10% of our brains, 1% of our plants

For years, accepted wisdom held that we humans normally use only 10 percent of our brains. Recent research on the subject of brain utilization, however, considers this statistic a myth and maintains ...

Popcorn Jasmine and Feathery Cassia

For Valley gardeners, spring comes in February. Already, the popcorn jasmine (Jasminum mesneyi) is in bloom. Its sheets of puffy yellow and white flowers, slightly fragrant, drape themselves, tapestr...

Wood Sorrels (Oxalis species)

Q: I have a problem with a weed growing in my yard. It has leaves similar to a three-leaf clover and produces a pink flower. I have been told it is related to oxalis. It also originates from a bulb s...

After the Rain . . . Peruvian Lilies

The reason Valley gardeners appreciate rain is not only because it relieves our constant concern about getting sufficient water to our plants. Rain makes plants more attractive and healthy, giving th...

Daffodils and Paper Whites

At this time of year, the classic golden yellow flowers of daffodils, looking like elegant, if topless, top hats, are crowned upon distinctive blue-green stems, offset more often than not by the crim...

What Should I Plant?

NO MATTER HOW MANY years you have spent working, learning and living in the garden, the most perplexing question a novice gardener can ask you will always be, “What should I plant?” You f...

Horsetail

Long ago, it was eaten by dinosaurs. Today, it is an ingredient in medications that lower cholesterol. Throughout human history, it has been used for scrubbing kitchen utensils. Known commonly as the...

Pining for Orpines

Every plant has its moment, and for the jade plant, that moment is now. In January, it produces cymes of white flowers with a tint of rose to lighten up a dark winter’s day. This is enough, per...

A Golden Yellow Welcome to Spring

In Los Angeles, spring is welcomed in February with tapestries of yellow and gold flowers. Just the other day, I counted more than a dozen trees, shrubs and vines blooming in radiant emulation of the...

True Jasmines and Jasmine Wannabes

If you ever visit India, and are invited into someone’s home, you may be honored with a garland made of jasmine flowers, to be worn around your neck. Just as few gardens in Europe and America a...