Welcome to theGardenPages
From Sunny Southern California

theGardenPages and bougainvillea flowers

Good to see you!  I’ve got photos and articles on growing California native and western plants,  succulent plants and cacti, plus planting tips on growing drought-tolerant and dry weather plants.

So, kick off your shoes and relax at theGardenPages!


blue ceanothisCalifornia Native Plants and Garden Inspiration:
Drought tolerant does not mean you can only landscape with cactus and succulent plants.  The other option is to go native. You can create a beautiful garden full of flowers with  plants that don’t need a lot of water.  Native plants are already on your schedule.
Color Change Crassula Capitella Succulent PlantsSucculent Plant Gardening Tips:
Ever hear of a color change plant?  Try succulents if you think cacti are too prickly and some even change color with the seasons.  All succulent plants are drought tolerant and easy to grow in post.
Drought tolerant screen plantsGreat Drought Tolerant Shrubs for Privacy Screens:
Get started on your backyard sanctuary by creating shade, garden rooms or just blocking an unsightly sight or nosy neighbor.  Read about great plants for fast privacy screens.
Flowering fragrant french lavenderLavender Care and Growth:
Drop by our Lovely Lavender page for photos, aromatherapy information and a little bit of lore.
custom gardener sayingsGardener Sayings and Floral Art:
My gardener sayings and floral designs for gardeners by gardeners inspired by actual garden events…

Other Pages and Articles on tGP

Easy Plant Propagation Tips

tGP succulent plant rootsMost succulent plants are easy to multiply with cuttings. Find out how expand your collection by rooting and growing cactus pads or succulent plant leaf cuttings.

Read more on the plant propagation page…


Grow Cooking Herbs for Dry Gardens

Perennial cooking herbs that will not mind a little heat on their way to the kitchen:

Bay Laurel

Drought Tolerant Flowering Shrubs and Plants

I may not have a lot of water, but I still like flowers, plus the birds and butterflies that enjoy them too.  Here are a few of the flowering plants that grow well in low-water gardens:

Orange pomegranate flowers

Pomegranate Trees and Pests

Pomegranates are good choices for drought tolerant gardens.   They can take regular garden ...
More Plant Info...
Flowering Desert Willow chilopsis

Drought-Tolerant Desert Willow or Chilopsis Care

If you are looking for a pretty shrub or small tree for a drought ...
More Plant Info...
wisteria flowers

Purple Flowering Wisteria Vines

Care and Growth of Pretty Purple Flowering Wisteria Vines The wisteria is blooming over ...
More Plant Info...


Orange pomegranate flowersPomegranates

Once I picked a house to move into just because it was the one with the pomegranate tree in the back yard.  But, there can be problems. I’m tracking information on pomegranate pests (with input from you) on The Pomegranate Page…


blue water at Balboa Lake

Minimize Water Rationing Woes

Here are a few tips to help save water in the garden and maybe a few of your favorite flowers!


More Quick Gardening Tips:

New Plant Transplanting Tips or How to Keep Your Plants From Frying in a Heat Wave

Give your new transplants some shade for the first few days after planting.  It helps them adjust to their new home and reduces transplant stress.  This info also works for plants that need emergency shade during 100 degree weather.

Be creative:  Try shading with a small umbrella (great way to recycle old umbrellas), a garden banner or flag, an old t-shirt or a small piece of shade cloth.  You can hang fabric over tomato cages, old wire fencing or a cool branch left over from your last pruning project.  I suppose you could actually build a real frame and staple on the shade cloth too.

Try not to do planting during the heat of the day – it just wears everyone out!  In warmest areas it it best to give new transplants a little water every day for the first two or three days.  Resist the temptation to give them too much water or they will get rot.  Find more quick shade ideas on my gardening blog….

Quick Tomato Tip

Tomato plants prefer acid soil. Adding used coffee grounds helps increase the acidity of the soil.  Pickle juice and tea also increase soil acidity.  Other shrubs that appreciate a cup of java are camellia, azalea, gardenia and roses.

Keeping Sweet Basil Fresh

Get ready for Pesto! Sweet Basil herb cuttings will stay fresh for weeks in a clean glass of water.  Keep your herb sprigs on the kitchen counter out of direct sunlight. Change your sweet basil water every few days. Basil will eventually form roots in the water so you can make more plants!


Dealing with Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are becoming a problem in areas where they carry the deadly West Nile virus.  Agencies can’t inspect every single inch so they need your help.  Abandoned pools in foreclosed homes have become a large problem in some areas.  Do yourself a favor and keep an eye out.

Simple, organic, biological mosquito control:  A few guppies (mosquitofish or Gambusia affinis) will gobble up the problem and say thanks!  Read more on the Los Angeles Vector Control Site…

What’s My USDA Planting Zone?

In order to help gardeners determine the best times and plants for their area, The United States Department of Agriculture zone map shows in detail the lowest temperatures that can be expected each year in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  The map shows different zones, each of which represents an area of winter hardiness for the plants of agriculture and our natural landscape.  Their site also gives planting, growing recommendations and cold hardiness for your area.

Use this handy link to the US Arboretum’s Online USDA Zone Map

Yeah, but what’s my USDA Planting Zone if I’m in Australia?

We share the same climate, (and a totally awesome surf culture) so why not swap gardening
tips over the digital back fence?  In gratitude to the visitors I get from Australia, I thought it would be neighborly of me to help sort out all this crazy Planting Zone business.

Plant Hardiness Zones for Australia, by Iain Dawson (Horticultural Research Unit, ANBG) 1991 (Iain has since retired from the Australian National Botanic Gardens)   Our thanks to Iain Dawson (Horticultural Research Unit, ANBG).

Drop by my Southern California Gardening Blog…

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Keep up to date on what’s blooming in the garden and ask questions about the articles or plants you’ve read about here!