The misty October revealed a great surprise to New Zealand horticulturist Kathleen DeMaria while she was installing signs for the new ’Lookout Loop Trail’ near the recently restored Lookout Gazebo. Kathleen and fellow horticulturists Rhett Ruecker and Roy Farrow peeked through the fog and barely saw a highly engaged woman taking notes on the new New Zealand Forest. As it turns out, this woman was Rebecca Stanley, Auckland Botanic Gardens Education Officer and former plant ecologist with the Auckland Regional Council. Bec, visiting the US west coast on holiday, graciously offered to spend some time with Kathleen in the garden on the following Saturday. The two plant-geeks spent 4 hours walking through the foggy New Zealand forest. Bec’s encyclopedic knowledge regarding the ethnobotanic uses of plants and the cultural requirements of plants was astonishing, and her willingness to share it all, as well as her educational delivery style were delightful. She offered sources for seed, suggestions for books, names, emails and information about who she knows throughout New Zealand that would be interested and willing to help UWBG grow our own New Zealand forest. Personally, and as a representative of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, I would like to thank Rebecca for all of her time and information, it was a delightful walk in the garden topped off with a delicious lunch at Cactus Cafe and a visit to the downtown library. Thanks so much, Bec! All photos courtesy of Julie Postma.