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August 18, 1990 | SHARON COHOON, Sharon Cohoon is a regular contributor to Home Design
Fast food, car phones, faxed information--it's the age of "I want it now." Or "I wanted it yesterday." You would hardly expect patience, willingness to invest time and sensitivity for subtleties to be surplus commodities in such a climate. But there are people out there with these closet virtues. Because these are the traits needed to appreciate old-fashioned perennials, which are re-emerging in local gardens after a decades-long absence.
April 8, 1989
For dedicated gardeners, here are suggestions from the California Assn. of Nurserymen: Teach your children the fun of gardening by planting a variety of seeds that include radishes; they give quick results to keep the kids interested while the others grow. Continue to water bulbs as long as the foliage is green. Feed hibiscus monthly from now until September. Time to plant carrots, corn, peppers and squash. Mulch around shrubs, trees, annuals and even container plants to help conserve moisture and discourage weeds.
Just because you are no longer in your salad days is no reason to give up gardening. In fact, insists 65-year-old Florence Everts, a Washington landscape designer who has designed gardens around the world, gardening is "probably the most therapeutic, rejuvenating and invigorating" activity senior citizens can engage in. Everts, a transplanted Australian and the wife of a retired U.S. foreign service officer, has designed gardens at American embassies in Pakistan and China.
June 14, 1991 | GREG HERNANDEZ
The flowers, plants and vegetables that fill the redwood planters at the Western Medical Center nursing facility are more than just colorful scenery--they are a source of therapy and joy for the wheelchair-bound residents who live there. The elderly residents, many of whom are stroke victims, spend about half an hour each day tending to the planters, which are now blooming with life.
July 2, 1998 | EDWARD M. YOON
In 1987, Ruth Phillips, an occupational therapist at Sepulveda VA Medical Center in North Hills, came up with the idea of using gardening as a means of therapy and self-improvement for retired and disabled veterans. Eleven years later, her vision has transformed the backyard of Building 4 at the center into an organic garden paradise. Plump potatoes, leafy lettuce and ripe red tomatoes sprout out of the soil in the 2,000-square-foot garden. Corn stalks rise 7 feet above the ground.
May 19, 1990 | SHARON COHOON, Sharon Cohoon is a free-lance writer based in Huntington Beach
We're approaching gardening all wrong. In the fourth year of a drought, headed into a bone-dry summer, and with no assurance that next year will be any wetter, we continue to squander half our water consumption on landscaping. And half of that on grass that no one ever sets foot on. Water districts and "xeriscape" architects who landscape with drought-resistant plants warn us that these landscaping habits are wasteful and could lead to mandatory water rationing.
The competition is tense. The rules are exacting. One little slip and you're out. This is a gardening contest? Yes--and not just any old garden-variety one. It's a Gardening Club of America garden show, sanctioned by one of the oldest gardening groups in the country and stricter than you ever may have imagined. All the attention to detail makes it tough for exhibitors but wonderful for visitors, who can see dozens of perfect, unusual specimens during an afternoon's visit to a GCA show.
June 30, 1990 | JULIE BAWDEN DAVIS, Julie Bawden Davis is a regular contributor to Home Design
Sharon Whatley likes to know what her family is eating. And it's not always easy to find out. "There is no way to tell what is sprayed on vegetables and fruit before they get to the supermarket, and I wanted to have control over that," said the Tustin resident. She started a garden in her back yard six years ago to ensure that her family ate only naturally grown, chemical-free produce. Then the bugs invaded her pure environment.
April 21, 1990 | TEDDY COLBERT, Colbert is a free-lance writer in Los Angeles
After a year of high hopes and planning, the children in Barnsdall Junior Art Center classes have planted a new hilltop Urban Garden in time for an Earth Day Festival dedication at noon Sunday. But it is the children, not so much the plants, who are rising to the occasion since NASA space-exposed seeds planned for their "tomato testing" garden were bypassed due to possible toxicity of the resulting fruit.
September 25, 1990 | HARRY ANDERSON
Just like many of us, a lot of the lush flowers and plants in California are immigrants too. And just like many of us, they often do better here than they did in their native lands. Which brings us to the drought and how it's affecting the multibillion-dollar California lawn and garden business. Californians spent $4.2 billion last year on gardening and landscaping, and that represents 26% of the national total, according to the California Assn. of Nurserymen.
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