Adventures of a Pre-School Arborist

by Megan Presland I have only ever loved one tree in my life: the big, beautiful, gnarled apple tree that used to stand in my parents' backyard. While we never actually ate the fruit of this tree, it provided a spot for our childhood imaginations to flourish. When I was younger, my father worked in forestry for the county and my brothers and I quickly grew an affinity for tree climbing. It was on the apple tree that I first learned to climb, using its thick, sturdy branches to propel myself upwards towards excitement and adventure. As an avid reader, I loved to grab a book and climb just high enough that I was concealed and read for hours. One of our most memorable tree adventures was the d

Duckweed or Suckweed? Tiny Plants Turn Out to be Interesting!

by Julie Everett Growing up, I had a forsythia bush in my backyard. For some reason, each spring my sister and I would always eat the flowers from it while we were playing outside. I’m not sure why we kept doing that, and I’m not sure if the flowers are even safe to eat, but we both turned out fine (and with an appetite to consume science in a more appropriate way). Back then, plants were something for me to use and play with, similar to my toys inside, but provided by nature. I remember gathering leaves and mud to make ‘salad with dressing’, complete with a flower as garnish on top. We would leave our feast to rot in buckets and sand pails until they were so stinky that there was no choice

The Scent of Lavender

by Richelle DeBlasio I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, and I remember becoming restless at the end of each school year. As the days became warmer and longer, I no longer felt confined to remaining indoors. After coming home from school, instead of doing my homework, I would run to the backyard to see if the flowers my father planted had grown since the previous day. He planted many varieties, including sunflowers, morning glories, and lilies. However, my favorite flower was always lavender. It was always one of the first plants to grow each spring and one of the last to remain at the end of summer. I loved those flowers so much that I would sit outside and work on my homework while

The Cinderella of Plants

by Sally Lin Growing up, I always watched my grandma tending to many different plants in her garden. She had all sorts of plants. Those I remember best were the flowers jasmine and gardenia that bloom at dusk and produce this sweet aroma that filled the air. Even now, when I smell jasmine it brings back memories and I once again feel like a child. I adored those flowers for their sweet smell and they were always my favorite. However, they also sparked my curiosity because unlike all the other flowers in my grandma’s garden, both jasmine and gardenia bloom at night. I remember asking my grandma about night-blooming flowers, and that was the first time I learned about Tanhua (昙花). Tanhua is t

Hydrangea: A Tiny (Plant) Love Story

by Mark Brunson My stepmother is a painter. Mostly she paints plants, especially hydrangeas. When she and Dad married (he was 87), a large potted hydrangea occupied their bay window. It became one of Dad’s chores to carry this awkwardly sprawling houseplant outdoors in springtime and back outside each autumn. Dad passed away two winters ago. A neighbor helped carry the hydrangea out and back. That fall, for the first time, scales infested the hydrangea. I got a frantic call, helped talk my stepmom through the treatment process. The plant has healed now. I like to think it symbolizes the fading of grief. Inspired by Tiny Love Stories, Mark submitted a Tiny Plant Love Story. Mark Brunson is a