'I was inspired by a friend's garden'
Q: Describe your garden. A: My garden has evolved in the past 15 years and has grown to cover up approximately half of my back yard (which is half an acre). There are several areas, and it all revolves around a 1,000-square-foot deck, so from the deck you can see all parts of the garden. I would call it an eclectic garden because I have my Gator Garden — go Gators! — and I also have a memorial garden to my parents. It is definitely a labor of love. Q: How long have you been gardening? A: About 15 years. I was inspired by a friend's garden and jumped right in.Q: Who (or what) have you learned the most from as a gardener? A: Actually, I learned, and continue to learn, the most from weekly newspaper articles in the Tribune, including "Dig This," and magazine articles in Southern Living. Q: What are your go-to plants? A: I love caladiums because they are almost maintenance-free, provide great color a good portion of the year and come back every year. I also like pentas. Q: What was your biggest gardening mistake? A: I have had a lot of mistakes, but the biggest was planting ferns in with azaleas under a big oak tree. They thrived too well, almost taking over the azalea bed. Q: What are some challenges you face in your garden? A: The biggest challenge was having to water by hand, and my garden is very spread out. I finally put in a sprinkler system last year, and it was money well spent in terms of water conservation and my time. Q: What is your best piece of advice for fellow gardeners? A: Enjoy your garden. If it becomes a chore that you dread, scale it back.
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