their street has it. Can you recommend som...

Hydrangeas Grow Well Under Walnut Trees

Less than a century ago, thousands of acres of walnut orchards thrived in what would become the Los Angeles megalopolis. Today you can find the remnants of these orchards in equally spaced walnut tre...

Beware of Falling Avocadoes

From one end of the Valley to the other, avocados are falling out of their trees. This is not the typical scenario for this time of year, as avocados usually stay on the tree for months, hanging on u...

Fruit Tree Pollination

Q: I have newly planted fruit trees: two avocados, one plum, one nectarine, one fig, three various citrus. I have been told that in order for them to bear fruit I must have two of each variety. Do th...

Edible Forest Garden

Imagine waking up in the morning, opening your front door and stepping out into an edible forest. Surrounding your home – and the homes of your neighbors – would be one continuous network...