All day at local nurseries, the questions come every few minutes: "Why are my aeoniums shriveling? What can I do to keep my sweet peas blooming? Where did all the native plant inventory go? Why are my freesias and daffodils drying up?"
This time of year in Southern California, gardeners are seeing a lot of changes in their plants, and local homeowners continue to be baffled by what they see.
Probably the most important, yet poorly understood aspect of garden plants, is the distinction between cool-season and warm-season plants. If I ever write a book about local gardening, this topic will likely be dealt with in the first paragraph, especially since it is so poorly presented by most authors. It amazes me how many gardeners still don't understand that plants, almost all plants, can be divided into two groups, cool-season plants and warm-season plants.
When gardeners fully comprehend this cool season-warm season concept, their world will change. A knowledge of the seasonal scheme of the individual plants in their gardens will alter their entire approach to gardening. It will open your eyes, like the day they tasted their first ice cream or learned to swim in the deep end of the pool. This discovery will be an "aha" moment for many gardeners, a moment of tremendous relief, satisfaction and understanding.