Karen in her GardenWith Thanks and Appreciation

The Friends of the Seminole Heights Library’s annual fund-raiser, the Seminole Heights Garden Tour was a great success with ticket sales in excess of the goal set by the non-profit. Enough money was raised to provide funds for the annual Summerfest program to be held in June 2020, a fun day of enrichment activities for children at the Seminole Heights Branch Library. I’m happy to have been involved with opening my garden for such a worthy cause, and for others to see, be inspired and educated, and for the fun of just meeting so many avid and aspiring gardeners.

A special thank you to Penny Carnathan, columnist at the Tampa Bay Times for her lovely article published in the Sunday Homes section, October 6, 2019 about my garden, titled, “An English Country Garden in Tampa? Check out a landscape architect’s Florida version at the Seminole Heights tour”. Penny’s eloquently-written article and beautiful photographs enticed garden enthusiasts from as far as Winter Haven and New Port Richey to see this English Country garden in Tampa, Florida. The weather was picture-perfect with no rain, a light breeze and partly cloudy skies for a reprieve from the temperatures in the high 80s.

Garden tour visitors had a double treat of being able to walk across the street and enjoy my neighbor, Carissa McConnell’s garden which she and I started developing only a little over one year ago, taking it from a barren yard of all Bahia sod and mixed weeds with 3 very tall queen palm trees to the lush green and floral display that it has become, complete with collected and creatively hand-crafted garden art in metal and glass. Criss considers herself a novice gardener, and is to be commended for her newly-acquired gardening skills.

Kudos and congratulations go to Cinda Hitchcock, the Seminole Heights Garden Tour chairperson and Ann Hipson, the President of Friends of the Seminole Heights Library, and all board members for their fine work in organizing the garden tour again this year, as well as thanks to all the docents and volunteers who helped make this event a success.  A round of applause and appreciation to the Garden Tour participants who generously opened their gardens for the benefit of this important fund-raiser. The garden tour brochure was artfully designed and copy written by Beth Kancilia, and professional photography by Doug Hicks. Gratitude and appreciation to all who made this grand event possible! Thank you to the visitors for your kind words and compliments about my garden.

To foster education, in the upcoming winter and spring I will be offering my garden to the Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension Service for educational group field trips about Florida-Friendly Landscapes, Waterwise Gardening, and water efficiency strategies, and will follow up with a future blog to cover these events.

Pathway in Karen's Garden
Pathway through Karen’s Garden
Pathway and ornaments in Karen's Garden
Garden ornaments and bench along the path
Pathway and Arbor Gate
Arbor at the end of the path