Orchard Paradise

Orchard Paradise Orchard. It’s one of the most evocative words in our lexicon. Is there any word more romantic, more rich with memories and expectations? Moreover, there is something about actu...

Caring for Trees during a Drought

We have eight sycamore trees on our property, planted about thirty years ago. They have survived on lawn sprinkler water and winter rains and I had hoped that el nino would provide deep watering this...

Los Angeles Fruit Grows Without Irrigation

“There is a large number of vineyards in the Valley, their total extent being between 2,000 and 3,000 acres. They are largely localized in the vicinity of Burbank and in the Sunland region, with smal...

Fragrant Plant List

  “ I have two citrus trees and absolutely love the scent of citrus blooms. Do you know of any vines or other plants that produce this incredible scent but aren’t fruit bearing? I read about one...

Growing Blueberries in Los Angeles

“This morning my wife and I spent three hours harvesting over four quarts of blueberries. We pick every three days, enjoying them for breakfast, evening salads, and freezing.” I received this email l...

Is There a Melissa in Your Life?

Is there a Melissa in your life? If not, there probably should be. She will bring you fragrance, honeybees, and long life. Melissa officinalis, commonly known as lemon balm, is an herb in the mint fa...

What Makes a Plant Beautiful?

What makes a plant beautiful? Well, yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and every plant, like every person, has attractive features to be sure. But after several decades of looking at and looki...

Growing Coffee in Los Angeles

Growing Coffee in Los Angeles Yes, it’s true. You can grow your own coffee beans in Los Angeles. Every now and then, I encounter a local coffee plant (Coffea arabica). Coffee plants need protection f...

Dianthus, flower of God

Dianthus means flower (anthos) of God (Dios). Of all the flowers in the world, what makes Dianthus so strikingly divine? Carl Linnaeus, the 18th century Swede who instituted binomial nomenclature, th...

Slope Planting with Agaves and Daylilies

“Last October, I had the ivy on my front slope chopped to the ground and covered with landscape fabric. I recently took off the fabric and chopped out a lot of dead vines and roots, although I came n...