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We don’t get snow out here, but when our six-foot-tall jade plant — west-facing and located behind our garden pond — is in full flower, it happens to resemble an enormous snowball. We call her “mama jade” because her stem cuttings have been planted in...

Yesterday, we woke up feeling a little bit like compost ourselves, actually: dumpy and sluggish and all heaped together with fermenting material. Composting is one of those things we keep putting off, but for 2013, we're determined to make it happen. We were inspired to do...

Today we celebrated our very first California Christmas. Normally we head to D.C. and New York for the holidays, but, between work demands and travel fatigue, we were content to nest on the West Coast. Feeling nostalgic for her family’s Caribbean traditions, C made a brunch...

The 1948 movie The Red Shoes, restored by Scorsese and offered by Criterion Collection, is a marvel in more ways than we can name. Directed by the Archers, it’s a feat of Technicolor, a loose retelling of a Hans Christian Andersen story in which a dancer comes...

This year, don’t just give the gardener in your life the same pair of gloves covered in the same frowzy florals. No doubt he or she already has them. And in, um, spades. For your dear design-minded cultivator, it’s time to think outside the box. For...

This year marks our tenth (!!!!!) Christmas season together. All the more reason to go over-the-top with our yuletide decor. Before we were even finished eating RB’s pancetta-sage stuffing or C’s pomegranate couscous left over from Thanksgiving, we set out to deck the halls of our...

Strelitzia reginae AKA: Bird of paradise Appearance: Tampa Bay origami, hummingbird methadone Origin: A fever dream rising from the ashes of an Anaheim Ramada Occupation: Trailer park socialite, patron saint of screenplays Scent:  Top notes of traffic median with a hard candy drydown Zones: Responsible for every bad date in Melbourne Applications: Facilitator of shoulder-pad...

Every weekend last summer, as we walked to and from the beach, we'd pass a south-facing succulent tour de force. But this hedge of Aloe arborescens (street name: torch aloe) didn't really get interesting until November. Welcome mats, schmelcome mats — by now you know that it's the welcome plants that...

At a Halloween party a couple weeks ago, the host, our friend Tom (winningly dressed as a 1930s lion tamer) told us we had to, had to, take a one-block detour to see one of the most spectacular ficus trees we would ever lay eyes on. We...