From Phenology to ‘Silver Falls’

According to Webster’s dictionary, phenology is the study of recurring biological phenomena as harbingers of seasonal change. For example, if you live in a northern state, phenologists would sa...

Galloping Groundcover

The Mexican primrose is just beginning to be noticed. For years, it was mysteriously absent from local nurseries as if there were a conspiracy against it. It deserves wider recognition, since it is a...

Parkway Plants

I am forever on the lookout for successful parkway plants. Here, parkways refer to those narrow strips of ground in residential neighborhoods between sidewalk and street. Traditionally, parkways have...

What to Plant Under a Pine Tree

Question: We’re trying to design a low-water 2,500-square-foot back yard with a big pine tree overhead. We’ve looked at some designs but they all use crushed rock or gravel or bark, which...

Gazania and Other Water-Wise Selections

There are lessons to be learned from the commercial landscape on the corner of Milbank Street and Sylmar Avenue, just east of Van Nuys Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. This landscape offers a hint of pleas...

White Birch & Mexican Evening Primrose

  We were in the path of an incredible wind storm last year in the San Gabriel valley. It took out all of our large trees. Since we now get to start from scratch, I would love some advice about ...

Michael Kappel’s Paradise

From an upper story bedroom window, Michael Kappel looks down on his sumptuous garden in Westwood. It is a soothing sight for someone who lives in constant and excruciating pain, the result of a spin...