In Other News

Bamboo sheets, pillows and even mattresses touted for eco-friendliness and comfort

By Suzanne Sproul|

Gardening: ‘Z’ is for zinnia, a durable annual that thrives in the summer

Zinnias are my favorite annual summer flowers, and I say this for four reasons: • They are as colorful as a kaliedoscopic rainbow. • Their many petaled blooms, like those ruffled collars seen on 17th-century Dutch nobility in...

By Joshua Siskin|

MOST RECENT STORIES

  • Home & Garden

    Planting seeds and watching them grow may lead to even greater things

    “Life is a process of planting seeds for the future. This is how Adam (from adama, the Hebrew word for earth) got his name. For the virtue of earth is found in the plants that grow out of it and in their seeds. From these seeds will come more plants and more seeds and then more plants and seeds, and on and on. So, too, a human being, whose seeds are thoughts and actions from which new thoughts and actions will sprout forth, from one generation to the next, without...

    Joshua Siskin
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  • Home building

    Why developer can’t find buyers for Whittier affordable housing project

    WHITTIER >> As the Los Angeles area struggles amid an affordable housing crisis, the developer of a new affordable housing project in the Uptown area is having problems finding buyers. The developer, Pasadena-based Heritage Housing Partners, blames that on the state’s restrictive rules on income. Heritage Housing began its marketing effort for Guilford Court a year ago but so far have found only seven qualified buyers for nine units in their condominium project at...

    Mike Sprague
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  • Home & Garden

    5 garden tips for the week starting June 17

    Battling whiteflies Continue an aggressive defense against those nasty giant whiteflies, the tiny white moth-like creatures that produce a thick mat of sticky white “hairs” on the underside of leaves of many plants, as their larval nymphs suck out plant juices. Leaves die and fall off, and plants become weaker and weaker. Control with strong water sprays on the undersides of leaves, every other day or so for one or two weeks, or until they give up and...

    Jack Christensen
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  • Home & Garden

    The grate outdoors: For backyard kitchens, the sky’s the limit

    Whether you grill, barbecue, smoke or saute, cooking outdoors seems to add a special flavor to whatever is being served. With the summer grilling season here (July is National Grilling Month, after all) consider the options, such as taking your backyard entertaining space up a notch with an outdoor kitchen. According to the Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association, 10 percent of grill owners have an outdoor kitchen, and among those outdoor kitchen fanciers, one-third are likely to be...

    Suzanne Sproul
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  • Home & Garden

    Crazy for cacti: Cactus Man praises these water-wise, easy to care for beauties

    In today’s water-wise gardening world, succulents and cacti have become the go-to plants of Southern California. Drought-friendly and heat-loving, these plants now are staples in home landscaping designs and even as indoor living sculptures. But before you dig in and invest your time and money, know this: All cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti. So? Well, those differences should be considered when choosing a specimen, planting it and caring for it or even...

    Suzanne Sproul
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  • Gardening

    Gardening: Did heavy rains do in a flourishing Aleppo pine?

    QFor about eight years we enjoyed a lovely Aleppo pine on my hillside yard. This tree was purchased in a large box and was quite mature when we brought it in and it flourished for many years. We have had several types of pines in our yard over the 30 years that we have lived in our coastal community. When the development was first built in the early 1960s, they brought in many Monterey pines, but they struggled when we had dry periods. Most of the original Monterey pines have now died...

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  • Home & Garden

    Weeds are a gardener’s top enemy, but here’s how to fight back

    If there is one daily activity that unites the human race above all others, it’s weeding. Most people on Earth still grow at least some of the food they eat and, in order for their seeds to grow into edible plants, patrolling for weeds on a regular basis is essential. As in all matters, God, no doubt, has something to do with this state of affairs, as we are humbly kept bent over, as if in prayer, in search of those sinful weeds. And even if you confine your horticultural...

    Joshua Siskin
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  • Books and literature

    Here’s a free resource to help create drought-tolerant, water-wise landscaping in your home garden

    As Southern California gardeners select drought-friendly plants and keep water conservation in mind, it also would be wise to not forget about maintenance. Organizational and upkeep tips can help avoid the hits and misses. And for those with questions or who simply like doing things by the book, there are plenty of options including a recently released title: “California Friendly: A Maintenance Guide for Landscapers, Gardeners and Land Managers,” by Douglas Kent.

    Suzanne Sproul
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  • Home interior design

    Nature’s art: How to create interior design pieces from what’s in the garden

    Don’t limit yourself to the backyard when it comes to being green. While most gardeners are spending lots of hours outdoors this time of year, some are opting to bring the outside in. Author Willow Crossley offers step-by-step guides for doing just that, along with ideas for 50 projects in her book “The Art of Living with Nature” (CICO Books). Working with photographer Emma Mitchell, she’s elevating the status of gardens and says that art can even be...

    Suzanne Sproul
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  • Home & Garden

    Yucca trees call the Southwest and Mexico home, so they grow wonderfully here

    What do a yucca tree, a tangerine tree and a hellebore have in common? Not much, really, except that, if you live in the San Fernando Valley, you can grow all three of them in your own backyard. Yucca tree, tangerine tree and hellebore are mentioned together here because, within the span of several days, I received correspondence regarding each. Yuccas are native, primarily, to the American Southwest and Mexico, the origins of the tangerine tree are in Southeast Asia, and...

    Joshua Siskin
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