Rain in the Garden

Mild winters have brought so many people to Southern California that there is not enough water – thanks to those same mild winters – to sustain them and their gardens. Were it not for sno...

Front Lawn Transformation

A front yard with nothing but lawn can become tiresome. A simple solution to this grassy monotony is to make a path from the front door or entrance area of your house to the sidewalk or street. Then ...

Frost and Frost Protection

  Note:  the following was written in January, 2009 It seems that we have already experienced more than our fair share of cold weather this winter. If you live in the Valley and leave home each ...

Starting Seedlings in Styrofoam Cups

As cold and wind and rain become outdoor companions this time of year, gardening may be the last thing on your mind. But with the help of some Styrofoam cups and a little soil mix, you can start many...

Wood Ashes and Soil pH

During the winter, we use our wood-burning fireplace a fair amount of time. We therefore have a significant amount of wood ash. I have heard conflicting opinions on using wood ash as a soil amendment...

Frost Protection Devices

Just when it seemed I would have to write about coping with hot weather in the middle of winter, along comes record-breaking cold. Suddenly the topic shifts to preserving plants that have been damage...

The Blessing of Rain

Rain is nearly always a blessing in dry climates such as our own. Even the many recent downpours, aside from the inevitable tree damage and slope erosion that accompany such storms, have their positi...

How to Turn Lawns Into Flowers

If you have a lawn and are concerned about the water it guzzles, you may want to consider converting part or all of it into a perennial garden. This does not have to be a labor-intensive process R...

Perform Garden Chores With a Straight Back

When working in the garden, putting stress on your back is an all too common occurrence. Yet by adhering to one cardinal rule, garden back strain can be completely avoided. Always keep your back stra...

Blackberries & Raspberries

Note: the following was written shortly after George W. Bush’s inauguration. The end of President George W. Bush’s first week in office seems as good a time as any to discuss the other bu...