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...

Tropical Paradise in San Pedro

If you are looking for a tropical paradise, you don’t need to book a flight to Hawaii.  Just pay a visit to Palos Verdes Peninsula. I was recently privileged to visit the garden of Richard Lynch is S...

‘Ballerina’ Rose & Hollyhock

I’m in love with a ballerina — a ‘Ballerina’ rose, that is. ‘Ballerina’ is a hybrid musk rose and hybrid musks, for reasons beyond comprehension, are seldom seen in the nursery trade. Hybrid musks ar...

Gardenias in Southern California

If you see yellow foliage on your gardenia bush and, after trying everything to ameliorate the situation, still see yellow and, even worse, fear that your plant may soon be ready for the compost heap...

Monocarpic Plants

For those of you who are into botanical trivia, see if you can answer the following existential (having to do with life and death) question: What do carrots, radishes, lettuce, agaves, fishtail palms...

Zinnias Are My Favorite Flowers

Zinnias are my favorite annual summer flowers, and I say this for four reasons: • They are as colorful as a kaliedoscopic rainbow. • Their many petaled blooms, like those ruffled collars seen on 17th...

Discovery Depends on Having New Eyes

“Brand New,” “New and Improved,” “All New.”  We are all familiar with these advertising slogans.  They must be effective because we keep hearing and seeing them, over and over again. Lust for somethi...

Vareigated Leaves, Flowers, and Fruits

Like gardeners everywhere, I recognized the potential of foliage as an element of garden design with my first glimpse of a plant with variegated leaves. Initially, I thought I was looking at a plant ...

Let it Grow, Just Let it Grow

I am especially captivated by plants which, water thrifty in any case, are positively drought resistant when allowed to grow out naturally in an untrimmed state, remaining more or less water deprived...

Fragrant Plant List

  Fragrant Citrus Flowers “ I have two citrus trees and absolutely love the scent of citrus blooms. Do you know of any vines or other plants that produce this incredible scent but aren’t fruit b...