My SoCal Garden

California Sagebrush for Native Gardens, Artemisia Californica Profile

Green and red grapes on a vine

9 Fruits that Don't Grow on Trees

What do you do if you want more fruit but don't have room for another tree? Here are 10 suggestions.

Head of Butter Lettuce

What to Plant in November in Southern California

The weather is changing, nights are cold, days might not be. We are deep into fall, here are some suggestions on what to plant.

Chickens on a grass surrounded by trees

The Twelve Design Principles of Permaculture

Permaculture is a system of design that follows twelve principles.

Mungi Lake at Peck Road Water Conservation Park

Visiting Peck Road Water Conservation Park

Built over old quarry land and along the San Gabriel River watershed, this is an active community park that features demonstrations of native plants and bioswales.


What to Plant This Fall in Southern California

It's time to plan your fall garden. Here is what you should do to prepare, and what vegetables you can choose from.

Airport Avenue Demonstration Garden in Santa Monica

Airport Avenue Demonstration Garden in Santa Monica

Check out this demonstration garden next time you're near the Santa Monica Airport

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How to Grow

Cannabis sativa, one prominent leaf in a bush

Growing Hemp At Home

Hemp is an ancient crop, but there are a lot of myths about it. After about 100 years of oppression, the U.S. finally fully legalized the farming of hemp in the 2018 farm bill. Is it legal to grow at home, and why would you?

How to Grow an Indigo Plant

How to Grow an Indigo Plant

Indigo was once a popular natural dye, providing the name to the color. Today it makes for an interesting ornamental plant and acts as a soil builder.

A single sunflower head

Why Grow Sunflowers

Few plants are as American as the Sunflower. There are over 70 varieties of sunflowers, most are from North and Central America, with only three from South America. Before Europeans arrived in the Americas, sunflowers were found nowhere else in the world. Sunflowers were domesticated 3000-5000 years ago by Indigenous people.

Sunflower, native to California as well as much of North America

Grow Native

Native plants are the most sustainable type of plant you can grow wherever you live. They’ve spent thousands of years adapting to live there! Not only that, they are the most efficient providers of food and shelter to your native wildlife who have evolved with them.

Growing Native
Orange tree, representing food plants

Grow Food

Mass agriculture is a major polluter, spreads disease, and does a poor job rebuilding soil. Farmers are learning better ways to farm, but permaculture has taught us farming at home is far more sustainable, not to mention fun.

Native bard owl in a field of yellow flowers


We believe Gardening can save the world

This website is focused on the use of gardening and landscaping to solve real-world problems. Drought, global warming, waste and hunger are real problems created by the many choices we make every day. We believe local solutions have global impact. This website focuses on gardening in the San Gabriel Valley and focuses on California’s drought and California’s native plants. Yet it’s about gardening in general. The concepts apply anywhere there is a drought and anywhere plants grow.

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Copyright 2021 - Thomas-Patel