Native Plant Workshop

...vering our ugly chain link fence There’s a couple of common misconceptions amongst novice gardeners about native plants: 1. If you use native plants the whole garden has to be natives. In fact, it’s great to mix natives with non-native plants. The natives bring in beneficial wildlife, are hardy and are efficient in terms of water use. Flexibility is key here–go ahead and mix natives with vegetables, fruit trees and other climat...

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Advances in Gardening Series: The Perennial Herb Bed, Patience and Plant Spacing and Breaking Your Own Rules

...f gardening is patience. One way gardening patience is expressed is in planting perennials: buying leeetle teeny plants and planting them vast distances apart and then waiting with your hands politely folded until they grow to full size. A very common landscaping mistake is to go out and buy a bunch of gallon-sized landscape plants and plant them close together, just so the yard looks good right away. This practice has probably worsened with all...

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Looking for Tough, Drought Tollerant Plants?

...rchable list of All-Stars. The horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum have identified 100 tough, reliable plants that have been tested in the Arboretum, are easy to grow, don’t need a lot of water, have few problems with pests or diseases, and have outstanding qualities in the garden. Many of them are California native plants and support native birds and insects. Most All-Star plants can be successfully planted and grown throughout Califor...

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Interview With Apartment Gardener Helen Kim

...arly attentive. That was pretty encouraging, so I got more and more… figuring out, as I went along, which plants could survive my temperament. Rosemary seems to be pretty kill-proof, too. HE: What have been some of the other successful/unsuccessful plants you have grown? HK: Now that I’ve realized the south-facing windows are best for edibles, the most successful have been: lemon grass, rosemary, green onions, mint, mustard greens...

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Saturday Linkages: Bitters, Dogs and Native Plants

What our hometown looked like in the 1920s. We Only Bond with Complex Landscapes | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2013/12/we-only-bond-with-complex-landscapes.html … How To Make Homemade Bitters Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-bitters-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-197883 … 100 Years of Dog Breed “Improvement” http://wp.me/p1VSYl-eg  Los Angeles Was Once a Forest of...

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LA’s Parkway Garden Dilemma: Not Fixed Yet

...l is in the details. I’m willing to bet that the Bureau of Street Services will allow “edible” plants but leave in place their short list of ornamentals as well as their requirement to keep those ornamentals mowed unless you apply for an expensive permit. While I’m all for vegetable in the parkway, I also think that the city should be encouraging the planting of native and Mediterranean plants. My advice for the Bureau of...

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How to Deal with Extremely Root Bound Plants

First off, don’t buy root bound plants. It’s just a bad business, trouble and tears. In general, you should always try to buy the youngest plants you can find. They are healthier than plants which have spent more time in a pot, and will quickly grow to match the size of older, more expensive–and more likely than not–root bound plants. How do you know if the plant is root bound? Look at the bottom of th...

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California poppy tea

...I’ve also heard firm opinions from other sources that it absolutely will or will not show up. California Native Americans use Eschscholzia in their own way. According to Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West , the Chumash made a poultice of the pods to stop breast milk. For them, this was (is) the plant’s primary use. Secondary uses include using the root for toothache and a decoction of the flowers to kill lice. How to use:  Y...

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The Pinnacle of Permaculture: Tending the Wild

...us burning, harvesting and seed scattering.” Our favorite idea to come out of this book is the notion that plants and animals need people. This is the philosophy of the Native American elders Anderson interviews. Rather as plants need birds to scatter their seeds, plants rely on humans to thin and prune them, protect them and spread them. The elders imagined an active, reciprocal relationship of use between humans, plants and animals. For...

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Piet Oudolf’s Enhanced Nature

...scribe their approach as like a fruitcake. The dough of that fruitcake is what Oudolf calls “matrix” plants, most often grasses, that hold together the overall design. The fruit in the fruitcake are what he calls “primary” plants, “high-impact plants chosen for strong color or structure.” Like the fruit in the fruitcake primary plants repeat in clumps throughout the overall design. He suggests a 70% matrix plan...

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