Oh Where, Oh Where, has my monkey flower gone?

by Kathy Kuebbing My plant love story starts in 2010. At the young age of 60 years old, I decided to take on a monster gardening project. After retiring to the beautiful Oregon coast and having more time to spend in the yard, I decided to transform a very weedy and ugly hillside into a native garden. I walked the hillside for months, thinking about what I could possibly be done to improve it. More importantly, however, I thought about how to prevent the hill from eroding away during a long rainy winter. Eight years later, I am amazed at how much change has occurred and how much fun I had along the way. In 2006, when we purchased the house, the hillside was covered in ugly grasses, annoying w

A Love-Hate Relationship

by Heather Dawson I spent years fighting with alder trees. They grow in dense thickets that form tangled and terrible walls of vegetation on the banks of streams. As an invasive species biologist, I study sea lamprey, an invasive fish in the Great Lakes region. I had always seen alders as one of the hurdles, literally and figuratively, in getting my field work done — until one day they became my savior. The “uniform” for fish biologists working in streams takes some getting used to. Waders are the base layer, onto which our equipment, backup batteries, and replacement parts for the electronic equipment we ask to work in water, are a necessity. As is a lunch. All of which are clipped on our p

Desert Beauty

by Thomas Oberbauer ​​Growing up in San Diego County in Southern California, I was exposed to a wide variety of habitats during weekend drives with my parents. Early on, I began to appreciate the diversity of California’s vegetation, from coastal scrub and chaparral to the forests and deserts. One summer in high school, I took a biology class that had an assignment to create a botany booklet. The booklet had to contain 20 species of plants with photographs and descriptions. Prior to that assignment, I was mostly interested in birds, but that class raised my awareness and started my life-long fascination with plants. From this early Biology class, I continued studying plants. While in college

The Plants That Made Me Quit My Job

by Emmi Kurosawa I was working at a pharmaceutical company for the longest time, saving lives and making a happy living for myself... Well, until I met "carnivorous plants" at the Boston Flower Show. They were weird, wild and wonderful! They come in different shapes and colors. Venus flytraps, pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts, and corkscrew plants. Each has developed a unique way of attracting, capturing, and digesting insects. I was completely awed by their singularity and beauty. After joining the New England Carnivorous Plant Society who displayed the carnivorous plants at the Boston Flower Show, the size of my collection increased exponentially. The more I learned about them, the mo