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While taking Botany 101 at the community college, I was chastised by my 9-year old for lecturing. “No botany before breakfast!” was her decree. My birthday gift to myself each year is a day at the Botanic Garden, all alone, all day. I prescribe 20 minutes in the orchid room to anyone feeling down. I am not a botanist, though, merely a gardener and writer. My botanical aspirations have inspired my writing even more than my gardening. In the adventure stories I tell my children (and publish on-line) I created my alter ego, Edwardian botanist extraordinaire, Madame vonHedwig. Madame vonHedwig, along with her mad scientist husband and dangerously clever children, travels the world in their zepplin, seeking adventure. (Because really, who doesn’t want a zepplin?) She has already discovered the Acrimonious Ampelopsis aconitifolia. (Pruning it requires skill closer to fencing than gardening.) What more might she discover if I had a resource like the Flora Mirabilis? So, not only will I improve my garden and bore my children with this book, but I shall create a world as yet undiscovered! I write science fiction, and my science is botany.
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