Oaks and Acorns

If you have a dog, you should be extra diligent these days about examining its fur for ticks.  My wife, who works next to a park resplendent with mature oak trees, brought attention to the fact that ...

The Truth About Deodar Cedar

Learning the origins of plant names tells you a lot about how people relate to the botanical world around them.  Take deodar cedar.  Deodar is derived from devadaru, a Sanskrit word that combines dev...

Growing Money Trees Can Make You Rich

Money Tree = Jade Plant You might think the idea of a money tree started in ancient times yet all evidence points to it being a rather recent concept.  Some say that the money tree is a jade plant (C...

Northfolk Island Pines & Flame Vines

They are the most distinctive and unforgettable trees in Southern California gardens and landscapes.  Unlike palm trees, which also have an exotic look, there are not so many of them as to become bor...

Let Beneficial Insects Do Their Work

How eager we are to find culprits or villains, whether in life or in the garden. Often, that search is merely an indication of our own impatience, stress or lazy thinking. Let’s say I get lots of hea...

Backyard Orchard in Long Beach

Yard space in America is disappearing.  From 1999-2014,  the average size lot in America shrank from 9,600 to 8,600 square feet.  During that same period, the average size home increased from  2,100 ...

What Trees and Humans Have in Common

A notable Biblical passage asks: “Is man a tree of the field?” (Deuteronomy 20:19). Analogies comparing roots to deep, sustaining faith are frequently made and we all know about “the fruit of o...