Chicago Botanic Garden

Bringing Brazil’s Tropical Sun Inside

Have you ever gone on vacation somewhere tropical and fallen in love with the plants there? I have. I’ve brought home cactuses. I’ve hauled succulents. I’ve packed those goofy plumeria branches you get in any Hawaiian gift store. Once potted in soil, the plumeria stick will actually grow into a tiny tree. You don’t get many blooms, but the stalk will put on foliage and … Continue reading Bringing Brazil’s Tropical Sun Inside

The Visionary Roberto Burle Marx

Roberto Burle Marx was Brazil’s most famous landscape architect of the 20th Century. Inspired by the modern art movements of Cubism and abstract expressionism, he broke the tradition of designing classically hedged, European gardens and instead installed irregularly shaped bold spaces that used native South American plants. Throughout his long life he designed hundreds of private gardens and public parks while advocating for the conservation … Continue reading The Visionary Roberto Burle Marx


Spring Has Finally Arrived

Good Sunday morning! If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’re probably enjoying a gorgeous, sunny day right now. We finally made it through an unusually cold and prolonged rainy spring. Now the peonies are in bloom and I’m feeling inspired. So inspired, in fact, that I have made a change to my blogging life. If you’re a Gardening, Seattle Style subscriber, you may notice … Continue reading Spring Has Finally Arrived

Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance'

An Excerpt from “The Scent of a Daphne”

I’m pleased to share a sneak peek of my piece, “The Scent of a Daphne,” that appears in Rooted: The Best New Arboreal Nonfiction. It’s about my time in horticulture school, my husband’s cancer treatment, and the unexpected gift I received. “It was early September, my second semester of horticulture school, and class was about to begin. I stood outside the door on the narrow sidewalk … Continue reading An Excerpt from “The Scent of a Daphne”