5 Ways Your Outdoor Space Is Secretly Stressing You Out

Realtor.com. May 16, 2019. By Lauren Sieben: Your outdoor space should be your sanctuary: a chill spot for relaxing with a book, enjoying a glass of wine, or hosting a barbecue with friends.

But even if you scored your dream balcony or a sprawling backyard, there are ways your outdoor oasis could actually be stressing you out. This is not only a potential bummer, but also a wasted opportunity: Research shows that more time outdoors can have a therapeutic effect—if you’re doing it right. Read More

Life Saving Garden Strategies


Date: Saturday, September 8, 2018

Time: 10:30-12 pm and 1-2:30 pm

Location: Descanso Gardens, Van de Kamp Hall

Tickets:  $15, Reserve First Panel, Reserve Second Panel


This multifaceted seminar, hosted by LA’s iconic Descanso Gardens, will explore the many ways in which our public landscapes and private gardens can mitigate or exacerbate LA’s potential natural disasters. The seminar will be comprised of two seminars, which can be taken together or as individual classes. Details follow.


Mitigating LA’s Natural Disasters with Smart Landscape Choices

10:30-noon, Van de Kamp Hall

Seemingly unstoppable fires raged throughout the west in 2017, and California counted heavy losses in lives and property. Learn what combustible, invasive plant life to avoid, which plants have protective qualities, and which design strategies best protect homes from fire-wise landscape experts including:


From Tragedy of the Commons to Uncommon Fortune

1-2:30 pm, Van de Kamp Hall

Our minds often skip over the spaces between our public buildings and our roads, be they expanses of turf grass, weed-filled or paved medians. These places can be harnessed to increase LA’s resilience, mitigating our fire, flood and slide danger, and also increasing our neighborhoods’ social capital and home values.

Learn how to transform the tragedy of the commons into a powerful tool for building your neighborhood’s fortune. Our expert panel represents communities who have successfully transformed common spaces from the foothills to the beach, from the Valley to South LA. Expert panelists include:

Attendees will learn about the processes, people and resources it takes to transform community space, and the various models that have led to success.

‘Outdoor Kids’ Are Happier, ‘Indoor Kids’ Are a Myth

Kids who play outside tend to be happier, healthier, and better adjusted. Full stop.

Fatherly. Jun 12 2018. By Joshua A. Krisch: Studies suggest that our brains respond to nature by muting our stress responses, Mitchell says, decreasing the concentration of stress hormones circulating in our bodies and lowering our blood pressure. And that’s just from fleeting exposure to natural environments. Studies have shown that children who spend significant time outdoors are better able to pay attention in class and score higher on standardized tests. One 2005 study found that at-risk youth in California experienced a 27 percent increase in classroom behavior and mastery of science concepts after just one week of outdoor education. Read More

Please Don’t Plant That There! 8 Epic Mistakes People Make With Trees and Shrubs

Have a home with a yard? Then you might be pining to plant something to make it lush. Only problem is, many homeowners are at sea in big-box garden centers, selecting species that just won’t thrive—or even survive—in their yards.


To the rescue, we’ve asked some green thumb experts for the biggest mistakes people make planting (and caring for) trees and shrubs. Read up on these bloopers to avoid before you dig in!  Read More


Outdoor Renovations: Think Outside the Box

PennyMac. April 23, 2018. By Jerrica Kowcheck: When it comes to remodeling plans, most homeowners immediately think of upgrades to be made inside of the house… We talked to real estate and renovation experts to gather their tips and insights on renovation projects for your home’s outside. Here are the top outdoor renovation ideas for you to focus on this year! Read More

The Best Trees for Privacy, Shade, and More

Realtor.com. March 29, 2018. By Jennifer Geddes: What are the best trees for privacy, shade, and your yard in general? Such questions are well worth asking, since not all flora are created equal. For instance, certain trees are yard maintenance nightmares. Other trees give and give—keeping you cool under the hot sun, shielding you from nosy neighbors, bearing fruit, and sprouting flowers—the list of benefits goes on and on! Read More

(This features the Sycamores of the Authentic Foothill Gardens!)

Descanso Updates Center Circle

Expect Evolution in Display and Permanent Gardens

January 12, 2017. By Staff: This month, Descanso Gardens began to update the Center Circle display garden which has housed the New Look for LA since April of 2015.

“So many visitors came up to me in the garden and said that they looked to the space for inspiration as they changed their home garden to save water,” notes Rachel Young.

Descanso Gardens usually updates the Center Circle every other year. The Gardens kept the New Look for LA on display an extra year as part of their’ commitment to helping Angelenos envision the lush, leafy, low-water, landscapes authentic to LA.

“We’ve made an impact on home gardens throughout Los Angeles. I’m hopeful we’ve also generated more support for the nurseries that grow California friendly plants as the featured plants inspired Angelenos,” added Young.

As display gardens like the Center Circle are updated, Descanso Gardens makes every effort to reclaim and reuse materials. Hardscape materials are often reused within the same display. For example, FormLA Landscaping created the gabions at the base of archways and benches from what had been a dry river in the previous display.

Foliage currently established in the New Look for LA will be relocated to new, permanent homes. Native plants, including fragrant Hummingbird and Cleveland Sages, wildflowers and shrubs will be relocated to Descanso’s Oak Woodland and evolving 8-acre California Native Garden, alongside other new plantings.

“The New Look for LA helped generate increased support for the rehabilitation of the native gardens,” Young explains.

Young and New Look for LA designers Cassy Aoyagi and Isara Ongwiseth have developed a multi-year trajectory for evolving the California Native Garden. Legendary nurseryman and native plant advocate Theodore Payne designed the original garden, which opened in 1959.

“We thoroughly enjoyed defining the New Look for LA with Rachel and the Descanso team,” noted Aoyagi, a past-president of the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants. “Now building upon the work of Theodore Payne is both an honor and a thrilling professional challenge.”