"Exploring the unmowed corners of the world."

Expressing a love of history and a passion for nature.

Books by Anita Sanchez

A book about poison ivy? Anita Sanchez writes of the surprising virtues of the despised plant in her new picture book Leaflets Three, Let it Be!: The Story of Poison Ivy. The book will be released in spring 2015 by Boyds Mills Press, for pre-K to grade 3.

Beautiful illustrations by Robin Brickman highlight the amazing variety of wildlife that use poison ivy for food and shelter. And no, they don’t get itchy–only humans are affected by the toxic three leaves. Bees buzz in poison ivy flowers, gathering poison ivy nectar. Cardinals use poison ivy rootlets to line their nests. Insects roll themselves up in a snug blanket of poison ivy leaves while toads hunt and spiders spin webs in the shade. And birds by the dozens come flocking to a poison ivy feast of winter berries.poison ivy art









Anita’s next book is upcoming with Charlesbridge Publishers–a biography of Carolus Linnaeus. The famous naturalist was a brilliant scientist whose system of binomial nomenclature–two names for each living thing–is still used today. But he started out as a curious little boy with a passion for weeds and bugs. His exuberant, outspoken, and defiant personality makes him a fascinating character. Karl, Get Out of the Garden!: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything will be released in 2016.


Anita’s published books include Mr. Lincoln’s Chair: The Shakers and Their Quest for PeaceThe Invasion of Sandy Bay, and The Teeth of the Lion: The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion.

The Unmowed Blog

The unmowed corners.

That’s where life shoves through, grows to the sun, flourishes.

I stop every time I’m in a parking lot, a schoolyard, a graveyard–anywhere–and see what plants are growing. There’s unintended beauty in the untended places. I look to see what’s pushing through the cracks in the pavement. What the mowers have missed. What the weed whackers have failed to whack.

So come on this journey with me. Examine and rejoice in that which no one else notices.

Stop by often to see what’s going on in the parking lot! Read Unmowed Blog posts here.


A published author and professional educator, Anita Sanchez has more than twenty years of experience in providing classes and hands-on, participatory programs to a wide range of audiences.

The former director of Educational Programming at the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, she has presented classes in schools throughout New England and New York State, and given workshops at the American Museum of Natural History, Colonial Williamsburg, Harvard Natural History Museum, the New York State Museum, and many other libraries, bookstores, museums, and classrooms.


Multi Media Bar

Seeing Brown: November Leaves

In November, the red and yellow leaves are gone, but there’s still a wealth of color. In nature, there are way more than fifty shades of brown.

Winged Victory


Red Oaks: On Fire

Red oak. Really lives up to its name in fall. Late in the season, the red oaks are on...

Embrace the Dark

It’s coming—it’s almost here. The end of Daylight Savings. The time of darkness. The sun...

Prickly Pear: Handle With Care

Prickly pear cactus. A quiet, well-behaved plant, as house-plants go. These guys have...

On the Banks of Plum Creek

I almost didn’t go to Plum Creek. I knew it was gone. I knew the creek as...

Bee Balm: Hummingbird Heaven

Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. And bee balm is red. Red, red. Fire engine...

Catnip: Cats Behaving Badly

Cataria nepeta. That’s some strong stuff, man. You don’t want to let your...

Nature’s Crayons

There’s a chemical which is found in every green plant–every tree, grass blade,...

Chickweed: Anywhere Will Do

I never cease to be amazed at the incredible habitats that plants can exploit. A...

Red, White, and Blue

The amazing diversity of flowers. Each bright color attracts a pollinator. Red beckons...

Rainbow of Flowers: Same-Sex Marriage

It’s a great day for human rights. Same-sex marriage legal in the...

Dandelion: Sparkling Wine

Dandelion wine. “The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught...

Dandelions: Death on the Lawn

It’s the very definition of springtime: the cheerful sight of a robin pulling a...