Garden Stories

Jodi’s Tropical Garden

Jodi wanted a plan for maintaining her gorgeous tropical garden.

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.

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Cheryl Capaldo Traylor

Sunflowers in Jodi's Tropical Garden
Hardy hibiscus in Jodi's Tropical Garden
Roses in Jodi's Tropical Garden
Sunflowers in Jodi's Tropical Garden
White peony in Jodi's Tropical Garden
The view in Jodi's Tropical Garden

Cheryl is such a pleasure to work with. I had moved to a new townhome with an established, beautiful garden. Although I felt so lucky to have it, I was terrified that I would mess it up! Cheryl to the rescue! She first came in late Fall when very little was blooming, but she was still able to identify, by its foliage, what would be blooming. She got my plants on a pruning schedule in early Spring. She showed me how and what to prune, working alongside me the whole time! I remember best by doing and that was a perfect way for me to remember. As a bonus, she allowed me to keep her on “speed dial” for any plant emergency or just to share my pics as my garden developed through Spring then Summer. I highly recommend her. Start with a consultation. You won’t regret it!

Jodi Pollock

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Creating beautiful & sustainable gardens while inspiring a sense of play, curiosity, and wonder

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