Landscape Color

Adding Color And Excitement To The Landscape

Many spectacular trees and shrubs from mild regions around the world are well adapted to growing in our coastal Mediterranean climate. Nonetheless, when housing developments are originally landscaped, planners usually choose the most pedestrian trees and shrubs since they are non-controversial and easy to find in nurseries. When these original trees and shrubs die or […]

Planting for Fall and Year-Round Color in Southern California

Question from Chris: Interested in adding some flowers for the fall – any suggestions?  live  2miles from the ocean in redondo beach – i’m not a native, so I need guidance! Answer from Pat: You live in an excellent climate zone. You certainly can create a garden with year-round color, including fall color, but I […]

Suggestions re Flowering vine or hedge as divider

Question from Diane: I live in middle of Los Angeles (Hancock Park red clay soil) and have cyclone fence between new neighbors and my yard. Old divider was eugenia hedge now removed. East/south facing so sun most of the day. Think Jasmine, potato vine, wisteria would get too thick. Any other suggestions? Passion vine too […]

Fragrant Plant in Southern California

Question from Eileen: I am trying to identify the plant which perfumed the air when I made a recent trip to St. Louis Obispo, Ca. The fragrance was everywhere I went. It was delightful and was so persistent that it must grow wild. I would like to identify it. I live in Missouri. Answer from […]

Growing Lilac (Syringea vulgaris) in Southern California

Question from Rachel: First things first: Pat, I asked you a question about fruit trees a while ago, and you sent the most thoughtful, detailed message with a host of helpful suggestions, including a recommendation for Bearss lime trees. I managed to find one–Bearss were everywhere, but only dwarf varieties, so finding a full-sized tree […]

Exposure as a factor when growing Tibouchina

Question from  Shannon: I just bought your book tonight and then I stumbled upon your website. As for my sad Tibouchinas, I guess I have to accept that they are not made for our climate or our water concerns. I saw them everywhere around LA, so I just assumed they were native or at least […]

Flowering Freeway median plants in California

Question from Laura: A relative driving north from Sacramento toward Reading called me, an Ohio Master Gardener, to ask if I knew what shrub might be planted in the median of U.S. 5 for many, many miles.  I don’t.  There are several hues, apparently: possibly pink, red, white, maybe purple.  Can you enlighten us?  If […]