April 29, 1999 |
Ficus, in my mind, are what one fellow gardener used to call "garden thugs." I should quickly point out that I have several specific ficus in mind: Ficus microcarpa (also sold as F. retusa) and the closely related F. m. nitida and F. benjamina. These are by far the most commonly planted of the 800 or so ficus. These ficus can be handsome container plants, indoors and out, but let them loose in the garden or on sidewalk medians, and be prepared to defend yourself. Not everyone agrees with me.
May 5, 1990 |
Gardening is a lot like Nintendo. Both are addicting, and once players master the basics, they're hungry for a new challenge. One way a gardener can fill the insatiable desire for more excitement is at the 20th annual Baldwin Bonanza benefit plant sale at Los Angeles State and County Arboretum this weekend, where new, rare and challenging plants will be sold at below wholesale and retail prices.
HOME & GARDEN
February 23, 1991
Many people believe that summer-blooming bulbs are limited to dahlias and gladiolus. But there are numerous varieties to be planted now that will bloom as early as May and as late as October. Bulbs and tubers such as tigridia, liatris, crinum, begonias, lilies, Japanese irises and eucomis are also available in nurseries this time of year. Tigridia, also called Mexican shell flower, provide vibrant color and resemble miniature orchids.
December 2, 1989 |
When camellias, those lush blooms that flourish in California gardens in the winter months, first came to the West from the Orient, they arrived in rocking, wind-battered boats. This weekend, when Chuck Gerlach delivers his prized blooms to the Pacific Camellia Society Show, he will cradle his precious cargo in boxes of cotton. But this type of fussing isn't anything new for the camellia.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 1988 |
Crime and the inhumanity of man are oppressive facts of life inside the Nickerson Gardens housing project in South-Central Los Angeles. But heaven help those who mess with the Gardens' garden. Since last November, 38 residents of the project have banded together to nurture vegetable plots on a vacant lot on East 115th Street.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 2006 |
The Too Hot Tamale is surprisingly unbefuddled by the lesson we're getting on bees, blossoms and bureaucracy. But then celebrity chef Mary Sue Milliken has her 8-year-old son in tow, and he attends a public school. Readers whose children don't will be exasperated by the saga of 24th Street Elementary School's struggle to plant a garden. Survivors of the Los Angeles Unified School District will be encouraged. I find myself flip-flopping.
HOME & GARDEN
August 18, 1990 |
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.
HOME & GARDEN
October 27, 1990 |
Lantana, milkweed and passion flower: Cultivate them at your own risk. These plants are bound to entice butterflies into your yard, and if that happens, you're in danger of being seduced. Watch one monarch hatch from its jade-colored, gold-sprinkled case after feeding as a caterpillar in your garden, and you're a lepidopterist in the making. Next thing you know, you'll be altering your entire landscape to accommodate these ephemeral creatures.
September 17, 1988 |
"Why do bumblebees suck your blood?" was the difficult question posed to a friend by a little girl returning from summer camp. It seems some boys had trapped a "bee" (it was probably a yellow jacket, because it was hovering around their lunch) under a paper cup. Sliding a piece of paper under the cup, they picked it up, shook it up real well (something only a boy would do) but then it escaped. Bumblebees, of course, do not suck human blood. In fact, they are a gardener's best friend.
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.