In the beginning

So first things first. The why. Besides the obvious, (plants impress me a great deal), there was a growing dissatisfaction with existing information out there related to plants. I’ve consulted books, a number of web sites, inquired from seemingly knowledgable staff at various nurseries, and all of them left me wanting some more. As someone coming from the software industry, I have grown accustomed to precise and deliberate information. In that industry, I can google around at lightning speed and always find what I’m looking for in a matter of minutes. When it comes to plants and horticulture, however, the experience has been quite the opposite.

There seems to a slew of misleading and contradictory information all over the place. Poorly edited books with obvious mistakes, questionable internet sources, and crazy plant nicknames with flat out chaos when it comes to plant identification. Mislabeled pots at nurseries, huge variations in price, and just tons and tons of ignorance. So what to do?

Well, we could just accept that it’s the nature of the business. People, especially Americans, love curb appeal and will always be back for more. Your houseplant dies, so what? You’ll just buy another one for $10 tomorrow. The average person simply doesn’t have the time or energy to care about these second-class “pets.”

I beg to differ. I think there’s definitely room for improvement. At the least, we can strive to clean up some of this rampant misinformation. We can instill some good, verified guidelines for what not to do in case of doubt. We can also seek to educate people so that plants are no longer a disposable afterthought.

So in conclusion, that’s why.

Cordyline australis grove at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

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