A Festival of Ferns

If you are thinking of planting a shade garden but are looking for something more profound than impatiens and begonias, something lasting and exotic, consider ferns. There are shrub ferns and tree fe...

Asparagus & Agave are Cousins

Have you ever noticed how the emerging flower stalk of an agave resembles an asparagus spear? It turns out that both agave and asparagus are in the same botanical family (Asparagaceae). Agave, howeve...

Tropical Exotics Thrive in Valley Garden

At first glance, Jerry Esten’s affable and relaxed demeanor strikes you as that of someone who could be retired, more or less. But when you take a stroll through his backyard and see the large ...

Bells of Ireland Flourish in Israel

For years, I had seen bells of Ireland in seed and plant catalogues — at least before plant catalogues, much like daily newspapers, became an endangered species. Every time I saw its picture, I imagi...

New Zealand Flax for Foundation Planting

With new Los Angeles Department of Water & Power water restrictions starting Monday, people are creating gardens that only need watering twice a week, since Mondays and Thursdays are the only da...

Meadow Gardens & Queen’s Wreath

The idea of a lush woodland meadow garden in Los Angeles sounds as far-fetched as growing cactus in Manhattan until you visit Manhattan and notice how many apartments have a cactus plant or two perch...

Brooms & Natives

One of the advantages of learning about and becoming a lover of plants is the alleviation of boredom when you’re driving. For the botanically inspired, each turn in the road carries with it a c...

Fuchsia Flowering Gooseberry

In all of Los Angeles, there could not be a more stunning plant than the one currently blooming outside the east-facing wall of the Mid-Valley Regional Library in North Hills. It has pendulous cherry...

Lemon Verbena: A Must Have Plant

Some plants should be in everybody’s garden, and lemon verbena is one of them. Lemon verbena is not a glamorous plant, and that is probably why everyone likes it; what one person considers gorg...