I think I get my appreciation for plants from two places. My grandfather was a gardener who grew mostly fruits and veggies who I swear would garden in anything that would hold a couple of handfuls of soil. He wasn't a very open or kind man he was quite the opposite of those traits. I have no memories of getting butterscotch candies from him, or of him magically finding a quarter behind my ears- but I do have a lot of memories of watching him grow plants.
When he would come to Chicago for extended visits the first thing he would do is find an empty container and go outside and fill it with dirt and plant something. It was usually a seed from a food item he had just eaten which I guess made him an old school frugal gardener. If he visited in the winter he'd start seeds that needed stratification in empty coffee cans, milk cartons and when he'd be back in the spring the plants would be ready for him. I hardly ever remember him smiling except when he was looking at his seedlings sprouting or a plant of his in bloom.