Dr. Ruter hails from Los Angeles, California, where he grew up surfing waves and sidewalks. Today, he's the director of the Trial Gardens, professor, and ornamental plant breeder at UGA. Many of his specimens can be found planted right here in the garden. When he's not researching, writing books, attending conferences, or teaching classes, Dr. Ruter enjoys traveling, and "doing whatever his kids want to do". His favorite place to travel is to the mountains of the Western U.S, the plant life there is something he finds remarkable.