Jerusalem Roses

There was a time in Jerusalem when, with the notable exception of roses, cultivation of plants was forbidden.  2000 years ago, when the Holy Temple still stood within Jerusalem’s walls, no gardens co...

Sing to the Lord a New Song

  This column is dedicated to the memory of the innocents murdered in Newtown, Connecticut. Last Sunday was drizzling and cold. It had been many years since I had visited South Coast Botanic Gar...

Grow Ancient Plants at Home

Not long ago, I was in Death Valley at the Furnace Creek Inn, an oasis in the middle of the Great Basin-Mojave Desert region. This area is home to two of the oldest plant species on earth: bristle co...

A Short History of the Hass Avocado

Q: We have saved the seeds of some exceptionally good supermarket tangerines recently whose label says “FLORIDA – Sunburst.” If we were to plant the seeds, would we get trees that w...

Live to 116? Drink Lemon Balm Tea

If you want to live for a hundred years, it might be wise to grow an herb that has the texture of crepe, the fragrance of lemon and the name of a pretty girl. According to Modern Herbal (Dover Public...

Man As Endangered Species

“As we know, we are under increasing pressure to choose caring over not caring. We know that caring will involve us in great effort and discomfort and we dread to choose it, but we know too tha...

Pierce College Farm Diminished

It’s the year 2077, and Angela Brahma, a student at StarWorks Academy (formerly known as Pierce College), is upset. She wanted to take Plant Propagation 101 but, at the last minute, the class w...

What to Plant Near a Pond

Q: We have a small backyard with a small pond in one corner. When we had the yard landscaped, we ended up with two Melaleucas near the pond. Bottom line, the roots from the Melaleucas have taken over...