Flower Gardens – 2nd Place (Tie)

Garden description: I found myself getting cabin fever from not being able to travel. I decided to try and recreate a sample of some of the tropical regions I had visited while vacationing. Starting with a few potted palms, the vision took off from there. I added more tropical plants along with many of my indoor collections. In its second year, the addition of Spanish moss, orchids, begonias, I expanded with Colocasia, several varieties of bananas, Bougainvilleas, and Mandevilla. The colors came together more unintentionally, by rejecting plant coloration that offset the blend. The fountain in the seating area provides a distraction to adjacent highway noise. The deck being amongst tree branches adds to the feeling of being in a tropical region far from urban living.

Who are the gardeners? My name is Vernon and am a home Gardner for the last 20 years. My initial interest was only in outside gardens but in recent years, I slowly integrated houseplants. After cold winters and a lot of watering, I always found myself ready to put them out come spring. This resulted in noticing expansive growth while outside. To me, this was the best of both worlds.

Why do you garden? I garden because I love the feeling of being a caregiver to nature.

How has gardening impacted you during this time? I was actually excited that I had more time to garden because of the lack of outside temptations and distractions during the pandemic.

What do you have in your garden? My garden consists of Five varieties of banana plants, Majestic palms, Mandevilla, Four varieties of Colocasia, Sansevieria, Dragon Wing Begonia, Orchids, Spanish Moss, Bromelaids, Pothos, Tradescantia, Monstera, Castor Bean, Crotons, Sweet Potato vine, and various integrated house plants.

Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? I had two major issues that have since been resolved. My indoor plant suffered a mealy bug infestation and another outdoor garden was rampaged with white caterpillars one year that decimated my rhododendrons. I don’t use any herbicides or pesticides, so it proved challenging. I tried neem oil for the indoor plants but it seemed to not affect them resolved. Mealy bugs infested some of my indoor plants, and a strange white caterpillar appeared for two summers and ate a lot of my leaves on my Rhododendron. I don’t use pesticides or herbicides outside of Neem Oil so it proves challenging.




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