August 11, 2006
"Menace from the sky" is not the title of a science-fiction thriller, but it could be a horror story for shrub communities in the Western United States. Acid rain is a familiar story — not well-known is that the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from smog fall out of the sky as tiny particles and fertilize the vegetation underneath. In some areas, more nitrogen falls from the sky than farmers apply as fertilizer to agricultural fields. This is probably not a problem for crops, as our domesticated plants are bred to take advantage of fertilizer.
September 5, 2003
ELISABETH M. BROWN Roadway edges are unglamorous, usually weed-choked strips of landscape. They are familiar territory that we tend to look through as we drive past, but that doesn't mean they don't have interesting biology. Roadway edges are a microhabitat, where conditions differ on a small scale within the general climate of a larger biome. They are on the edge of the landscape, but not typical of it, due to such factors as water availability and physical disturbance of the soil.
December 17, 2004
ELISABETH M. BROWN The idea that plants grow in plant communities is well-established, and it's a convenient shorthand to defining a group of plants and animals that live in the same area and interact with each other. This insect pollinates that particular flower, this bird nests in that kind of cactus, this animal spreads that plant's seed by eating its fruit. Here in Laguna, the hillsides and canyons are covered by the coastal sage scrub community.
February 27, 2009
Rain is generally celebrated in Laguna as a break from our genial but seasonless climate. However, seasonal winds often contribute to a myriad of problems in our gardens. With the wettest and wildest weeks of the winter perhaps still a possibility, what can we do to protect not only our plantings, but also our homes from future storms? Readying your garden for a storm begins with personal observation. Do the trees and shrubs need to be pruned off the house? Is there a possibility that these plants may remove paint and roofing during heavy winds?
November 22, 2002
THE GARDEN FANATIC "There's always a period of curious fear between the first sweet-smelling breeze and the time when the rain comes cracking down." -- Don DeLillo "Who'll start the rain?" -- with apologies to CCR "Long as I remember, the rain's been coming down," declared John Fogerty on KRTH-FM (101.1) this week. But, for those of us in Laguna, the early rainfall did arrive. Although it may rain again this weekend, the Santa Ana winds will likely be problematic in many of our gardens.
April 2, 2004
Steve Kawaratani "April comes -- babbling and stewing flowers." -- EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY "Be both the gardener and the rose." -- UNKNOWN April stirs a gardener's blood with a host of gardening opportunities in Laguna the largest selection of flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees are available this month. Nurseries are literally overflowing with tempting spring bloomers, vying for attention with Easter holiday plants. Now that the likelihood of additional rain is dwindling, it is time to prepare your garden for the spring.
November 24, 2006
cpt-garden24Text8G215NE6"HERE COMES THE SUN."GARDEN FANATIC "Here comes the sun." "There's always a period of curious fear between the first sweet-smelling breeze and the time when the rain comes cracking down." "Here comes the sun" declared George Harrison on K-Earth (101.1 FM), and for those of us in Laguna, the sun has mainly replaced the fog and sprinkles. But the wildest months of the season are looming, so what can we do to protect not only our plantings, but perhaps our homes from the anticipated winter storms?
February 25, 2005
STEVE KAWARATANI "Outside the rain begins And it may never end." --Boz Skaggs "The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust ... " -- W. Somerset Maugham Rain is generally celebrated in Laguna as a break from our genial, but seasonless climate. However, the latest storm, of this very wet year, has contributed to a myriad of problems in our gardens. With the prospect of rain being a possibility until April, what can we do to protect not only our plantings, but our homes as well?