About Ann


Ann was born and raised in Portland, OR and its suburb Milwaukie. She gardens, writes, and collects seeds at the base of an extinct volcano—Mount Tabor. Her writing has appeared in Pith + Vigor and the HPSO Quarterly Magazine. She works part-time as a propagator (aka “seedstress”) at Cistus Nursery in Portland and at Secret Garden Growers in Canby.

Garden blogs exist for many reasons so I thought I’d tell you about myself and why I’ve been blogging for so many years. Above all, I love to write and garden. Secondly, I’ve been able to use blogging to reach out since 2007 while living a rather solitary life due to chronic health problems. I’ve always hoped that sharing my experiences with hereditary angioedema, mast cell disorder, and rare allergies could help others. Lastly, I simply love plants and their people. Gardeners are often the kindest, most optimistic and gentlest people and the quality of gardening culture has immeasurably enriched my life. My hope is that by reading more of our gardening blogs you too can find some pleasure and community here as well. 

My blog exists as a web log—in its original sense. It is an ongoing diary (or memoir) documenting my gardening life, stories, comments, thoughts and opinions. 

Why do you call yourself an Amateur Bot-ann-ist? The Ann in bot-ann-ist comes from my first name. Amateur—on the other hand—is another form of my surname: Amato. Although it translates from Italian as “beloved,” this word also means a young and immature beloved aka lover. This is at the heart of the word amateur: someone lacking the skills an expert might have while retaining a lot of the naive love of something. In a world full of experts and expertise I think we need a few more amateurs. I’m more than happy to be one—even if increasingly I’m not. 

To contact her you can send an email to: ann@amateurbotannist.com


4 thoughts on “About Ann

  1. Joe Postlewait

    Hello Ann,

    I found your site while researching Hastin B. He’s my Great-Great Grandfather by way of Ezekiel B. Our family knows very life about him from the end of the civil war on and nothing about the wife believed to have died after my great grandfather was born. If you have any information to share I would very much appreciate and e-mail.

    Take Care, Joe

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joe,
      Send me an email and I will tell you what I know. I’ve corresponded with another Postlewait and I think her name was Mary. Write me at ficurinia@gmail.com. What your family didn’t know was that your great-grandfather had a sister and she was my great-grandmother. (They had the same mother.) I didn’t know about any of this until I saw the census information. Then it all made sense.

      Thanks so much for writing! I look forward to hearing from you.


  2. Steve Morgan

    Ann, Thank you for your garden blog and opening your garden this summer. It’s so nice to “visit” it again on line. You do great work and it’s a real pleasure to visit your garden. Steve Morgan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Steve! Let’s just hope that I have the energy to write more. I hate taking anabolic steroids for my hereditary angioedema but after having to take them for a few days I may need to keep that up. If I do, I’ll be a nearly normal person contributing to society on a more regular basis.


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