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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Lifestyle Stories

How Does Your Garden Grow? ‘Placement of plants is a continuous challenge

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DEBBIE AND GREGG JORISSEN, TAMPA

Q: Describe your garden.

Answer: In our backyard, we have a kidney-shaped swimming pool surrounded by a privacy fence. It’s adorned with approximately 100 potted plants, 40 of which are orchids.

Q: How long have you been gardening?

Answer: We have been gardening for 27 years. That’s when we purchased our home.

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

Answer: Trial and error has been the best teacher. Also the local plant shows and fairs have been helpful — especially with our growing number of orchids.

Q: What are your go-to plants?

Answer: Orchids. They appear complicated, but actually they are low-maintenance and produce some of the most beautiful and ornate flowers.

Q: What was your biggest gardening mistake?

Answer: Using pots with inadequate drainage. We’ve eliminated plastic pots and liners. Most of our plants are in clay pots with extra holes drilled in the bottom.

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

Answer: Location, Location, Location. Placement of plants is a continuous challenge in Florida. We have Florida sunshine, periods of drought and the rainy season to contend with.

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

Answer: Fertilize your plants. We use Miracle-Gro Shake ’n Feed every three months. Your foliage will be healthy, and your blooms will be more vibrant.

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 Please include a phone number and/or email (not for publication).

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