Front yard plans

As you may remember, we had to remove a diseased, old avocado tree in our front yard last year (RIP Avocado). Since the avocado was removed we have had some pretty hot, dry and wet (summer rains!?) weather. Needless to say, the loss of the tree has had a big impact on the front yard. […]

Create your own garden paradise

Walking on a quiet street in a Los Angeles suburb, my eighty-year-old father and I approached a lovely adobe home. As we walked along, I noticed that he was slowly shaking his head as he simply stated, “It’s not for me.” I was showing him a garden in my neighborhood that I was especially fond […]

Top 20

People new to using California native plants are often overwhelmed by the many new and unfamiliar plants. Some of us “experts” further confuse these newcomers by using botanical names. Today I spent some time looking for short lists containing the most commonly used garden natives. The very best list I found was on the Tree of […]

A garden retrospective

We have lived here for fourteen years and the garden has taught me much. I am glad that I started slowly. Many of the original plants are gone. Some did not meet my aesthetic requirements, others were not well-matched to the site, a few grew out of control, spreading where they were not wanted, and […]

In the beginning

In the heat of the summer of 1999 I take pieces of scrap paper and sketch the long, narrow parkway bed on the east side of our corner lot. It is about 170 feet long and six feet wide, and covered with weedy grass. Two books, Bob Perry’s Trees and Shrubs for Dry California Landscapes, […]

Work Reduction Work

Real quick post before going off to the beach. In my ongoing effort to be a lazy gardener I am always looking for changes that will result in less work. This week I did a big one. There were three very old xylosma shrubs that formed part of a hedge next to the sidewalk. It […]

Garden chores

I have been holding back on you. The last time I posted something about what I am doing in the garden was a while ago. On July 22nd I ruminated on whether my garden is actually “low maintenance.” To be able to answer with an honest and emphatic “yes it is,” I have done nearly […]