Passionate Geeks: Plants and Gardening!

Passionate Geeks is a monthly feature (the second Wednesday of the month), where I invite people to explore and share about those things that they are passionate about.
What kind of a Geek are you? (If you’d like to answer this question on this blog just let me know!)


Today’s Passionate Geek is my younger brother, John.

John’s spent a lot of time and energy into filling our yard with all sorts of plants from all over the world, no matter what season there is always something interesting in bloom.  The garden is always changing, there’s always more work to be done. Since he graduated from college his work has been the kind of work that helps to feed this passion: for years he worked with Winterbloom Landscaper Design and Installation,  learning some new techniques and bringing home a variety of plants and clippings that he would nurture into full-blooms.

More recently he’s found work at Cistus Nursery, spending his days surrounded by interesting specimens, learning more about them, and — of course — bringing home more plants.

Pictures of (some of) the garden really speak best for this passion, but I did ask John two questions about his interest in Gardening: What do you enjoy about plant-stuff, and what are the challenges?

He enjoys how interesting it is — all the different plants, watching them grow differently. He enjoys seeing the blooms, smelling the fragrances, and enjoying the various colors.

The challenge is that it is exhausting and never ending work (said with a laugh). The plants need constant attention (or minimal attention – depending on the kind of plant). Particularly challenging is the fact that there are always more plants, different kinds and exciting ones he comes across — but there’s only so much time and space, and there are things he can’t grow here and that are rare or hard to find.

Needless to say, as is the case with most geeks, when he starts talking about plants, even about those challenging pieces, the excitement in his voice grows.  When he walks through the garden (or, let’s be honest, the house – which is full of plants as well) he can go on and on about the names of the plants (common and scientific), the families these plants belong in, the climate rating (I learned from him today that the USDA has “Plant Hardiness Zones” which categorizes the kinds of plants best suited for different regional environments).

The Garden earlier this spring
The Garden earlier this spring
The Canoe from our childhood got re-purposed as a garden-design element.
The Canoe from our childhood got re-purposed as a garden-design element.
Part of the front garden this winter
Part of the front garden this winter
Burning Embers
Glowing Embers (Fall colors)
Campanula
Campanula
 Beauty Berry
Beauty Berry
Close up on the Beauty Berry
Close up on the Beauty Berry
The Beauty Berry last winter in the snow - the birds love the berries
The Beauty Berry last winter in the snow – the birds love the berries
Flowering Cyclamen Hederifolium
Flowering Cyclamen Hederifolium
 Cordyline
Cordyline
Some of the Prickly Pears
Some of the Prickly Pears
 Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer' Still holding on despite the cold.
Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ Still holding on despite the cold.
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2 thoughts on “Passionate Geeks: Plants and Gardening!”

  1. I love this…maybe because I have a black thumb. I also appreciate the identification of the plants. I am always looking to learn names of the plants and trees around me.

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