Happy Blogoversary to Amateur Bot-ann-ist!!!


15 years ago today the site Amateur Bot-ann-ist emerged. It’s been quite a journey. From being a home gardener and plant enthusiast who was unable to move much due to hereditary angioedema and physical injuries—to today. I’m now a professional horticulturist working nearly full-time with two jobs, speaking engagements, a few clients, and I somehow find the time to care for my own collection of plants.

The voice and the tone have not changed a lot around here. I’m still the same snarky young-at-heart woman, but I’ve come a long way and have learned so much.

Abutilon ‘Chance Encounter’, my chance seedling we selected out at Cistus Nursery. This sweetheart put on a few more blooms this week. Next year she’ll go into the ground.

Part of me had wanted to say something special, to talk about what I’ve learned year by year, but I’m too tired after having gone to Corvallis and back to give a presentation about houseplants.

It was such a great weekend.

Begonia valida with Pelargonium ‘Distinction’. This is still one of my personal favorite combinations.

So raise a glass to this effort today if you can, think a kind thought, and know that I’m going to keep using this site to write about gardening, plants, and chronic illness.

Yes, blogging is not as popular as it once was back in the day. Most folks I know who started out with me have stopped. It’s not easy to spend so much time creating posts, and in the end, life matters more.

I enjoy writing, and I do have ideas, but this effort uses up a lot of my time and energy. I’ll keep at it again in 2023. I’m on track to have posted weekly this year, and I hope to do so again in the months to come.

Call me crazy, but I just like spending time here in this space.

(Featured photo of me at the top is courtesy of Loree Bohl aka Danger Garden. Thanks friend.)

Happy New Year!!! And Hello 2022!!

The living room as it is today.

Wish I had more time to write this evening, but the cold air that pushed through with a few snow flurries had me working hard here at home moving far too many plants indoors. Many are outside again, but I’m tired, and I wish this process could have waited until after the holidays.

Amaryllis ‘White Christmas’

While I was down in California recently I was able to purchase this lovely Amaryllis ‘White Christmas’. I planted it a bit late, but this is the 9th day of Christmas so we’re ok. To be honest, it was a lovely surprise. I can’t get over how big and beautiful it is and I keep walking past it just to see if it’s opened more. (It’s been opening up for me all day today.)

Felix helping me to cover some flats with frost cloth before the cold arrived. During the warmer months, he nests in this material in the Seed Studio so this was “personal” for him. “How dare you woman?!? This is my bed!”

The only news from Campiello Maurizio for 2022 is that there will be weekly posts on Friday mornings. I’m working on a creative non-fiction memoir so writing is easier for me. Work is good and steady. I feel like my life is more in order now than it has been in the past. I’m in a good place.

Online plant and gardening content is becoming worse and I’m tired of consuming it, so to find relief, I’m creating content of my own and am limiting my time on most social media. I have said for years that I will get back to this, but I mean it now. I’m a horticulturist and there is much to be said for what I do.

If there is a topic you’d like me to cover based upon my experience, please let me know! Even if I’ve never done it, or don’t know much about the topic, I’m sure that I can at least give you an educated guess or even an informed opinion—possibly peppered with some humor!!!

There will be more news to come too, but I just wanted to say that all is well, the seeds are being sorted, and plans for the garden are being made!!!