White Rockrose Shrub

This white rockrose (Cistus x hybridus) has a symmetrical, spherical growth habit.  Once shrubs of this rockrose grow together, they make a nice 2-3 foot tall hedge.  The only maintenance concern is ...

The Glorious Orchid Rockrose

Here’s a magnificent plant.  Orchid rockrose (Cistus x purpureus).  A Mediterranean plant.  Water thrifty.  Foliage fragrant when crushed.  Needs no water other than winter rain.  Ideally suite...

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...