“Plants eat sugar, and if they don’t get that, they start eating themselves from the inside out,” said Reba Bailey. “They become cannibalistic.”
Spouting off facts about plants, touching plants and breathing the air around them are some of the reasons why Bailey loves nature so much. As a sophomore studying horticulture, she has decided to dedicate her life to cultivating plants and creating unique landscapes.
Growing up in Pocatello as one of nine children in her family, Bailey says both her parents held a love for nature that rubbed off on her.
“Both of my parents were really into gardening,” Bailey said. “My mom was really into flowers and both of my parents really pushed for us to have a huge vegetable garden, so we were the hard labor.”
Thankfully, for Bailey and her siblings, it wasn’t all work and no play. Bailey said that there was fun involved, as well.
“On road trips we would be passing farmland and (my dad) would say, ‘OK, what’s that plant?’ and we had to name it. So we got really good at naming plants,” Bailey said with a laugh.
Bailey’s father passed away in Nov. 2018. She continues to search for a connection with him through her career choices and aspirations for the future.
“My dad loved sharing things that he was passionate about, and that is one of the things that he shared with me, just his love for the earth really,” Bailey said.
Bailey enjoys branching out by living on her own. She once moved to Indiana to work as a nanny. While she was living in Indiana, her father passed away. She said Indiana is the place where she learned to appreciate nature even more.
“I remember the first thing that I would say in my morning prayers was, ‘I am so grateful for this beautiful land you’ve given us,’” Bailey said. “It gave me a bigger appreciation for the beauty that is this planet.”
Bailey said that at first, she didn’t want to go back to Indiana because she feared losing a connection to her dad. When she eventually returned, Bailey said she was especially grateful to have her sister and her Savior close by.
“It made me realize that home is not really a place, but it’s a people and a feeling that you get,” Bailey said. “I think that’s why I like being out in nature so much because I feel at peace there. That’s where I feel my Savior’s love the most. Being in nature is like having a straight shot to God.”