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Saturday, Apr 19, 2014
Lifestyle Stories

How Does Your Garden Grow?: ‘My advice is to not give up’

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PAT KUHN, SOUTH TAMPA

Q: Describe your garden.

Answer: I have as many flowers as possible. My walled backyard has a brick patio with a fish pond.

Q: How long have you been gardening?

Answer: I have loved gardening since I was a teenager. I kept a flower garden at my mother’s home.

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

Answer: I learned a lot from my grandmother and from my mother-in-law. I also have read every book I can about gardening in Florida. I continually refer to Stan De Freitas’ “Complete Guide to Florida Gardening.” I also subscribe to Southern Living magazine, as the gardening sections are always helpful.

Q: What are your go-to plants?

Answer: I have so many! Violets, bush roses such as Summer Snow and Carefree Beauty, angel wing begonias are probably the most used.

Q: What was your biggest gardening mistake?

Answer: My biggest mistake, one of many, was planting the creeping fig vine on the surrounding wall. The root system takes over and robs the plants of nutrients and water.

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

Answer: My biggest challenge is taking care of all of my flowers. As I get older, I find I have more than I can take care of, but I love it anyway.

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

Answer: My advice is to not give up. Gardening in Florida can be a challenge. I have lost many plants and I just pull them up and try again. If one plant doesn’t make it in a certain spot, I try something else.

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 if 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 Please include a phone number and/or email (not for publication).

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