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Combining Passions

I love plants (as you do, I hope), but I also love other things. I wanted to share with you, in a simple article, my way of combining my passions (or, in other words, how to put a bit of plants… everywhere).


I am an avid reader of beautifully written fantasy novels. I love to sit with my tea (from plants), my candle (plant-based) and my cushion (with plants on it) in my living room (full of plants) to read (or reread) the works of my library full of plants. I also have books about plants, of course!

Passion pour les plantes

Sometimes I pick up a book on plants and flip through it such as Larry Hodgson’s). I won’t read them cover to cover, but rather I’ll read a few tips here and there, some practical information. I particularly like books on edible plants or those with scientifically proven virtues (note: I am not a witch!).


It’s the next logical step, isn’t it? When I talk about edible plants, I mean cooking. In addition to the harvests from my garden, I love to discover the flavors of Quebec’s terroir. Going for a walk and coming back with dinner is a unique satisfaction!


This crop of amanitas made a GREAT sauce. On a deer steak, with fiddleheads on the side (responsibly picked), it tasted like the Quebec forest!

Mushroom soup with sumac, tomato sauce with nettle, blackberry and samaritan muffins… I’m telling you: when the harvest is good in the summer, I need flour and butter at the grocery store and I’m on my own for the rest! I make my own bread, pasta, mayonnaise… practically everything! And I love it because I know what I’m eating, I have the satisfaction of having made it myself, and it’s cheaper!

Learning to pick wild plants is an economical way to live two passions: not bad, huh?

To be outside… with good company

In the summer, I don’t stay inside. I am always outside. It’s a good thing, I read outside, I cook outside, and on top of that, I take almost all my plants outside. I have a very busy balcony with the chairs, the table, the barbecue and the dozens of plants… But that’s where I feel good. And it’s also where I write during the summer season.

No way to be alone though! Those who know me see me coming… my two boys are always there, not far away, basking in the sun.

Animals are part of my outdoor passion too!

And You?

Inspire me! Do you paint plants? Do you have plant representations on everything in your home? Do you wait all year for your lemon tree to fruit so you can try new cocktails? I’m curious!

Tell us in the comments what your passions are and how you combine them with your love of plants. And, if you’d like to show us some photos, feel free to do so and comment on our social networks.

Roche peinturée

Audrey Martel is a biologist who graduated from the University of Montreal. After more than ten years in the field of scientific animation, notably for Parks Canada and the Granby Zoo, she joined Nature Conservancy of Canada to take up new challenges in scientific writing. She then moved into marketing and joined Leo Studio. Full of life and always up for a giggle, or the discovery of a new edible plant, she never abandoned her love for nature and writes articles for both Nature sauvage and the Laidback Gardener.

7 comments on “Combining Passions

  1. jeffreestar

    Your enthusiasm for plants has certainly sparked my creativity backpack battles and made me appreciate their presence in different aspects of life.

  2. What a lovely article. I enjoy how you incorporate nature into so many aspects of your life. So healthy to embrace growing things not only as nourishment, but for pleasure in lots of ways.

  3. Gee, I am a professional horticulturist, arborist and garden columnist, but I do not enjoy gardening like this; not even remotely. My horticultural work is mostly on the farm. I grow horticultural commodities. I do not assemble them in landscapes. My home garden is utilitarian. It provided fruits and vegetables. It is not exactly ‘pretty’. I only grow houseplants because some of the species that I bring back from Southern California are more comfortable in the home than in the garden. I paint nothing. There are no plant motifs in my home that are not real plants. Lemons grow like weeds, but I do not drink alcohol. I find what some do to express their enjoyment of gardening to be . . . odd. For example, some rush out to procure the latest trendy cultivars, and then brag about it online. I have a rule against doing so. Except for some of the stone fruit trees (which I did not want to graft myself), nothing in my garden came from a nursery. I grew it all myself from items that I wanted from other gardens. Some of my perennials have been with me since before I was in kindergarten. They are more sustainable than modern cultivars that are sold as sustainable. Besides, I loath most modern cultivars.

  4. Pat Webster

    My passion is the combination of plants, art and words. I include written words throughout my garden, Glen Villa Art Garden, in North Hatley, Quebec. For me, adding words broadens and enriches the experience of being in the garden. It give me a way of cementing memories and exploring ideas.

    Not many people use words in their gardens but I’d love to hear from others who do. Or to hear from anyone who doesn’t like seeing words in gardens, to understand why they don’t.

  5. Ann T Dubas

    Our plants are our life. We spend large parts of every day tending our landscape. It’s our exercise. We entertain outdoors whenever possible. The art on our walls is full of flowers. We eat from the vegetable garden. I send my family pictures of the emerging plants each season. Plants are so intimately entwined in our life. There is no separation!

  6. Granny Pat

    I like to take photos of under appreciated weeds and turn them into “art” and convince friends and family to hang them on their walls.

  7. Mushrooms, how did you learn which ones to pick and which to leave. Do you go into the forest for your beautiful crops? My son collects Morrells sometimes, that’s as wild as I’ve had.also like you all my plants leave the shelter of the plant lights and move outside. I have some that are over 30 years old. I love them!!

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