How to Grow Pumpkins

I’m hoping you can help me with my pumpkin problem.  For the past few years, I have planted pumpkin seeds, mainly for my granddaughters to watch the growing process.  I always get beautiful flo...

Orange Tree and Avocado Tree Problems

Orange and avocado are the most sensible fruit trees to grow in a sub-tropical urban environment such as Los Angeles.  Given plenty of sun, both are relatively pest-free trees and produce dependably ...

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 Curse of Asparagus Fern

Two weeks ago, I suggested drought tolerant asparagus fern (Asparagus sprengeri) as a possible ground cover for somewhat shady slopes.  I cautioned that it is “an extremely aggressive plant” and that...

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...

Planting on Slopes

Slopes.  All over the greater Los Angeles area, from Santa Clarita to the Anaheim Hills, from San Bernardino to Santa Barbara, you have them.  Slopes. I do not envy people with slopes.  Aside from th...

California Native Garden in Studio City

When visiting the Studio City residence of Beth and Alan Dymond, I was not only delighted at the sight of a California native hybrid I had never seen before, but also impressed by the presence of the...

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...

Plants That Attract Honeybees

I was wondering if you would please write about the plight of honeybees.  Considering our current drought and the enormous amount of water a lawn requires, I was thinking that people might consider r...