Cara Hanstein

Cara Hanstein

Cara Hanstein is a head gardener at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. She has worked in horticulture for over 20 years. Before diving into the world of plants, she studied interior design and art in San Francisco. She loves veggie gardening and the native flora of Southern California.

  • medowscaped border
    Southern California Regional Reports

    An Edible Garden With a Twist

    Within the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, where I work, there lies a secret, lesser-known garden. The James P. Folsom Experimental Ranch, named for…

  • burned Italian cypress
    Southern California Regional Reports

    Firewise Gardening in Southern California

    With so many Southern California neighborhoods adjacent to the foothills, it's important to address fire safety in our landscape. Many residents near the foothills are forced to act on clearance…

  • Giant wild rye
    Southern California Regional Reports

    Native Grasses for Southern California

    Our gardens can be a tapestry of colors, shapes, and textures, and a fresh design takes all of these elements into consideration. But when I want a plant that hits…

  • Leatherleaf California coffeeberry
    Southern California Regional Reports

    Native Understory Plants for California Oaks

    One of our iconic trees here in Southern California is the oak (Quercus spp. and cvs., Zones 4–11). Whether they are grown as stand-alone specimens or in a grove, the…

  • Allen Chickering salvia
    Southern California Regional Reports

    Native Salvias for Southern California

    In spring, many of our wild spaces are in bloom, and many of those flowering plants are native salvias (Salvia spp. and cvs., Zones 5–11) that can be easily incorporated…

  • Tarocco blood orange
    Southern California Regional Reports

    The Best Citrus Trees for Southern California

    Here in Southern California, many of us are fortunate enough to be surrounded by citrus trees. While many citrus trees are facing an unknown future with the spread of citrus…

  • Bismarck palm
    Southern California Regional Reports

    Focal-Point Palms for Southern California

    We are fortunate in Southern California to be able to feature a variety of striking palms in our gardens. Often used as solitary specimens, these grasslike plants are worth investigating…

  • Finger aloe
    Southern California Regional Reports

    South African Standouts for Southern California

    South Africa has a few similarities with Southern California. Both are hot spots of biodiversity. South Africa, like California, is recognized as a floristic province. That means that both have…

  • Island alum root
    Southern California Regional Reports

    Native Plants for Southern California Pollinators

    Winter is a great time to add new plants to your garden, and what better to add than California natives? California natives have evolved with our local weather conditions, soil,…

  • dormant fruit trees
    Southern California Regional Reports

    Deciduous Fruit Tree Pruning Primer

    January and February mean that deciduous fruit tree pruning season is upon us here in Southern California. Although this garden task can be intimidating, there are some things to keep…