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Posted: Oct/18/2011 6:38 AM PST
Hi to everyone, I joined this site on October 1, it came up while I was searching for some answers and I am so glad to have stumbled upon it.
First I must say thank you to all the members for the wonderful comments, assistance and tips (posting photos) you have all made me feel welcome from day one, its a warm and wonderful feeling.
Now a little about myself, I have lived in Central Florida for about 18 years, I moved here from NJ and still get quite homesick when the seasons begin to change, especially autumn and winter, after a few years here I finally began to see the subtle change in seasons, and when I want color or snow I drive north to get my fix.
My love of gardening began when I was 4 living in Brooklyn NY my grandmother had a rooftop garden and I would help her water with my tin watering can, I can still smell the hot melting tar of the roof mixed with the sweet scent of her flowers when I bring up these memories.
When I was 7 we moved to NJ and my grandmother moved her family right next door, she grew a vegetable patch and flower beds and with my little space on the edge of the garden I grew carrots, radishes and bachelor buttons and a life long love for plants.
In the mid 70's I moved to a small studio apartment with windows about 6 feet tall, I install shelves and quickly filled them with all types of house plants everything thrived within 2 months I had 115 plants in one room, I woke up to lots of sunlight, me whispering good morning babies and friends would call me whenever a plant was in distress.
Over time I moved away, most of the plants went to friends and family a few went with me as I had less space, less sunlight and less time to water the gang.
Over the years I have grown corn and tomatoes in trash cans on a balcony, carrots and radishes in milk cartons on a window sill. There wasn't a home I didn't have at least 1 Ivy plant and a philodendron or two in a pot.
Then I made the move to Florida, the first apartment I had two windows with enough light for shade loving plants, trust e they didn't live long, I had a fern in the bathroom and 2 cactus they didn't last long either, but every time one died I would try a new one a few weeks later. Then after 2 years a bigger apartment became available, it came with a screen in patio and a 3 ft x 4 ft space I could plant in and plant it I did.
After lugging home bags and bags of soil, potting soil, compost I spent endless hours getting things planted I had a garden and everything thrived, in spite of some sneaky neighbors that pulled up one tomato plant roots and all, one culprit that came out to harvest my green beans just when I was planning to pick and cook them, I discovered I planted strawberries for the birds and all they did was poke and big hole in the middle of the berries and moved on to the next.
Nothing discouraged me, I had basil over 6 feet tall, tomatoes so full I was brings bags to work, roses to fill a small vase and morning glories that greeted me every morning with a nice show of blooms. There was also cilantro that wouldn't grow anywhere, coleus that lived for 3 weeks, and the apartment landscapers that couldn't tell a weed from a plant if there life depended on it and perhaps couldn't read the signs I had posted, one year they even carted away all the brand new mulch I had just spread. Grrrr!
Than came the news the apartment building converted to 55 and over I had to move out, and a very short time to do it, I found a place that actually had garden potential huh, little did I know that everything I planted would be eaten from the roots up, I had just enough early afternoon sunlight for a few plants but nothing I brought with me survived I was devastated to say the least.
I lived in that place for too many years and believe me I developed a strong love/hate relationship with gardening. There was even a year or 2 when I didn't so much as plant anything. Even my cactus were eaten up. I was shopping one day when I came across a magazine on container gardening right away I thought this is for me and that same day I went to several garden centers for pots, soil compost and plants. Most of the plants didn't survive long, the tomato plant gave me 3 tomatoes, the sunflower was devoured by ants and the elephant ear survived.
The following spring I tried again, and the spring after that, over the winter my friend G gave me a near dead poinsettia plant and I brought it back to life and planted it (she lived 5 years) what I hadn't really noticed was the tree outside my fenced courtyard was over grown and blocking most of the light the only plants to survive besides the poinsettia were my bamboo, elephant ears and caladium.
Than last winter a big limb with monster branches crashed down and once it was all cut away I had sunlight and set to planting as soon as spring hit, I put everything in containers lined them up for maximum sun exposure and they thrived, I had healthy green plants with the beginnings of buds, I could see I was heading for a good year and than I moved do to a crazy neighbor attacking me and my car (she slashed all four tires)she thought I was someone else and every night for a week she was banging on my door and windows. I was just recovering from a heart attack I had in March and in May I was just not up to her wacky anger. I stopped everything to find a new place to live, by June I was packing. The sheriff still could not find her.
On July 1st I packed all my plants pots & containers and though I lost most of the plants to the move my new home has huge garden potential, lots of sunshine, established trees and shrubs and an occupant that refuses to give up the garden life. This is my story, my struggle with gardening and of the pleasures my simple life gives me.
Location: Augusta, GA
Posted: Oct/18/2011 7:34 PM PST
I am so glad that you found a place where you can garden. Being your own place, you can do your plantings the way you want. You should have some beautiful plants there that wouldn't flourish up North. I lived in Cocoa, Florida for 8 years and was thrilled with some of the tropical plants we could grow there -and didn't have to worry about hard winters.
Have fun with your plantings and welcome to Garden Guides. I am very new also. Everyone is so helpful!
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posted: Oct/19/2011 1:30 AM PST
Now THAT'S determination if I ever heard it! I so enjoyed your tale of perseverence and so glad that you have joined us so that we can follow your adventures daily!
Location: Van, Tx
Posted: Oct/19/2011 8:08 AM PST
I enjoyed your blog just now while drinking my morning coffee. Both were very delighting!
I am sorry you've endured so much hardship with your gardening efforts. I know the feeling. I've gardened in Illinois, Florida, Oklahoma, California (with my Dad or Sister) & now Texas with my DNL. I always call my gardens "test gardens" because they always teach me something new. Also, I don't always remember my mistakes so I am doomed to repeat them. Here in Texas I do now own a piece of land and have been trying to establish a garden with the help of GG friends and the grace of God. I'm glad you are here and really the people on here are just like real life friends..its just real life on GG. Though they have been known to go to each others homes.
Posted: Oct/19/2011 12:12 PM PST
Welcome to G.G.
You will make many friends on this site and always get good advice.I hope you enjoy it as much as I do....