Brush Cherry; Drought Tolerant Screen Plant Profile

Brush Cherry, or Carolina Laurel is a pretty, dependable garden shrub that grows quickly into screens or hedges.  These shrubs can grow up to 30 feet tall and 10 – 12 feet wide.  I have seen mature stands of Carolina Laurel grow even taller. Carolina Laurel is versatile too, growing in full sun to part Read More…

My Solution For Preventing The Next Arcadia Woodlands Type Old-Growth Forest Destruction

My dear garden readers; Would you throw away pristine, nutrient-rich silt?  Would you hack down 11 acres of old-growth forest for a dumping ground for said silt?  No?  Then get ready to be called crazy, wacky, a tree-hugger and more. Personally, for someone who calls herself a gardenholic, flower freak and other silly names the Read More…

Spring Flowers In Southern California For Friday Floral

Warm weather is bringing flower blossoms and sprouting bulbs here in Los Angeles. Here are a few pretty baubles blessing my garden right now: Lavender is blooming all over. We’ve has a few bouts of rain lately and the lavender is putting on an extra fragrant show. This one is in my ‘back 40’; an Read More…

Fall Planting Tips: 3 Flowering Herbs to Plant Now In Southern California Gardens

It is a lucky cook who is able to pluck a few fresh sprouts from a nearby herb plant to spice up a dish on the stove. Here are a few fabulous herbs that do well in drought tolerant gardens. Fall is a perfect time to plant them, so get out there already! Here are Read More…

Fall Planting Time: Four Flowering Shrubs for Dry Southwestern Gardens

Fall is just around the corner and for gardeners in the southwestern US it is a great time to think about planting perennial shrubs. This is also a great time to plan out your landscape for next year including preparing for more drought! Planting in fall brings a little extra free water from the rain Read More…

Astounding Amaryllis Flowers Blooming in So California August Heat

Amaryllis belladonna are fascinating flowers. They bloom straight out of the bare ground on tall stalks. Their flowers are large and dramatic, shaped like trumpets about four inches long. They smell wonderful and can perfume a room on a hot summer day. They bloom in late summer or early fall. The leaves are on a Read More…

Three Quick, Easy Shade Ideas to Keep Plants From Burning in Hot Summer Gardens

During the heat of summer even plants who like full sun may need a little break. If it has been in the 100’s for a few days, like it has here in Southern California, the plants will be starting to show the stress. Your first impulse may be to water them more. Sometimes that helps Read More…

Hopseed Bush Or Dodonaea Viscosa, Fast Growing Drought Tolerant Screen Plants for So. California

I have been profiling a number of drought tolerant, fast growing screen plants lately and Dodonaea belongs on the list too.  These lacy shrubs are also called Hop Bush or Hopseed Bush after their seed pods that resemble hops.  Hop Seed bushes come with leaves in either bright, lime green or dark purple.  Both versions Read More…

Santolina Or Lavender Cotton Tough Drought Tolerant Shrubs With Yellow Flowers

Of all the flowering drought tolerant shrubs I have planted in my garden I count santolina, or Lavender cotton, as one of the best. This is a real tough customer when it comes to being completely drought tolerant in my hot, baking southern California garden. They tolerate full sun and summers that can reach over Read More…