California Native Wonders

If you want to learn about the flowers of California native plants, now until the end of spring is a good time to do so.  Already, manzanita and ceanothus, the most classic of California classics, ar...

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...

Pigweeds: Edible but Invasive

Back in August, I received an email from Ronald Chong, who gardens in Hacienda Heights. Chong sent a picture of a plant for which he sought identification.  I told him it looked like pigweed but we n...

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...

California Natives

If you are passionate about growing California natives, you might want to consider moving to Canyon Country, located in the Santa Clarita Valley. “I moved up to Canyon Country in 1987,” wrote Jim Van...

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...