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Gardening: Enjoying the flowering rebirth of perennials while they bloom

Daffodils, whose appearance is an undeniable harbinger of spring, bring smiles not only to gardeners but to poets, too. When William Wordsworth lay on his couch and thought of their unforgettable nodding golden trumpets, he wrote that then “my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils.” The word “daffodil” is derived from asphodel, a related flower of the lily family. Asphodel for the Greeks conjured up a meadow encountered in the afterlife. There is something about the rebirth of ...
Tags: Gardening, Mexico, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Southern California, San Fernando Valley, West Los Angeles, William Wordsworth, Narcissus, Cattleya, Home + Garden, Joshua Siskin, Nordhoff St North Hills, Gladiolus, Aurora Mendoza


Master Gardener: How to keep your houseplants from getting shriveled and brown

Q: I have several houseplants that are shriveled and/or brown at the leaf edges. I take care to water them regularly, and I even have them sitting in a pebble tray so they can get some extra humidity. What could be causing these symptoms? A: Although you are careful to ensure that your plants are properly hydrated, many indoor plants demand more moisture than a pebble tray can provide. Our climate in Southern California is extremely arid, which can be tough on tender tropical plants. Dry leaf ma...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Southern California, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden


How gardening may be helping people live longer

Gardening saved Mary Lou Heard’s life. In the 1970s, Heard, who would later become known as Orange County’s patron saint of cottage gardens, went through a divorce that was so devastating she was hospitalized. On the grounds of the hospital, there was a small neglected garden. Mary Lou got down on her hands and knees and, for the first time in a long time, she would later write, felt peace. Now more and more studies are supporting what Mary Lou and many others have known in their hearts all alon...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, King, Sardinia, Southern California, Huntington Beach, Okinawa, San Fernando Valley, Michelle Boyd, Billie Jean King, Dan Buettner, Mary Lou, Loma Linda


5 ways to improve your garden this week, Mar. 23-29

1. Harvest time Continue harvesting winter crops and citrus. Remember – you don’t need to pick all your oranges, lemons, and other citrus when it first ripens. Most citrus fruits will hold on the tree – and become even sweeter – for several months. So harvest what you can use and let the rest of the fruits get sweeter. Then as more and more start to fall off, you can harvest the rest of the crop and share it. 2. Herbal remedy Refresh woody herb plants such as rosemary, sage, and tarragon by prun...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Susan, Dusty Miller, Achillea, Veronica Now, Home + Garden, Correa California, Chicks Stachys Lamb, Phlox Portulaca Thunbergia Black, Verbena Vinca


Gardening: The sweet mystery of the cocktail grapefruit, the mandelo

“The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.” These words of Thomas Jefferson are precious to me since I have long felt that I can provide no more important service to you, dear reader of this column, than to bring to your attention unfamiliar plants which, were they to flourish in your garden, could well enhance your quality of life. One of these plants is a citrus tree I had never heard of until a short time ago when it was brought to my atte...
Tags: Gardening, Los Angeles, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Shirley, Ontario, Thomas Jefferson, Riverside, UC Riverside, Loma Linda, Home + Garden, Oro Blanco, Sandra Shirley, Clausen Nursery, Parkview Nursery


Master Gardener: Help with a dying apple tree and how to grow flowers from bulbs in Southern California

This apple tree appears as though it has died at the graft and the living branches are emerging from below the graft. (Courtesy of Bertha Marineo) Q: I planted an apple tree about three years ago, but it seems to be dying. Here is a picture of it. I will appreciate any advice. A: From your photograph, it appears as though your apple tree has died at the graft and the living branches are emerging from below the graft. This can happen when a tree is stressed or damaged in some way. It can also ...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, East Coast, Mediterranean, Southern California, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden, Bertha Marineo


5 gardening tips to try in your yard this week, Mar. 16-22

1. Cup of salt Apply a quarter cup of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to each mature rose bush to boost both vigor and flowering capacity. It is inexpensive and can be found at drugstores, where it is commonly sold as a laxative or for soaking feet. A cup or so spread around citrus, avocado and other fruit trees boosts their performance, too. This little bit once a year is just right, but more is counterproductive, so don’t get carried away. 2. Spring is here The first day of Spring is coming. I...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Southern California, Epsom, Home + Garden


Master Gardener: Heirloom tomato tips and more on citrus pruning

Q: Last year I planted several heirloom tomato varieties. They grew well, but did not produce many tomatoes. My Brandywine plant was beautiful and healthy-looking, but only produced one tomato. I thought heirloom varieties were better than ordinary hybrids. What is going on? A: In the last few years, vegetable and flower varieties labeled “heirloom” have become popular. The California Master Gardener Handbook defines an heirloom as “a crop variety or cultivar documented to have been in cultivati...
Tags: Gardening, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Orange County, Riverside County, Southern California, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Fernando Valley, Brandywine, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden


Gardening: Exploring how some species in your garden work so well together

What if Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory was wrong? What if it turns out that “survival of the most cooperative” explains why some species are more successful than others? Research conducted in a forest of Douglas fir and birch trees demonstrated the cooperative relationship not only between fungi and trees, but between trees of different species as well. Fungi known as mycorrhizae are considered to be appendages of forest tree roots since they absorb water and minerals that are directl...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Darwin, Southern California, Douglas, San Fernando Valley, Biermann, Mycorrhizae, Home + Garden, Janice Biermann Santa Monica


These 17 spring garden tours are blooming all over Southern California

There are times while walking or driving through a neighborhood you see a home with so much curb appeal it leaves you wanting more than just a passing glance. You would love to linger and take in the outdoor space someone took a lot of time and effort to create. Luckily, spring garden tours are right around the corner. During these events organized by gardening groups, civic organizations and charities, curated private gardens are made available to the general public so you can explore these lan...
Tags: Gardening, Los Angeles, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Long Beach, Beverly Hills, Orange County, San Marino, Southern California, Los Angeles County, Santa Ana, San Bernardino County, Donald Wexler, San Clemente, Rossmoor


5 things to do in your garden this week, Mar. 9-15

1. Summer planting time Remember: Daylight Saving Time begins March 10. Even though we lose an hour by setting our clocks ahead (and it takes a week or two to adjust to the time change), we get more daytime light to enjoy the garden. And it’s also time to plant summer garden vegetables – cilantro, corn, root crops, squashes and specialty items from seed; vigorously growing peppers, tomatoes, and other veggies from pony-packs. Plant tomatoes deep, leaving only the top inch or two sticking out of ...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Santana, Home + Garden


5 things you can do in the garden this week, Mar. 2-8

1. Rose revival Apply a quarter cup of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to each mature rose bush to boost its vigor. It is inexpensive and can be found at drug stores, where it is commonly sold as a laxative or for soaking feet. A cup or so spread around citrus, avocado and other fruit trees boosts their performance, too. This little bit once a year is just right, but more is counter-productive, so don’t get carried away. 2. Got rot? Prevent brown-rot disease in apricot, nectarine and peach fruit...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Epsom, Home + Garden


Gardening: Opening our eyes to the large variety of diminutive irises

No matter how much you think you know about plants, there are still plenty of surprises that await. With nearly 400,000 plant species identified worldwide, it is little wonder that every time you step into a nursery there is something new to discover. Even within a single plant genus, there may be so many species that you would need a lifetime to explore them all. Take irises, for example. There are 300 species of iris yet only two of them – bearded and Dutch iris – are familiar to most gardener...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Long Beach, Cleveland, Barber, Pacific Coast, Senna, Salvia, Lavandula, Canna, Rancho Los Cerritos, Terry Barber, Home + Garden, Strelitzia


Master Gardener: How to get gophers out of your yard

Q: I have gophers in my yard. How do I get rid of them? A: As a master gardener, I think this is the most commonly-asked question at our “Ask a Master Gardener” information table. Gophers are tricky to eliminate. If you have a single gopher digging in a flat part of your yard, you can use a garden hose to flood him out of his hole. If you have a more extensive problem, you can use either a Macabee or Black Hole trap. Locate the main tunnel by probing the ground near the pile of pulverized dirt. ...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden, San Fernando Valley LA, Macabee


How Tomatomania can help your garden output during extreme weather

Spring is almost here, and you know what that means – it’s time for Tomatomania! The annual traveling sales event, which kicks off its 29th year at Roger’s Gardens in Corona Del Mar and runs March 1-10, is devoted to making tomato growing fun with more than 250 varieties of tomato and pepper seedlings. Other local stops include Fig Earth Supply in Los Angeles (March 8-10), Tapia Brothers in Encino (March 15-17) and Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge (March 29-31). For the first time, some ...
Tags: Gardening, Los Angeles, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Gardens, Black, Southern California, Roger, San Fernando Valley, Descanso Gardens, Ojai, La Canada Flintridge, Encino, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories OCR


Master Gardener: What to know about winter pruning

Q: Is February a good time for winter pruning? Not just fruit trees, but roses and other perennials? A: Late winter is an excellent time to prune your trees and shrubs. All those beautiful seed catalogs have been arriving in the mail, and you miss being outside and getting your hands dirty. Now is the time to catch a bit of sunshine and take care of some important gardening chores. Winter pruning benefits trees and woody perennials in several ways. Probably the most important thing you can do is...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Southern California, Pomona, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden


5 garden tips for this week, Feb. 23-29

1. Feed your avocado trees Feed avocado trees in March and again in June. Apply just under 5 cups of 16-16-16 plant food, or 10 cups of 10-10-10 fertilizer around the drip zone of each mature tree each time you feed. And any time you apply plant food, be sure to thoroughly water it in right away, or let the rain do it for you. 2. Blooming success Plant azaleas and camellias while they are blooming. Many varieties, conveniently, are pretty much in the middle of their blooming season now. Plant th...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Home + Garden, Johnny Jump


Gardening: How to keep a potted plant healthy and thriving in a pot

Have you ever had a pet frog, a bird, a hamster, or a goldfish? If so, you have some idea of what caring for a potted plant is all about.  Constant vigilance, really. You want to feed it, but not too much. You need to make sure it is well-hydrated. You must look at it with a critical eye for any possible sign of stress or sickness at least once a day since any hint of a problem should be immediately addressed. Not everyone who wants to grow plants has a garden. For such land-deprived plant lover...
Tags: Gardening, Los Angeles, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Mediterranean, Southern California, Phoenix, San Fernando Valley, Home + Garden, San Fernando Valley LA, Ingrid Vold


Gardening: What you need to know about growing pomegranates in Southern California

Pomegranates are probably the healthiest fruit on earth. Hundreds of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals attest to the multi-faceted benefits of pomegranate consumption, from lowering cholesterol and improving heart function to prevention and treatment of cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Two weeks ago, I asked readers who had success growing pomegranates to share their experiences and some of their responses follow below. “Many years ago I noticed a beautiful pomegranate tree...
Tags: Gardening, California, Sport, Iran, Things To Do, Soccer, San Marino, Southern California, Youtuber, Huntington Beach, Beaumont, Temecula, Encinitas, Jerry McLaughlin, Sandy Morris, Home + Garden


Master Gardener: What to do about frost-damaged citrus trees

Q: I have several citrus trees (lemon, lime, and orange) that were damaged by the recent frost. Their leaves have either completely fallen off, or they are curled up and black. Is there anything I can do to save them? A: If your tree has sustained frost damage, you may be tempted to prune away the dead (and seemingly dead) branches. Don’t do this until spring, when it starts growing and the danger of frost has passed. Although ugly, the damaged leaves and branches provide some degree of protecti...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Riverside County, Palm Springs, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden, San Fernando Valley LA


5 things to do in the garden this week, Feb. 16-22

1.Snail alarm Snails will soon be awakening with hearty appetites. They love to chomp away on tender spring growth and can seriously shred foliage and damage developing flowers and fruits overnight. Apply snail bait regularly – either the meal or granule form. And replenish it every ten days or so to stop newly emerging hatchlings, as well as travelers that slither in from elsewhere in the neighborhood. OR look up recipes for escargot on the Internet and get back at them that way. 2. Harvesting ...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Home + Garden


Master Gardener: How to remove the yellow nutsedge weed from your lawn

Q: I have tried several products to remove this weed from my lawn, but nothing has worked. In fact it seems to be spreading. Any other suggestions? A: From your photo, it appears that you have an infestation of yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus). This is a particularly noxious weed that frequently appears in lawns. Their leaves are very stiff, light green, and have an upright growth habit, making them an unattractive addition to your landscape. It grows from underground rhizomes (roots) that f...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Orange County, Palm Springs, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Top Stories PE, Home + Garden, Cecile Brunner


Here’s what’s happening at Modernism Week in Palm Springs, Feb. 14-24

Swimming pools, movie stars and that warm, dry climate. These are part of the well-known appeal of Palm Springs, but there’s more than that on display during Modernism Week, the city’s winter tourist event. It’s a major attraction that last year brought in 127,000 visitors. This year, the more than 7-day Week runs Feb. 14-24 with a special focus on outdoor living. Modernism Week is sort of like Comic-Con for fans of mid-century modern, a design movement in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s that has becom...
Tags: Gardening, California, Home Improvement, San Francisco, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Disneyland, Frank Sinatra, Walt Disney, Palm Springs, Frank, Sinatra, Frey, Denny, Joan Crawford


Gardening: Developing a soft spot for tactile plants

Everyone loves petting zoos, especially kids, and I was just wondering if, maybe alongside them, petting gardens would be appropriate. A petting garden would feature leaves with furry, fuzzy, bumpy, and leathery textures. Such a garden would not need much water since foliar texture is nature’s way of minimizing moisture loss through leaf surfaces. Shrubs and trees with smooth, spongy, or fissured barks could also be included. For children, such tactile botanical specimens would serve as an indel...
Tags: Asia, Gardening, Australia, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Crete, Salvia, Home + Garden, Artemisia Centaurea Senecio Jacobaea, Woollybush


5 things to do in the garden this week, Feb. 9-15

1. Plant of love This week is Valentine’s Day, so here’s a friendly reminder to share your love, not only with flowers and chocolates, but also with produce from your garden. And, just for the fun of it, look around your yard for the annual weed that I always call the “I-Love-You Plant.” It has low, feather-like leaves close to the ground and wiry upright, 20-inch flower spikes sporting lots of seed capsules that look like little hearts. To me, it’s amazing that this plant only grows around Vale...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Valentine, Strawberry, Home + Garden, Inland Valley


Gardening: Growing pomegranates and pluots in California’s varied climates

“I was visiting my parents in Modesto and we picked up some delicious pluots at a local fruit stand. Since my Santa Rosa plum has rarely bloomed or produced fruit, I was interested in replacing it with a pluot variety. Do you know if any specific pluots grow and produce fruit in my area? And do they need another tree as a pollinator? My yard currently produces Keishu mini mandarins, ruby Grapefruit, Manilla mango, Fuyu persimmons, Eureka lemon, navel oranges, and avocados. I occasionally can get...
Tags: Gardening, California, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Modesto, Orange County, Mediterranean, Joseph, Santa Rosa, Burbank, Santa Ana, Redlands, Zaiger, David Salvaggio, Home + Garden


5 garden tips for this week, Feb. 2-8

1. Stop and prune the roses Remember: rose leaves that make it through the winter get more diseases, and the diseases start earlier in the season then move to newer leaves and to other plants. So if you haven’t pruned your roses, do so this weekend. And be sure to remove all the old rose leaves in order to have healthier plants and prettier roses this spring and summer. 2. Attend to the trees Thin out heavy growth on large trees – if they survived our recent winds. Don’t just butcher the treetop...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Home + Garden


5 things to do in the garden this week, Jan. 26-Feb. 1

1. Prune! Prune old flower heads off of hydrangeas. Remove the upper third of each stem along with the dead flowers, but don’t cut any lower if you want good blooms this spring. The best new blooms come on growth that arises from last year’s healthy stems. To get the largest possible blossoms, reduce the number of flower stems. Otherwise you’ll get more numerous blooms of moderate size. 2. Produce the produce The more you harvest from leafy and podded winter vegetables, the more the plants will ...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Scott, Home + Garden, Vigoro Lawn Fertilizer


Gardening: The joys of a fragrant garden

Can you imagine a garden with nothing but fragrant plants? It’s a most reasonable proposition, really. You can easily fill a garden with upright and prostrate rosemary and a dozen types of lavender and have bundles of fragrance, in the form of clippings, throughout the year. Even better, these plants are extremely parsimonious when it comes to water use. Once they are established, you will not need to water them more than once or twice a month, even in hot weather. When you do water, just make s...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, Glendale, Chatsworth, Monrovia, Ucla, Saugus, Riverside, Burbank, Laguna Beach, Datura, Home + Garden, Westwood Boulevard, Grace Hampton


Gardening: How to prune your trees and roses to keep them healthy

Historically speaking, tree pruning is a relatively recent phenomenon, developed as a necessity when trees began to be planted in close proximity to where people lived, worked, or congregated. It’s just not a pleasant feeling when a branch falls on your house, your car, or on your head. For centuries, trees were kept exclusively in the forest. The idea of planting one next to where you lived was never considered. But then, beginning with the industrial revolution in the late 18th century, as mas...
Tags: Gardening, Sport, Things To Do, Soccer, American Rose Society, Sally Joy, Home + Garden, Roy Hudson



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