Inside the Aster’s Studio: Andrew Keys

Bad to the phloem!I don’t even have to introduce Andrew Keys, do I?

If  you don’t already know, Andrew is the GENIUS behind RadioGarden here at He’s also the smart alec behind and is a contributor for Garden Designers’ Round Table. Busy guy!

You know you want to know a little more about this planty dude… So here goes!


What is your favorite horticulture-related word?

That’s a tough one. Definitely a piece of Latin plant name. I like the nova/e- words, like “noveboracensis” and “novae-angliae,” as in Vernonia noveboracensis and Symphyotrichum novae-angliae.  Right now my favorite Latin name altogether is Trochodendron aralioides.

What is your least favorite horticulture-related word?

Why are there so many Latin plant names that sound like diseases? Like Benthamidia. Supposedly the new name for American Cornus.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally (in the great outdoors)?

I would almost say plants, but I think the thing that drives me most is terroir, or sense of place, though what I’m most interested in is the relationship between plants and terroir.

What turns you off?
Mulch volcanoes, red mulch, the sight of sprinklers watering a lawn (especially when it’s raining), and tree abuse by utility companies.

What is your favorite horty curse word?

I usually just go with the standard curse words. Since Kiss My Aster is a family blog now, we’ll just say @#*&$.

What outdoor sound or noise do you love?

Woodpeckers, except when they decide to hammer on the side of my house.

What outdoor sound or noise do you hate?

Leafblowers, although I do have one myself. It’s just never a good time when your neighbor decides to run his/her leafblower, you know? There should be a designated leafblower hour once a week so we could all get our leafblowing out of the way and give ourselves a break otherwise. Also, catbirds. Can’t they just pick a song and learn to sing it well?

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Secret agent.

What profession would you not like to do?

Accountant. Sorry, accountants! It’s not you, it’s me. Numbers are my kryptonite.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say about your garden when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?


I don’t think I’ll care. I’ll be dead.

This is Andrew, isn't he a badass?

Related Posts:

About Amanda Thomsen

Big, loud and fun- Amanda Thomsen landscapes by day and blogs at night. Her blog, Kiss My Aster, on Horticulture magazine's website has alienated/enraptured dozens. She co-authors a blog called Plants That Suck that is about plants that suck. And she is the less popular half of the podcasting team, Good Enough Gardening, which makes her feel like the "Roy" of of Siegfried and Roy, but without the mauling. She lives in Chicago and does not EVER put ketchup on hot dogs.

3 thoughts on “Inside the Aster’s Studio: Andrew Keys

  1. Pingback: Splashes of yellow in autumn landscapes | Glenns Garden

  2. total badass. in my previous place, there was a woodpecker who insisted on hammering against the aluminum siding every spring…& taught her offspring to do the same.

Leave a Reply