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Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
Lifestyle Stories

‘Make sure plants are compatible to the area’

Published:

REBA MICALE, WEEKI WACHEE

Q: Describe your garden.

Answer: My garden is 21-by-21 feet, with mostly potted plants and a waterfall, and it is completely covered in river rock. I have stepping stones for two different paths through the garden.

Q: How long have you been gardening?

Answer: Even when I lived in an apartment, I always had lots of potted plants on my patio, but I got really serious about gardening 15 years ago.

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

Answer: My Aunt Mae in the garden, but my mother for potted plants.

Q: What are your go-to plants?

Answer: Bird of paradise, waxed begonias, crotons, ponytail palm, periwinkles and any blooming plant that does well. Plants have to be sun- and salt-tolerant.

Q: What was your biggest gardening mistake?

Answer: Before using the river rock, I had plants in the ground, therefore planting too many big plants that took over.

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

Answer: I live on the Weeki Wachee River, and we have salt when the tide comes in, therefore we have mildew and fungus.

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

Answer: Make a sketch of the garden first, then check your area where you live to make sure the plants are compatible to the area. Most of all, know how big and how fast the plants grow — my mistake.

Have you ever been so proud of your garden that you wished you could show it off? We’re looking for readers’ photos and growing tips for our “How Does Your Garden Grow?” feature. 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 Please include a phone number and/or email (not for publication).

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