Wiley Coyote Brush

Before people started to consciously landscape with California native plants, there was coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis). During those long years of drought in the late ’80s and early ’...

Orchids are Tougher than You Think

Recently, Stewart Orchids, a wholesale grower in Carpinteria, sent a shipment of orchids to England. The shipment was lost in transit and bounced between continents for several months until it finall...

Firescaping

If you live in the hills or canyons around Los Angeles, expect a fire every 20 to 30 years. Fires are not only inevitable, they are essential to the existence of our chaparral ecosystem. Many chaparr...

California Natives: Their Time Has Come

NOTE:  the following was written in 1993, but has lost none of its relevance in the 20 years that have transpired since then. . Sooner or later, Los Angeles gardens and landscapes will be composed pr...

Paradigm for 21st Century Gardens

When you replace a lawn with water-thrifty plants, you save money by significantly reducing water use by eliminating application of lawn fertilizer and weed control products, the need for a weekly ga...

Desert Rose

When you look at a blooming desert rose (Adenium obesum), you might swear that you are looking at the pink pinwheel flowers of oleander, mandevilla or annual vinca that have been pasted onto the thic...

Theodore Payne’s Wildflower Hill

In the waning years of the 20th century, people seem to have two contradictory desires. On the one hand, they crave extraordinary excitement and thrills – from heart-stopping action movies to n...

Texas Ranger Thrives on Being Ignored

  Texas Rangers belong to that category of plants that thrive on being ignored. The reason you do not see more Texas Ranger plants, despite their spectacular autumn bloom, is because of improper...

Gold Discovered in Lantana

The heat of this past summer may have finally given way to cooler autumn days, yet two plants continue to make a determined display of blazing orange flowers, reminiscent of the sun.   In fact, ...