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

A Remembrance of Cass Turnbull, Seattle Horticulture Icon

Cass Turnbull was an imposing figure, and I was a little afraid of her. She spoke in a point-by-point, professorial way, half-tongue-in-cheek, half-seriously, but never aggressively. She seemed comfortable in her own skin and secure in her mission. In fact, she wasn’t interested in apologizing for who she was though she liked jokes and had a heart of gold. She was kind of like the … Continue reading A Remembrance of Cass Turnbull, Seattle Horticulture Icon

Why You Needn’t Plant Bamboo, Ever Ever Ever

People often use bamboo to screen out their neighbor’s yard or an ugly building across the street or those lovely, brightly colored recycled bins of Seattle. This is a mistake. Let me repeat: this is a mistake. It is not a mistake to plant bamboo because you’re a bamboo lover and study different bamboos and can think of no other plant you’d rather wake up and … Continue reading Why You Needn’t Plant Bamboo, Ever Ever Ever

Mother’s Day at the Bellevue Botanical Garden

One advantage of Mother’s Day is a mom gets to do whatever she wants. Want to visit a botanical garden because you’re a plant nerd? A mom can do that. And that’s exactly what I did with my family last Sunday on Mother’s Day. When I was in horticulture school, I worked for a quarter at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. It was a field practicum … Continue reading Mother’s Day at the Bellevue Botanical Garden