Milkweeds, Dragon Trees, Star Clusters

I never stop visiting the Sepulveda Garden Center since each time I visit I learn something new.  The Center is located on both sides of  Magnolia Boulevard, just east of Hayvenhurst Avenue, in Encin...

An Amazing Celosia, Dying Algerian Ivy

Imagine an annual plant that grows with weed-like abandon, yet its multitude of flowers can last for months in dry arrangements.  Flowers are violet-purple and bloom from late spring through fall.  L...

Dog Proof Plants that Deter Dogs

Do you have any recommendations for plants that repel dogs or do you have a suggestion for something to sprinkle on the lawn that would be helpful to the lawn but repellent (but of course not harmful...

Lilacs Love Cold Winters

The unusually hot and dry weather we have experienced this winter is causing consternation in some quarters.  What if there should suddenly be a deluge of rain or a cold snap?  Would this radical wea...

Tropical Paradise in San Pedro

If you are looking for a tropical paradise, you don’t need to book a flight to Hawaii.  Just pay a visit to Palos Verdes Peninsula. I was recently privileged to visit the garden of Richard Lynch is S...

‘Ballerina’ Rose & Hollyhock

I’m in love with a ballerina — a ‘Ballerina’ rose, that is. ‘Ballerina’ is a hybrid musk rose and hybrid musks, for reasons beyond comprehension, are seldom seen in the nursery trade. Hybrid musks ar...

Gardenias in Southern California

If you see yellow foliage on your gardenia bush and, after trying everything to ameliorate the situation, still see yellow and, even worse, fear that your plant may soon be ready for the compost heap...

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...

Zinnias Are My Favorite Flowers

Zinnias are my favorite annual summer flowers, and I say this for four reasons: • They are as colorful as a kaliedoscopic rainbow. • Their many petaled blooms, like those ruffled collars seen on 17th...

Discovery Depends on Having New Eyes

“Brand New,” “New and Improved,” “All New.”  We are all familiar with these advertising slogans.  They must be effective because we keep hearing and seeing them, over and over again. Lust for somethi...