California’s Perpetual Drought

Note:  the following was written in February, 2018.  Last April, California’s governor declared, “The drought emergency is over,” but already, less than a year later, in the middle of a warm, dry win...

It’s a Shame Gardeners Can Only Live Once

It’s really a shame that gardeners, like everyone else, have just one life to live.  For focusing on bringing more beauty into the world, you would think that gardeners deserve two or three lives at ...

90 Year Old Grows Abundant Tomato Crops

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away.” These words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the famous author, came to mind durin...

Bauhinias and the Bauhin Brothers

  The greatest compliment that can be paid to a botanist is to have a plant named in his honor. But if two great botanists happen to be brothers, what then? If a plant is given the brothers̵...

Avocado Tree Longevity

Q. I have an avocado tree that has been on the property for almost 70 years. What is its life expectancy? – Grace Hampton, Burbank A. That is very old for an avocado tree. The original ‘H...

Rain Puts Smiles on Gardeners’ Faces

For the nongardening resident of Los Angeles, rain is nothing but a burden. Rain lengthens the daily commute. If you forgot to rake the leaves off your roof, your rain gutters will overflow and creat...

Peruvian Lilies Are Always in Bloom

Q. My Alstroemeria plants in the ground have thrived so far over the winter. They are lush and green but no flower buds. What should I do now to assure blossoms in the spring? Lauralee Oster Chatswor...

When Italian Cypress Branches Bend . . .

Our very heavy snowstorm last month loaded and bent the branches of all of the Italian cypress trees encircling the backyard. The trees have grown very tall. However, they look quite grotesque and br...