Life Style & Travel

The fruits of our labor

The vast orchards of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys are there for a reason. California is one of the best place in the world to grow fruit trees. However, whether they are in vast orchards or compact urban gardens, even the happiest and healthiest of fruit trees need considerable and specialized attention. Most of the classic deciduous fruit trees...

Having A Down Payment Is Key To Home Buying

LOS ANGELES—Early planning is always important when it comes to major tasks. Whether it’s about buying a car or simply fixing your deck, planning is always essential in order to avoid problems later.  And it’s no different when it comes to buying your dream home or simply your first one. It’s all about planning. Thinking ahead and using common sense...

Daddy knows sustainability

My rhubarb really has been around a while! My father's father's father and mother grew it quite some time ago, and shared some shoots of it with my father. He then shared it with my maternal grandmother, who shared it with her mother, another of my great grandmothers, who thought it was something really exotic. Along the way, it...

The Need for Seed

Lily of the Nile is so easy to propagate by division of congested old plants that not many of us bother to grow it from seed. No one wants to leave the prominent but less than appealing seed pods out in the garden long enough to turn brown and ripen after the blue or white flowers are gone anyway....

Divorced But Wanting A Norman Rockwell Holiday

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Most people share a similar vision for the perfect Christmas. Typical ingredients include devoted family members lovingly exchanging gifts, laughs and conversations, while the young children squeal with delight when opening their presents. Unfortunately, divorced parents are usually court ordered to share visitation rights over Christmas. As a result, each parent misses the joy of being with their children...

Let houseplants enjoy the rain

Hibiscus, bougainvilleas, philodendrons and so many of the tropical and subtropical plants that we can enjoy in our gardens can only survive through winter in greenhouses in most other climates in America. Many of our tropical houseplants though, seem to be the same everywhere. Houseplants are generally grown in our homes not because they can not survive in our...

Grafting fact and fiction

There are not many Californians of my generation who do not remember growing avocado trees from seeds when we were kids. We simply impaled the big seeds around the middle with three evenly spaced toothpicks to suspend them from the rims of Dixie cups partly full of water. If just the bottoms of these seeds remained properly submerged, they...

Traveling For The Holidays

UNITED STATES—The next few days will be chaotic for all of us as we begin to count down the days remaining to the big festivities surrounding Thanksgiving. Whether its preparing for family to come in from other states or kids heading home from school, one thing that can be certain is traveling will be torturous for many of us. Tuesday...

Early pruning may have advantages

As long as it gets done well before buds begin to swell late in winter, the meticulous and specialized pruning that deciduous fruit trees and roses require during winter dormancy does not need to be done immediately. Here where the climate is so mild, some roses may still be blooming. The main advantage to getting an early start is...

Best Investment, House Or Apartment Building?

By David Rosenfeld SANTA MONICA—Once you decide to buy an investment property you’ll likely ask yourself  “What is the best investment I could make? A house or apartment?” It may sound simple, but the truth of the matter is that it really depends on a number of things. Among them is how well capitalized you are and whether you’re willing to...
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