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The Patchwork Garden

Meet the Gardener

Welcome to my garden! It is a patchwork of original plantings, inspiration from other gardeners and whatever makes me happy. Built in 1955, the original property had native plants such as sweet shrub and mountain laurel.  Plantings include boxwoods, Nandina, Holly, Aucuba, Liriope, and Camellia.

The biggest challenges in this yard are the lack of sunlight and soil conditions.  Due to the mature trees on the southern side of the property, the area only gets 2 – 4 hours of direct sun exposure.  Its location at the end of a ridge, causes the soil to be poor and rocky.

In addition to those abiotic challenges, English Ivy and other invasives constantly threaten the planting beds.  I remove extra Liriope, Elaeagnus, Chinese privet, Japanese honeysuckle and gifts from the birds.  Suburban wildlife like deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and groundhogs also make life interesting.

I bought this house in 1997 when I was working as a science teacher for the Gainesville City Schools.  Raising children and work prevented me from doing much in my garden until 2009 when I retired. 

Since 1984, I have been involved with Elachee Nature Science Center, so my retirement job became working as a part-time naturalist with them.  I am now retired there also.

In 2010 I completed the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist courses and my adventure with plants accelerated. Currently I volunteer with Elachee, working with the K -3 Academy, and Junior Master Gardeners.  I also help with the Wilshire Butterfly Garden.

Bonsai has become one of my passions.  You can see my miniature plants on the back porch. Wood working also engages me.  All the raised beds and bird boxes you see are self-built.

In my spare time, I sing in the First Methodist Church choir and make quilts.  When I am not sewing or gardening, I like to hike, read, and travel. 

Thank you for letting me share my patchwork garden with you. 

-Carol Sowers

Sloyer Garden: Welcome
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