I grew up in Detroit, and my earliest memories are being outside in the wild part of the garden. It always seemed to be more interesting than the yews that grew in the front. There was a majestic elm that resided in the backyard which would soon succumb to Dutch Elm Disease. I was very upset by this, as I looked at that tree as a companion- much like the boy in the Giving Tree.
My first garden was one I started with my mother. One day a neighbor came over and said that he had extra raspberry bushes.
Off we went to collect those thorny treasures. She and I cut out a fairly irregular rectangle and proceeded to plant the raspberries along with an assortment of other plants. She let me plant them how I wanted, even outside the borders of our far from perfect bed. All credit to her.
Here is my mom. She is holding the seed pod of a Common Milkweed plant.
I am an environmentalist and father to two boys, so I believe it is our duty to share, protect and improve the only world we have. The promotion of native plants is my way of doing just that. Nature is a spiritual thing for me. It is utterly amazing to me when I find myself in the midst of a place abuzz with life, and it is equally humbling to stand next to a big old tree that has lived for hundreds of years. Everyday I am fascinated by nature, its beauty, its logic. Putting a native plant into the Earth is my way of saying thank you.
I now live in Royal Oak, MI with my two boys and my landscape full of native plants and all sorts of earthly life forms. I would not change a thing…except add more plants!