Long before I studied horticulture and was employed by North Dakota State University, I was a little boy who loved vegetable gardening and flowers. The formal education that came later was invaluable, but my love of growing plants was instilled by parents and relatives whose example and practical gardening wisdom ignited a spark for which I am forever grateful. My wife Mary and I recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Not bad, since I'm not exactly the Brad Pitt of the gardening world. On our second date, I invited Mary to transplant seedlings in the college greenhouses.