We live with them, right next to them, yet most of us know so little of them. Side by side, leaning on a tree trunk, pulling off leaves, laying on the grass—-they’re our neighbors. We live on the same planet, soak in the same sunlight, yet most people don’t know how to grow them. “I need something for a dark shady covered porch with no water and little light” or “I want a plant that starts at six feet high and ends at seven feet high, flowers continuously, stays green and blocks out all sound and views of orange houses”. Unenlightened, they want it all. They want instant. They want unnatural. They want item A to fit perfectly next to item B. But plants take time and nature doesn’t come in 4′ by 4′ packages. It takes vision to imagine a tree hundreds of years old, or a hydrangea vine reaching up to the roof, or a plant changing with the seasons. Plants change and grow just like we do. Adaptable. Resistant at times. Struggling at times. Needing attention, needing to be left alone. Always growing. I like learning about plants and maybe someday I’ll learn their language. Treeish? Entish? Photosynthesis? Yet, ironically, after all this learning and growing I’m going to eat them. I’m going to wear them. I’m going to build with them, burn them for fuel, chop, prune, slice and dice. In this world my survival depends upon them. I say that is grounds for getting a good botanical education. Plants; part of our planet, or rather, we are part of theirs.