Drought Tolerant Garden in Tarzana

Carolyn and Mike Arthur created a drought tolerant garden in Tarzana that not only saves water but serves as a comforting and tranquil respite from the storm of city life.  No matter how sprawling or...

The Curse of Asparagus Fern

Two weeks ago, I suggested drought tolerant asparagus fern (Asparagus sprengeri) as a possible ground cover for somewhat shady slopes.  I cautioned that it is “an extremely aggressive plant” and that...

Planting on Slopes

Slopes.  All over the greater Los Angeles area, from Santa Clarita to the Anaheim Hills, from San Bernardino to Santa Barbara, you have them.  Slopes. I do not envy people with slopes.  Aside from th...

Monocarpic Plants

For those of you who are into botanical trivia, see if you can answer the following existential (having to do with life and death) question: What do carrots, radishes, lettuce, agaves, fishtail palms...

Caring for Trees during a Drought

Suggestions for Sycamore Tree Irrigation 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...

Black Fruit, Red Fruit, and Birdscapes

There is a reason that mulberries and blackberries are so attractive to birds. In whatever stage of their development, whether red and unripe or black and ready to pick, mulberries and blackberries s...

Australian Natives

If you take a map of the world and draw a horizontal line through Los Angeles, you will eventually reach southwestern Australia.  Any plant that grows there can grow here, too.  The sea- bordering, s...

The Benefits of Rain

How long has it been since we had rain like this?  A long, long time.  So long, in fact, I had forgotten what a significantly rainy winter could do for a garden. The beneficial effects of this wet wi...