Growing up, I was kind of a strange little kid. I wasn’t drawn to the usual activities of other boys growing up in Southern California. While the other guys at school were out surfing, I was puttering around in the canyons, looking at plants and rocks. My dad and I argued all the time in those days. Then one day I discovered some books on succulents in his library and I found out we actually had something in common − an interest in plants. He began to take me with him to meetings of plant enthusiasts such as the Los Angeles Cactus and Succulent Society. Sometimes, I was the only person under the age of 50 in the room, but I didn’t mind. I was hooked.
Today, I think of plants as ambassadors. I was reminded of that recently when we attended a San Diego Horticultural Society meeting. The room was full of people from so many different backgrounds, in another setting, they might have nothing in common, might otherwise have been arguing about politics or religion. But instead, they were united in a state of wonder because of their interest in plants. There are horticultural societies and plant groups all over the world uniting people.