I'm luckier than most: I live with a botanist. Joni has her degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in fresh water ecology. Her knowledge of life in the woods always amazes me. Especially because I can't remember anything.
Every year Joni teaches me the names of the local flowers. Does it stick with me until the next year? No. For example, the five foot bush below is our California version of wild lilac. They aren't as fragrant as the lilacs I grew up with back in Minnesota. But they are beautiful. Joni tells me she doesn't think they are all that related.
Ceanothus---Joni reminds me. Every year. Next year it will be the same. We will take a walk and I will ask her, in my yearly tradition, what's the name of this flower?