A gardener without a garden. This could be a sad story, but fortunately, the circumstances that prevent me from gardening are quite good. I recently embarked on a new adventure; I moved out of my apartment and into an RV. For the next few years, I will be traveling through North America. I may not be able to have a garden at the moment, but that won’t stop me from having fun with plants. A large part of my travels will be spent seeking out botanical destinations: beautiful gardens, noteworthy specimens, unique garden nurseries, hiking trails, and new plant habitats.
Along the way, I’ll share my discoveries with you, so that you may also find pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the natural world.

What’s The Big Deal About Plants?

If there is a will, there’s a way. A more true statement can’t be said about plants. Their tenacity to live is admirable. How many of you have seen a plant growing in a sidewalk crack? Or a tree splitting a boulder in two with its roots? In some of the harshest environments, where little else lives, you’ll find plants growing–even thriving. Adaptability and tenacity are keys to their ability to survive. Every plant species has evolved for a specific set of conditions: average rainfall, temperature, elevation, pollinators, etc. These unique adaptations have resulted in a plethora of different plant forms. From tiny alpine flowers to giant sequoia trees, each is unique and beautiful.
Of course, I’m not alone in admiring the beauty of plants and their flowers. They’ve captured our attention–and hearts–for centuries. From the Dutch masters who painted them to countless photographers who capture their beauty with their cameras. Plant collectors, such as Ernest H. Wilson and Reginald Farrer, obsessed with discovering rare species, traveled to the far corners of the earth in their search. Much of the beauty that we have in our gardens comes from the expeditions of early plant collectors. While I don’t compare to these industrious collectors, I am on a mission to explore the plants of the world and to learn more about them as I go.

My fascination with plants didn’t begin until after college. I’ve never studied them academically. Instead, my education focused on the fine arts, specifically photography. But I’ve buried my head in many garden books, subscribed to magazines, and read countless articles about every new plant that I’ve come across. Master gardening classes at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens taught me about propagation techniques, native plants, and landscape design. 

In recent years, more often than not, my camera has been pointed at botanical subjects. Both in the natural landscape and in gardens. This wasn’t always the case, but as my love for plants grew, I found myself wanting to photograph them.

A Botanical Road Trip

For most of my life, I’ve lived in Western Pennsylvania. Frequent visits to public parks and hikes through the Allegheny Mountains familiarized me with the plants native to this region. Wild ginger (Asarum canadense) holds a special place in my heart. As does eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), early meadow rue (Thalictrum dioicum), Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), and so many other beauties that call Pennsylvania’s lush woodlands home.

Recent travels have introduced me to new and exciting environments, like Florida’s prehistoric looking palmetto prairiesBut I still haven’t visited much of the world, let alone the US. For the past two years, my boyfriend and I talked about ditching our apartment and traveling in an RV full time. We’ve explored much of the east coast, from Maine to Florida. But we wanted to see more. America is a vast and diverse country, and we haven’t seen much beyond the Mississippi river!
The opportunity presented itself where we could move into an RV and work remotely. Once decided, we acted quickly. We bought a 2006 Forest River Sierra fifth wheel and Ford F250 to tow it. After renovating the RV and purging our belongings, we moved into our new home and prepared to hit the road.  
Our first stop is the Southwest; we’ve never been to the desert and we’re excited to explore this new environment.