So why the growing obsession? I can’t yet answer the why, but I can trace the trajectory. It’s been a constant, loyal obsession since high school. In my early thirties, married and with two elementary school-age boys, I studied and became certified in horticulture. With that certificate, I did some uninspiring work with commercial indoor plants, and also quickly realized the boys’ college fund wasn’t fattening up as fast as needed, so I shifted to more lucrative work in a different field. Twenty years later, with all pressing financial needs addressed, the obsession is on again full time, and in some new guises — garden-based traveler, urban plant explorer, pop-up impresario. So this blog’s M.O. is pretty simple: All plants, all the time. Since 1989 my home has been in frost-free Long Beach, California, lot size about 5,750 square feet, about a mile from the Pacific Ocean, at a latitude that blesses it as one of the world’s Mediterranean climate regions. Notwithstanding recurrent drought, winter rainfall averages approximately 15 inches a year, but it’s usually much less. Summers are dry — oh, so dry. Unless otherwise specified, no financial relationship exists between AGO and the businesses mentioned within its posts.

Now let’s talk about plants!

Warm regards,


P.S.  In autumn 2021 I started another garden on the Oregon Coast, zone 8b — these posts are tagged “Oregon garden.”

Aloe polyphylla, or the Spiral Aloe, an elusive, temperamental, on-and-off garden denizen, photo by occasional contributor MB Maher


7 Responses to About

  1. Jill says:

    I love your post about the drive by garden in Long Beach. I have 2 older children that live there…Long Beach is my dream..anyways..love taking pictures of the gardens of the adorable , awesome homes..owners are so nice when they see how much someone appreciates all the hard work they put in the gardens..love how you identify, name the plants…keep up the wonderful posts.

  2. Heather says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden!

  3. Lynda Jarman says:

    How can I subscribe to your blog?

  4. Denise says:

    Looks like you figured it out — thanks for following, Lynda!

  5. FT says:

    Hi Denise-
    I sent you a msg via Instagram about publishing one of your photos. Please get back to me. Thanks and Happy New Year!!

    FT -my name and contact info are in the DM

  6. Laura Trowbridge says:

    Please add me to your blog

  7. Evan says:

    Thank you for sharing your love of plants and all the gorgeous garden photos! Giving me major garden envy, can’t wait to see more.

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