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April 4, 2009
At the heart of the sustainable gardens movement is the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants, the Sun Valley education center and nursery whose annual self-guided garden tour will be held today and Sunday. More than 40 properties from Monrovia to Long Beach, each composed of at least 50% native plants, will be open for viewing. A $20 ticket covers both days; for details call (818) 768-1802 or go to
February 21, 2009 | Paula Panich
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont says it's the largest garden dedicated to California native plants, a place where visitors can stroll 86 rolling acres and see flora in bloom from February through April. Now there is another reason to visit: the park's Grow Native Nursery. The nursery, which opened earlier this month, offers 1,500 plants and is staffed by horticulturists ready with expert advice. The plants for sale now?
January 29, 2009 | Susannah Rosenblatt
The humble yellow flower isn't exactly a showstopper. But to those who want to see development take root in the rugged hills of south Laguna Beach, the big-leaved crownbeard might be just that. Unlike the spotted owl or the California desert tortoise -- threatened superstars with reputations for slowing development, the crownbeard is something of a bit player. It only grows in two places, neither of which would be confused with pristine wilderness or majestic national parkland.
September 6, 2008 | Diane Wedner, Times Staff Writer
Keeping that thick, verdant blanket of grass watered in these dog days of summer is about as economical and conservation-minded an enterprise as gassing up the family SUV for the weekly commute or a long-distance vacation. It costs a bundle, and pretty soon you have to do it all over again. But before yanking out the Marathon and replacing it with concrete or AstroTurf, it's best to check out the myriad landscaping rules, regulations and ordinances individual municipalities enforce.
September 6, 2008 | Joe Robinson, Special to The Times
YOU'D THINK it would be easy to murder a lawn, since many of us have had plenty of success without even trying. But finishing off that green sponge takes a smart strategy, or it may come back to haunt you. Removing lawn seems basic enough: Dig it up and haul it away. But it's best to subordinate reflex and forgo brute hacking, experts say. First of all, yanking out sod "can be back-breaking work," says Steve Gerischer, a Glassell Park landscape designer who gives talks on turf termination for the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants as well as the Los Angeles County Arboretum.
June 25, 2008 | Margot Roosevelt, Times Staff Writer
Two-thirds of California's unique plants, some 2,300 species that grow nowhere else in the world, could be wiped out across much of their current geographic ranges by the end of the century because of rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, according to a new study. The species that cannot migrate fast enough to higher altitudes or cooler coastal areas could face extinction because of greenhouse gas emissions that are heating the planet, according to researchers.
April 10, 2008 | Emily Green, Special to The Times
WEED. We need only one syllable to differentiate friend from foe in our gardens. Yet the word seems inadequate for a new generation of weeds -- plants that we find beautiful or delicious when we cultivate them but that have escaped into the wild to potentially catastrophic effect. No single source tells the story of the shifting definition quite so methodically as "Weeds of California and Other Western States." When UC Davis weed scientist Joseph M.
March 6, 2008 | Emily Green, Special to The Times
LAST summer, a chef friend stood admiring the edge of my herb garden, joking that the blaze of color from the red-flowering buckwheat planted along the border was far too pretty to harvest for pancake flour. In truth, I had no intention of grinding up the blossoms. It seemed incredible that even the most avid Russian blini maker ever had the patience to mill and sift the tiny flowers, which truth be told are not really red, but an intense dirty pink. Crush the flowers in your fingers and the seeds are so small, you can barely see them.
July 13, 2007
Re "Rare butterfly is winging back," July 9 The return of the rare El Segundo blue butterfly reminds us that gardening with native plants does more than just reduce water use. Native plants serve as a food source for native butterflies, not to mention birds and other species. KEITH MALONE Montecito Heights
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