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.