Cascading Plants

For several months on my daily commute, I had passed by a glorious cascading shrub with lilac blooms. It was planted at the top of a retaining wall, over which it generously spilled, and flowered wit...

Butterfly Garden

If you long to see the butterflies you chased as a child, consider planting a butterfly garden. Sometime ago, I acquired a butterfly bush whose deep violet flowers had yet to bloom. The very first da...

Staghorn and Maidenhair Ferns

Ferns, despite their lacy-leafed, delicate mien, are surprisingly tough. They can handle a measure of drought and survive freezes. Our recent snow and hail, for example, were not fatal to most of our...

Planting Jasmine Makes Sense/Scents

You might think of jasmine as a delicate plant for cloistered gardens, where the soft scent of its perfume can be leisurely inhaled as it gently wafts through fresh, untainted air. Yet, at least thre...

Never Pity a Pittosporum

  Do not pity the Pittosporum. Its flowers smell like cheap perfume, and it proffers no spectacular colors in the landscape. Yet the Pittosporum, like all plants, has its moments of glory and, b...

In Defense of Deciduous Plants

Southern Californians have one unifying prejudice: a dislike for deciduous plants. Deciduous plants are those perennials that have the audacity to lose their leaves at some time during the year. For ...

Catalina Island Flora for your Garden

Two weeks ago, I had the good fortune to spend a day on Catalina Island and get acquainted with its flora. If you go to Catalina, make sure you visit the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden. You wi...