adventure archive

featured adventure

Alabama Adventures: Longleaf Pine Treasure Forest

After hearing about Pinus palustris from several southern botanist friends, I had to see the trees for myself! I had the great pleasure of ...


Efflorescency means the state or quality of being efflorescent; efflorescence. 
Efflorescence means "to blossom out" (en Français); 
the state or a period of flowering; 
an example or result of growth and development. 
This is what our lives are. 

I am blossoming as a mother, a wife, and a human being. 
My husband is flowering into the person he never thought he could be. 
Our children are growing, with all of our love and hope and tenderness nourishing them.


When I started this blog in 2014, I wanted to document my family's daily life. I hoped that this blog would be a successful homemaker blog, documenting the day-to-day craziness in my personal life -- something many people can relate to. I aspired to be Wondermom, with chic fashion advice, delicious recipes, and witty anecdotes.

After some time I realised I was only writing posts about nature. If you scroll through the archives, you can see how I evolved from having a general curiosity about plants, to being a full blown nature nerd. I found passion in hiking with my husband, and enjoyed bonding with my children in gardens.

Eventually, I started volunteering to remove invasives from local area forest preserves, and practically lived out of botanical gardens. I networked with like-minded people on social media, and joined communities dedicated to the world of botany. 

I then had an epiphany: Not only could I pursue my botanical passions, but I could also encourage others to learn about and appreciate nature! I could raise my children to be part of the next generation of plant enthusiasts, botanists, horticulturists, and conservationists. 

This blog is my love letter to my wonderful children & sweet husband, plants, and the world.


Who am I?

Hi, I'm Ashley! 

I'm a plant nerd. A plerd, if you will.

Above on the left is me circa 2004, creeping through my mother's garden. 
 To the right is a more recent photo; I still creep around plants.

I call Illinois home, but I was born in Guam and I've moved around quite a bit in my life.

Many people ask if I work at any of the gardens I frequent; I don't! 
I'm so passionate about plants that I'll show up at a garden several times a month. 
I also volunteer with local area groups, doing environmental restoration work. 
That usually means I'm annihilating some invasive plants, but that also means 
collecting and planting native seeds, or cleaning up refuse from natural areas.

I enjoy hiking, exploring, and botanising -- preferably all at once.

I'm married, and have two kids (11 if you count the hermit crabs, cats, and fish). 

That's my husband, Steve. We started dating in 2013, and got married in 2014.
I am absolutely head over heels in love with him, and have been since day one.
He puts up with my excessive plant obsession. He's an amazing husband!

Name: Steven
Nickname: QT Pie, Stevie, Eadgils

Steve is quiet and calm. I suppose that's why he loves working at a library so much! 

He makes really good spaghetti and laughs the hardest at his own jokes. He loves Star Wars, fruit snacks, Russel Crowe, and koalas. Also, he's a huge Prince fan. His hobbies include reading, running, cycling, canoeing, and taking random electronics apart just to put them back together.

P.S. he loves cats, and cats love him.

Names: Arietta and Sandra
Nicknames: Curlicue and Booger

I'm still working on updating this section!