Ruth is the author of the book A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered the Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants (Morrow/HarperCollins, February, 2014). In this book, feeling frustrated by plants that fail to thrive, she sets out to understand the basics of botany and become a better gardener. To do so, she retraces the progress of the first botanists who discovered the basics of how plants work, and also visits modern gardeners, farmers, and botanists to discover the science behind extraordinary plants.
In Paradise Under Glass (Morrow/HarperCollins, 2010), following a devastating personal crisis, she chronicles her creation of a small conservatory at her home and her journey from brown thumb to green, as well as the lessons of personal loss and rebirth. Along the way, she weaves in the history of conservatories from orangeries to the hermetically-sealed Biosphere in Arizona. Carol Stocker of the Boston Globe called Paradise Under Glass “my favorite gardening book of the year.”
Ruth is also the award-winning author of eight science and history books for young adults. In addition, her science and health writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, National Geographic Explorer, Health magazine, Science Weekly, and other publications. She blogs at GardenofMarvels.com about extraordinary plants and cutting-edge botany. She speaks frequently at garden clubs and conferences about gardening through the midlife crisis and other horticultural topics.
Ruth grew up Baltimore, and received a B.A. degree from Yale University and a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She lives in suburban Maryland with her husband, their West Highland terrier, and dozens of tropical plants and trees. She is currently fascinated by developments in the science and technology of converting biomass into energy.