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...

Tress Under 15 Feet Tall

Not long ago I received the following e-mail: “Could you recommend some umbrella-shaped trees or bushes that grow to be less than 15 feet and that I could use in my garden?” – Daria...

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 ...

Los Angeles’ Official Flower & Tree

You may not know that the city of Los Angeles has an official flower and an official tree. See if you can guess what they are: • Both are native to South Africa. • Both are in full bloom at this time...

Mystery of Norfolk Island Pine

Q: I live in Van Nuys in a house with several old walnut trees. One of the trees in front is dying and I want to replace it. I saw a beautiful tree at Orcutt Ranch Park (east of the rose garden) and ...

Trees with Purple Leaves

I doubt snow has ever fallen in the Valley in March, but there is an annual occurrence this time of year that will fool you into thinking that such a meteorological event has, in fact, taken place. I...

Indian Penicillin and Native Oaks

When you think of Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, camellias, lilacs and roses come to mind. Home to the largest camellia collection in the world, the most extensive lilac planting in Southe...

Acacias are Saints of Plant Kingdom

When the Hebrew people left Egypt on their way to the promised land, they took acacia wood with them. Eventually, tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments would be placed in an ark fashioned from ...

Norfolk Island Pine

Q: I live in Van Nuys in a house with several old walnut trees. One of the trees in front is dying and I want to replace it. I saw a beautiful tree at Orcutt Ranch Park (east of the rose garden) and ...