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August 8, 2013 | By Barbara Thornburg
When author Kurt Kamm is not writing firefighting mysteries, you can find him on his terrace pacing among his pots of plants: 112 cactuses and succulents, at last count. “I often come out when I have a thorny issue in a plot I'm trying to work out,” he said with a grin. When Kamm moved into the two-story, 1960s home on the hillside bluff overlooking the Malibu Colony, the 100-foot-long terrace had not a single plant. Because he had a severe brown thumb and had never cared for a garden in his life, he began buying cactuses and succulents: “the biggest, cheapest, least troublesome thing I could plant,” he said.
July 19, 2009 | Victoria Kim
Ask Genara Paxtor about her corn stalks, and her sun-baked face breaks into a wide grin as she tosses up her chin and gestures to indicate just how large they've grown. Six months ago, Paxtor began cultivating a patch of earth in the Francis Avenue Community Garden, a small, lush space in the otherwise densely populated Koreatown neighborhood. The 43-year-old is also growing tomatoes, peppers, onions and radishes.
January 9, 2010
What water-smart gadgets are shoppers snapping up these days? The mail-order company Gardener's Supply reports that its self-watering conversion kits are particularly popular, bought by people looking to prevent potted plants from drying out. Rather than purchase new (and often expensive) self-watering containers, consumers can use these kits to convert most conventional round pots. Place the reservoir inside the bottom of a pot, add soil and plants, then pour water into the filling tube.
August 9, 2009 | Reed Johnson
The song, written by Joni Mitchell -- who wasn't there in person but somehow managed to grasp the essence of those three muggy, ineffable days in August 1969 while hunkered down in David Geffen's New York apartment watching TV -- said we had to get back to the garden. But what exactly was the garden?
August 3, 2013 | By Lee Romney
SAN JOSE - Dario Lerma peered over a front fence in his neighborhood at verdant garden beds bursting with tomatoes, squash and sunflowers. The retired Santa Clara County worker has lived in this pocket of central San Jose for a quarter of a century. So when San Jose State teamed with the city to offer residents a hand in improving the onetime gang haven, Lerma was on board. Since 2005, thousands of students have added their intellectual and physical muscle to the city's resources - improving life in a cluster of predominantly immigrant neighborhoods while nurturing community leaders.
February 6, 2010 | By Laura Randall
It was a Sunday afternoon in 1974 when a black-suited Claretian missionary known as Father Pat walked into the monthly meeting of the Long Beach Cactus Club looking to make a deal. Turn the sunny dirt patch next to his home at Dominguez Rancho Adobe into a cactus garden, Father Patrick McPolin said, and you can use the state historic site's carriage house for all of your future meetings. Members of the club, who had been convening in a small room at the Angelo M. Iacoboni Library in Lakewood, didn't think twice.
October 30, 2013 | By Rene Lynch
They found the home listing in the PennySaver, of all places. Todd Porter and Diane Cu barely glanced at the interior of the run-down three-bedroom, two-bathroom house when they arrived for a walk-through, and instead they headed straight to the sprawling backyard overgrown with brush and suffocated by a giant pine. "We looked at each other and said, 'This is it,'" Porter recalled. PHOTO GALLERY: Inside the "Bountiful" garden The Costa Mesa backyard wasn't neat or squared off like Southern California yards are supposed to be. Instead, the 11,000-square-foot lot was a jagged, oddly shaped U. It was perfect for the couple's plans: To carve out a quiet oasis where they could live a garden-to-plate lifestyle.
December 23, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Food and garden writer Debora Robertson's wonderful book, "Gifts From the Garden: 100 Gorgeous Homegrown Presents," offers an abundance of ideas created from the most basic of materials: garden bounty. There are purple hyacinths planted in teacups, jasmine-scented bath bombs, a pizza herb window box and soaps that can be made from marigolds, honey and oatmeal. For a last-minute gift that can be made in minutes -- the 50th and last installment of our Handmade Holidays gift guide -- Robertson suggests planting herbs or small flowers in any pretty tin cans you might have in the cupboard or recycling bin. (At ReForm School in Silver Lake recently, we spotted succulents planted in colorful El Pato hot sauce cans for $8.)
April 12, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Julie Burleigh has designed highly tailored organic gardens for clients all over Los Angeles, but at home in West Adams, her personal garden reflects a more freewheeling sensibility. Easy-care California natives and hearty gray-blue aloes snipped from a neighbor's yard share space with giant ageratum with ethereal, lavender-colored flowers, and herbs such as African blue basil and winter savory. Bright red geraniums, figs and other familiar plantings are interspersed with less common white sage and the aromatic edible lovage, which tastes like celery and can be harvested for soups and salads.
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