Intuition Is Key to Growing Plants

Los Angeles horticulturist Bill Paylen will tell it to you bluntly. Making flora flourish has nothing to do with how learned you are or how much money you spend on a particular plant. Nor does it hav...

G-d Withholds Rain to Make Us Pray

Two enormous blessings were bestowed upon Los Angeles this winter and spring. First, the value of real estate appreciated significantly. Second, the rains of El Nino gave incredible life to our plant...

Heaven Sent DG

One of the hottest trends in landscaping involves use of gravel, decomposed granite and river rock, in all sizes and colors, for use as walkways, for mulch or for covering unsightly tree roots, for s...

Tending Plants After a Freeze

Spring having officially arrived, it is reasonable to assume, at least in our part of the world, that “the danger of frost has passed,” to quote an expression commonly found on seed packe...

Growing Plants in Hanging Baskets

One of the greatest challenges Valley gardeners face is growing plants in hanging baskets. Low relative humidity, which we experience year-round, is the problem. A plant in a hanging basket dries out...

Preparing for Spring

Two weeks shy of its official arrival, spring may as well be here. In the Valley, spring comes in the winter, and summer typically shows itself in early spring. With these facts of local climatology ...

No Problem Planting in the Rain

  Note:  The following was written in the previous millenium, at the end of a rainy winter. There’s a proverb that says, “Spend too much time looking at the clouds and you will never...

How to Clone a Plant

If you have a shrub or a vine or a ground cover that your neighbors admire and want, you can offer them an exact copy of this plant and so end their painful coveting. You can do this without much fus...

Growing Parsley in Horse Manure

The sweetest parsley I have ever tasted grows in full sun on a windy slope in Saugus. In a place like Saugus, where summers are hot and dry, you doubt parsley could grow year round, much less thrive,...