I am sitting in a swivel chair in my room, with a large squirt bottle filled with water, like a RainBird® sprinkler, slowly panning around over 200 hundred plants, misting, admiring, and soaking in the good energy. Plants are on every surface, scattered along the shelves my Dad helped me install, with Sylvania GroLux® fluorescent tubes above each shelf, casting their purple glow across the room. The aquarium on the built in counter desk is stuffed with African violets and cyclamen, rosettes of green leaves adorned with frilly petals of pink, white, and purple. Cacti stand like sentinels in the small south window above my bed, perhaps not such a grand idea, as one bunny ear jumped off, and scratched itself all over my back one night while I slept. A two meter banana plant stands at attention beside the bed. A Monstera obliqua expilata grows from a shelf onto the ceiling, gently stapled along the unfinished sheet rock surface. These plants are my solace when things don’t go so well. I count them, one by one, gently raining mist on each one, then stop at 200. This is my world, a place of refuge, for mending broken bones, and broken hearts, a safe place where pain can dissipate, and souls can heal.
Little did I realize that I would spend my whole life with plants. I thought to become a solicitor at one time, but even that was of a desire to defend the plants, the environment, to keep things in order on the planet. Volunteering to serve as a missionary sent me to Bolivia, where I encountered many of my friends from the room, or at least their cousins. My best success sharing a living Gospel message came through sharing plants. Every lecture, every lab, every concept I have taught in over 30 years as a professor has something to do with plants. Raising our family, the home revolved around plants, and plants surround our home, acres of them, buffering us from the winds, and fiery darts of a difficult world.
Most of all, plants have led me to believe in, and understand, that none of them are accidental; they all have purpose, and are created by a divine plan. As I watch plants obediently seek and follow the light, I see a parallel in human behavior, that if we seek and follow the light of Christ, we grow, and improve, and come closer to a point in life where we truly demonstrate perfection, by simple incremental steps of obedience. I have come to understand that there is a Heavenly Father, whose son, Jesus Christ, was commissioned to organize matter, to create, and set in motion this amazing world, among others, this one being very special, because we are living on it. Plants have taught me this, as they emit the light of their creator from every cell, in every action filling the measure of their creation, reminding me that if mortals will strive to do the same, both absorbing and reflecting the light of Christ upon our countenance, we, too, by our actions and devotion, can full the measure of our eternal creation. Plants give me hope.
I started an interiorscape company in Logan, Utah whilst working on my Masters Degree in Plant Science. I had clients like First Security Bank, the USU Credit Union, some Doctors, Lawyers, and Dentists, and the City of Logan Recreation Department, among others. I sold the business to a classmate, and moved to St George, Utah to start a new business
In St George, I was able to establish a business that included both interior and exterior landscape management. I had several clients in the Condominium/Homeowners Associations of the area, and did work for Holiday Inn, and several other professional offices.
Moving to Salt Lake City, Utah with the intent to expand the interiorscaping business, I became a manager for Botanic Designs, a company that had two retail flower shops, and several high end interiorscape clients. It was a privilege to provide plant care services for Intermountain Health Care, Mountain Bell, (now Century Link), Huntsman Chemical, Eagle Gate Plaza, and many other fine companies
Ricks College/Brigham Young University Idaho
Since 1987, I have been on the faculty at Ricks College, and BYU Idaho. I have taught Interiorscaping for about 30 years now, sharing the joy of this great part of the plant industry with hundreds of students every year. It has been a joy to introduce plants to people, and see how quickly, and completely, the plants become the focus of their lives too. Watching the light come on in someone's mind is a simple, but long lasting reward for teaching. The thrill of learning together has motivated me for years. It won't end with retirement. Plants are part of my genes...