Don’t Forget to Notice the Natives

“Don’t forget to smell the roses” is a piece of advice meant for those who have lost their ability to savor the moment. In a world of rationed water, whose expense increases almost ...

Arabian Lilac and Little Ollie

Strong and beautiful Two memorable shrubs, Arabian lilac and dwarf olive, underappreciated in gardens and landscapes until the last year or two, are lately being planted with increasing frequency. A ...

Mellifluous, Pulchritudinous Plumeria

They say the most truly memorable moments in a person’s life can be compressed into the space of a few minutes. For gardeners, those extraordinary moments would no doubt include the sight of fi...

Everyone Loves Grevilleas

Every garden should have a grevillea or two. With their whimsical flowers, arching growth habit, and intriguing foliage, they are plants without compare for late fall and winter gardens. Grevilleas a...

It’s a Great Time to Be a Gardener

Not until they reach middle age, or later, do most people develop an interest in gardening. For the first half of their lives, most simply lack the patience required to stop and smell the roses, much...

California Native Hedges

Question: Can you discuss options for hedges on a ranch? I have over a thousand feet of property line and need something that will not use too much water. Answer: When discussing options for hedges, ...

Ceanothus & Other Natives

In the wake of a recent column, where I discussed the challenges of growing California lilac (Ceanothus), I received the following e-mail from Pam Boyd, who gardens in Porter Ranch. “Two years ...

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...