Had a great time doing my quarterly gardening radio gig on KPBS FM 89.5, Public Radio in San Diego. Host Maureen Cavanaugh is a blast to talk with, and the callers had great questions about tomatoes, how to water, the cool weather, and lots more. Click here to listen!

Read More

When Maury and Heather Callaghan moved to their newly built Olivenhain home in 2001, they carpeted the two-thirds-acre lot in sod. The New Zealand natives had lived all over the world, most recently in Kentucky where they had a large, woodland garden. Both had gardened with their parents as children. As adults, however, Maury’s business…

Read More

People constantly ask me how much and how often to water their plants.  There is no definitive answer.  It depends on your microclimate, the type of soil in your garden, the type of irrigation you use (drip, overhead, etc.) and more. That said, figuring out how to water your plants isn’t all that difficult if…

Read More

Ever drive along the roadways of California and notice a huge, fountainy grass with big, feathery, buff-colored plumes?  To the untrained eye, pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana)  looks like a statuesque, beautiful grass, but oh!  Beware! In her wonderful horticultural history, Southern California Gardens, Victoria Padilla tells how in the mid 1800s, Joseph Sexton “the father…

Read More

Thanksgiving leftovers are almost eaten, my guests have all gone home, and it rained last night.  It was the first rain of the year.  Granted it was only a tenth of an inch, but to my rain-deprived brain, it sounded like a deluge. The skies have been gray all day, which, combined with sweatshirt temperatures,…

Read More

One of my greatest honors is to have my work inspire others.  When students email me with stories and photos of their water-wise gardens inspired by one of my classes, for example, I am thrilled. Imagine my delight, then, to discover that my book, California Gardener’s Guide vII inspired a gorgeous mosaic mural! A few…

Read More

Hidden Pleasures Plants are so amazing…. Last night, my husband and I took an evening stroll and as we stepped out the front door, I was struck by a sweet fragrance.   I couldn’t quite pinpoint its source, and since my husband was already half way up the street, I scrambled after him rather than…

Read More

What’s the surest way to get the most flavor from vegetables and fruits?  Grow em yourself…..from seed! Starting vegetables from seed was the topic of the talk I gave at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s Festival of Flavors this past Friday. The topic seemed fitting since the huge variety of vegetables seeds…

Read More

When I was speaking at the San Francisco Flower Show a few weeks ago, I  was asked to be on View From the Bay, an afternoon talk/variety show on the ABC TV affiliate in the bay area. I did a segment with correspondent Lisa Quinn (who is a hoot) where I demonstrated how to start…

Read More

I turned my irrigation system off in late October and here it is the end of March. How did I manage to avoid watering for nearly six months? Easy! My garden is planted in low water plants.

Read More