Life Style & Travel

Gardening Up A Wall

UNITED STATES—Like so many fads often do, the vertical gardening fad has become trendier than it really should be. It certainly has practical applications, and is very appealing in the right situations. However, in the wrong situations, it can be more problematic than it is worth. Vertical gardens can shade and insulate exposed walls, but really do little more than...

Are You Prepared To Be A Landlord?

LOS ANGELES—These days many are jumping into the rental property market. And given the recent growth of real estate in general, it’s not surprising to see this surge. The prospect of acquiring apartment buildings or multiplexes with a steady cash flow is hard to resist, some may say. For those considering this move, it’s a good idea to go over...

Time For Warm Season Annuals

UNITED STATES—Nasturtium and sweet alyssum seem to be more than warm season annuals. Like many other warm season annuals, they get established best if added to the garden just after winter, and then grow and bloom mostly during warm spring and summer weather. Then, if allowed to stay in the garden as cooler weather inhibits bloom somewhat, they survive...

The Rental Market Is Back

LOS ANGELES—The economy may not be doing that well, given a still sluggish job market and continuing troubles in many sectors. But one thing is bucking the trend – the real estate market and more particularly, the rental market. And it’s not surprising as many investors realize that the positive cash flow of rental properties is one of the few...

The Stakes Could Be High

UNITED STATES—The irony of landscaping and gardening to bring nature closer to the home is that it is so very unnatural. Plant specie are imported from all over the world, grown in synthetic environments, and then expected to perform in unfamiliar climates and soils far from home. Most plants have been bred for optimal retail appeal at the expense...

Tax Breaks Are A Big Incentive To Buy

LOS ANGELES—Buying a home is always an important decision for a family. The advantages are many for those who plan to purchase their first home or their latest home. There really is no debate when it comes to buying a home or renting, when it comes to it. Buying is always best. In fact much of our economy is built...

Give Plants What They Want

Dogwoods are certainly pretty as they bloom this time of year. They are rare, but seen often enough in nurseries to make one wonder why they are even more scarce in local gardens. Those that got sold in previous years should now be prominent features around town. The problem is that because they are not happy in local climates,...

I Love My Job: Teacher to the Child Stars

HOLLYWOOD—There’s one question David Combs has had to endure countless times in 38 years on countless movie sets, “What role are you playing?” With his jaunty rattan snap-brim that that would be at equally home at Santa Anita or on inParis, Combs cheerfully replies, “I’m a studio teacher.” Because of his unprepossessing actorish poise, at first blush it doesn’t...

Building Wealth Through Real Estate

LOS ANGELES—As the economy improves and the real estate market gets stronger, many are now looking to buy property with an eye toward building wealth. With all the indicators showing strength in the market, it’s a great time to buy especially for those seeking to rebuild their nest egg by investing in property. It’s been a long five years since...

There Is Variety In Succulents

Cacti have thick, fleshy stems outfitted with nasty spines instead of leaves. Agaves and related aloes have stout, fibrous stems that are mostly obscured by thick, fleshy leaves. (Only a few somewhat rare aloes develop bare trunks and stems.) What they have in common is that they all are succulent plants, collectively known as succulents. There are all sorts of...
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