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Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Lifestyle Stories

How Does Your Garden Grow? ‘Bromeliads have won my heart’

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TRUDI IRVINE, SOUTH TAMPA

Q: Describe your garden.

Answer: My garden is an ever-changing mix of easy-to-grow plants with interesting colors, textures and sizes.

Q: How long have you been gardening?

Answer: Both sides of my family have always loved gardening.

Q: From whom (or what) have you learned the most as a gardener?

Answer: Mother was a rose grower and studies horticulture. She tried to pass much info on to the family.

Q: What are your go-to plants?

Answer: Bromeliads have won my heart; they thrive in the environment in my yard. It is especially fun for me to propagate plants. When the bromeliads have babies, I get real excited.

Q: What was your biggest gardening mistake?

Answer: Many plants were tried on this property, such as azaleas, magnolias, ornamentals.

Q: What are some challenges you face in the garden?

Answer: The challenges were water and high maintenance.

Q: What is your best piece of advice for fellow gardeners?

Answer: Seek native plants; carefully select plants for your special micro system. I like to give plants away with advice of what I do here; however, they will by trial and error find the right place. Recently helping a young neighbor in her rental front yard, I was able to share my sure winners: walking iris, fern, amaryllis and flax. It will look good with little effort and, as long as we get rain, will thrive.

Have you ever been so proud of your garden that you wished you had some way to show it off? We’re looking for readers’ photos and growing tips for our “How Does Your Garden Grow?” feature in Baylife. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small container garden or a long-established landscape; we want to hear about it. Just answer the questions above and email them along with a couple of jpgs of your garden to Baylife@tampatrib.com. Or mail your answers and photos to Baylife, The Tampa Tribune, 202 S. Parker St., Tampa, FL 33606. Please include a phone number and/or email (not for publication).

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