YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

He had a hand in more than tending the ground

August 16, 2007

JUST wanted to say thank you to Robert Smaus for his article that chronicled his family's life in Rancho Park through his gardening there ["Leaving a Memorable Landscape," Aug. 9].

Sorry to see him go, but as one who lived for a period in the Pacific Northwest, I know his new growing experiences there will be abundant.

We'll miss his column in The Times, but we wish him well in his new home.

Jean Wheeler

Huntington Beach


I wanted to thank you, Robert Smaus, for all the columns on gardening. They have been so helpful to me.

I knew little of gardening before my husband died. Then, all of a sudden, our garden, the best feature of my home, was all up to me. With a 90-by-300-foot lot, there was so much to learn.

Now I just can't bear to leave my garden, so I know it must have been hard for you. I am still enjoying all it provides, along with the beauty. You feel like you are in another world in my garden. We had a pink tabebuia (actually two) before you described yours, and I have a wonderful walk to the front door going down the path lined by five huge jacarandas and four crape myrtles a bit closer to the path.

The backyard orchard includes blood oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, peaches, plums, apples, Asian pears, figs, persimmon and some exotics -- cherimoya, sapota, passion fruit and guavas. I grow veggies too. It's all so wonderful, even in bad dirt that has needed years of amending.

But all of this gardening has only been possible with faithful reading of your columns and books. Thank you so much. I feel I know you after all these years.

Dawn Bean

North Tustin

Los Angeles Times Articles