Low Maintenance, Drought Resistant Shrubs

Summer is the season to appreciate the distinctive floral gifts provided by Cassia and Caesalpinia (sez-al-PIN-ee-uh) shrubs. These heat-loving genera are drought-tolerant members of the legume famil...

Hibiscus — All-Time Favorite

This week’s column focuses on two e-mails received during the past month. Q: I was wondering if you could tell me anything about the hibiscus. I own one but don’t know much about it. I wo...

Rose of Sharon is Summer Blooming Treasure

One of the most glorious hot-weather plants is the rose of Sharon. It is only because of our deep-seated prejudice toward deciduous plants that we do not see more of it. When making decisions about w...

Privet is for Privacy

Privet. The word is virtually synonymous with hedges and, although it has no definitive etymology, some linguists maintain that privet is a variation of private. Indeed, privets are typically utilize...

Myrtles and their Kin

When it comes to fragrant leaves and exotic barks, no trees can match the myrtles (Myrtaceae). The common myrtle (Myrtus communis) is the appropriate species to start with when introducing the distin...

Exciting Pittosporums & Grafted Gardenias

Once upon a time, when people wanted carefree evergreen foliage plants that came in a variety of shapes and sizes, they chose junipers. They could choose from green, blue, silvery-blue and gold-tippe...

Shrubs for Afternoon Sun

My garden and front yard are west-facing and thus they are receiving direct sun in the afternoon. We have tried some perennials that can take San Fernando Valley heat, like purple fountain grass and ...