Bells of Ireland and other Delights

For years, I had seen bells of Ireland in seed and plant catalogues – at least before plant catalogues, much like daily newspapers, became an endangered species. Every time I saw its picture, I imagi...

Tequila Farmers

“Is the life of an Agave lengthened if its flower stalk is cut off early?  I noticed that the blue tequila agave farmers in Mexico keep them trimmed off.” Tom Gearhart, Valley Village That’s an excel...

California’s Perpetual Drought

Note:  the following was written in February, 2018.  Last April, California’s governor declared, “The drought emergency is over,” but already, less than a year later, in the middle of a warm, dry win...

Autumn Beauties & Chewing Gum Plant

The bristling heat of this past summer may have finally given way to cooler autumn days, yet two plants continue to make a determined display of blazing orange flowers, reminiscent of the sun. In fac...

Drought Tolerant Garden in Tarzana

Carolyn and Mike Rothberg created a drought tolerant garden in Tarzana that not only saves water but serves as a comforting and tranquil respite from the storm of city life.  No matter how sprawling ...

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...

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...