Wildflower is published quarterly by the Wildflower Center. Its content is national in scope with articles about the conservation and use of native plants as well as news from the Wildflower Center. A subscription is provided to Wildflower Center members as a benefit of membership.
Letter from the Editor - Summer 2008
Better For The Journey
Six years ago I started working as the Wildflower Center’s magazine editor. Green to the gardening publications world, I set out to apply the experience I’d gained at other magazines toward broadening the appeal of native plant gardening and conservation through our magazine.
I had to hone the process I knew. When for other magazines I’d taken inspiration from daily news headlines while covering topics like health, native plant stories seldom are front-page news. Instead, I rely on staff for ideas about native plant trends to cover. Where I could choose from thousands of qualified freelance travel writers for a travel magazine, for this magazine we work with a small pool of writers who have written about science, the environment and gardening and who can speak about native plants and landscapes with ease. And, although the Wildflower Center has one of the largest online native plant image galleries in North America, there are no stock photo databases of native plant gardens and landscapes like those that exist for other subject matter. Instead, we work to identify landscapes that include a majority of native plants and take original photographs for publication.
I think Wildflower magazine today is a better product for the journey. Had it been easier, we may never have met people different from us who can teach us so much. For example, looking for sources undoubtedly would be easier if an organization of landscape designers committed to using only native plants existed. However, we might have missed out on meeting the landscape professionals who also use well-adapted plants and are pioneers in the sustainable gardening movement.
This issue of Wildflower holds a few examples of how we learn from people who have ideas that are different than ours. In an article intended to encourage you to garden with your kids using native plants, we talk to children’s gardening experts who may cite some introduced plants but tout benefits of gardening with kids that transcend plant origin (“Kid Gloves,” page 12). On page 8, we recommend that you visit the California botanic garden Ganna Walska Lotusland to gather design inspiration for your native plant gardens (“The Land of Plenty”). Although it features many exotic plants, Lotusland has been called one of the world’s best-designed botanic gardens and boasts a globally significant conservation program and an enviable sustainable gardening model.
Our mission at the Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native plants, wildflowers and landscapes. We are fortunate that many people and organizations exist worldwide that have very similar goals and with whom we partner to address issues like native plant conservation and sustainable landscapes. Our success in broadening the appeal of native plants and sustainable landscapes depends as much, however, on finding common ground with people and places whose interests are not identical to our own but who share our passion for all plants and the environment.
— Christina Kosta Procopiou, Editor