Sweet ‘Cocktail’ Grapefruit

“The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.”  These words of Thomas Jefferson are precious to me since I have long felt that I can provide no more...

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...

Mycorrhizae, Moss, and Baby Tears

What if Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory was wrong?  What if it turns out that “survival of the most cooperative” explains why some species are more successful than others? Research conducte...

Dwarf Irises & Other Delights

No matter how much you think you know about plants, there are still plenty of surprises that await.  With nearly 400,000 plant species identified world wide, it is little wonder that every time you s...

Growing Plants in Containers

Have you ever had a pet frog, a bird, a hamster, or a goldfish?  If so, you have some idea of what caring for a potted plant is all about.  Constant vigilance, really.  You want to feed it, but not t...

Why Do Trees Live Longer Than Humans?

On Quora, Eoin Kenny asked:  “Why do trees live longer than humans?” Let me attempt an answer. Because their roots run deeper than ours. Roots, representing faith, are constantly drawing ...

Tactile Plants

Everyone loves petting zoos, especially kids, and I was just wondering if, maybe alongside them, petting gardens would be appropriate. A petting garden would feature leaves with furry, fuzzy, bumpy, ...

The Pluot Revolution

“I was visiting my parents in Modesto and we picked up some delicious pluots at a local fruit stand. Since my Santa Rosa plum has rarely bloomed or produced fruit, I was interested in replacing it wi...