Zone10 is all about a journey into the world of growing plants which started over 30 years ago. Originally, the desire was to become a Landscape Architect. Years of school just didn’t seem like a lot of fun and any “drawings” were not a pretty sight. Soon I discovered growing plants and not drawing them!

My first “real” job was at a small orchid nursery. They had a small area where they grew a few flowering Anthuriums and Spathiphyllums. Orchids have beautiful flowers but most of the plants aren’t much to look at. Foliage plants on the other hand can give you something to admire when it’s not in flower.

The Learning Experience

That interest in Anthuriums grew slowly as I learned more of all the different types. These included “fancy” leaved, climbing, hanging varieties, and leaves with a velvet finish and beautiful striping.

Before I knew it, at the age of 19 I had developed one of the best collections of Anthuriums in the world. My learning grew into a passion and before I could get out of the greenhouse I had acquired hundreds of different species and was successful at growing them.

It wasn’t long before I found myself trading plants with collectors and botanical gardens around the world.

Through the collecting experience of rare and unusual plants I would get very small plants or a cutting of a “one of a kind” plant… many times without any roots and definitely without any instructions on how to grow it. I needed to learn how to make these plants survive. It was very possible that I may never have another opportunity to get this plant again.

Working with rare plants forced me to ask questions:

  • Why did I grow the way I did?
  • What soil is best for this plant?
  • Where did it come from?
  • How much water does it need?
  • What is too much?

Rare plants pushed me and gave me a goal… make them root and then grow. All, for one reason… so I could trade for other plants.

End result…. I learned how to grow plants!!!

Learning or should I say understanding how plants grow and react has always interested me. I guess some things in life… people just have that feel for.

Zone10 continues to change. No longer can I stand by idle sharing my limited knowledge… the plant world is too large. Today we are tapping into the knowledge and resources of many others to share their plant growing knowledge. Stand by… much more to come on a variety of topics in the plant world!

Happy Growing,

Gary and the Zone 10 Team!

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