Last fall, my client Jodi found herself in a wonderful gardening predicament. She had recently moved to a lakefront property where the former owner was a keen gardener and plant collector. Jodi was already a knowledgeable gardener, although she wasn’t familiar with some of the plants in this garden. Hardy bananas, sabal palms, various hibiscus, tibouchina, elephant ears, and a wide variety of bright perennials and grasses created a vibrant tropical garden against the backdrop of the lake.
Jodi wanted to learn how to care for this paradise where she looked forward to spending a lot of time. We met for a consultation and I listened to her concerns and questions. She wanted me to teach her three things: 1) how to winterize the plants, 2) when and how to fertilize the garden, and 3) the correct timing for pruning shrubs and cutting back perennials. I presented her with a three-part gardening plan to address these concerns.
As we worked on these routine tasks together over the next several months, I emphasized a big part of gardening is experimentation. Yes, there are absolutely correct ways to keep a garden healthy and looking good. But there is also room for discovery and fun. And change. That’s what makes our gardens truly feel like they’re our gardens.
Jodi has a natural curiosity that keen gardeners possess. Her willingness to seek help when needed and enthusiasm for learning as much as possible about her new garden gave her the confidence she needed to tend to a gorgeous garden. I was delighted to be part of her tropical garden initiation.