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Hey plant friends!
I’m Maria, the "Plant Killer Turned Plant Lady" with a mission to help you care for plants successfully, grow your indoor jungles, and cultivate more joy in your life. I've got tons of content for you here on the blog, on the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, and Bloom and Grow Youtube Show to help you keep blooming and keep growing.
How do you tackle a different garden zone than what you’re used to? Moving can be a tremendous and significant change in our lives, with so much excitement and opportunities awaiting us in new places. However, for gardeners like us, it can mean a scary and stressful time starting from scratch with our gardens, especially in a completely different gardening zone. This is what Mama Failla, an expert gardener in Zone 7, had to learn and adapt to when she and Father Failla moved to a Zone 10, which is in tropical Florida. In this episode, Mama Failla imparts practical gardening and motherly advice on moving and facing the different seasons of life with optimism and resilience.
Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
In the past couple of years, many of us have made big moves in our personal and gardening lives. May it be internal or external changes, we all had to reevaluate what is truly important for us. Some moves can go smoothly, while others can be disorienting.
For Mama Failla, fulfilling their dreams of moving to southern Florida to enjoy their retirement prompted them to leave New York. There are struggles that come with her new garden zone, but Mama Failla reminds herself and everyone experiencing the same:
You need to give yourself time, grace, and patience. Moving, no matter how near or far, influences one’s gardening identity and self, so being patient with yourself and the challenges you face is a big part of regaining your confidence and knowledge in the garden.
What are the things you need to think about to prepare for your new garden zone and climate?
Here are Mama Failla’s top tips from her personal experience:
Make sure to visit your local botanical gardens as they have the best selection of plants that will thrive in your new garden zone. You can also look at the showcased grouped plants and recreate the same arrangement in your garden. Aside from plants, you can also check out the botanical garden’s lectures and classes!
Books are always a great resource for gardeners. Mama Failla personally prefers gardening books with pictures since they make it easier to reference plants in real life. Mama Failla also suggests sourcing your gardening books from local used bookstores as they usually have vintage gorgeous pictures – and it’s a sustainable practice!
Mama Failla says everyone is a different gardener at different stages of their life. It is important that you focus on the various aspects of gardening like your sun, watering frequency, and temperature to start, but you also need to consider your time and your physical capabilities when gardening in your new zone. Pay attention to the differences in your body and make sure you’re pacing yourself well as you adapt to the new climate!
Listen up, plant friends! It takes time to figure out what will work and what won’t in your new garden zone. Books help and asking questions from local gardeners adds to your success, but living in your space, observing where the sun hits your plants at different times of the day, and feeling how fast your soil dries: these are things that only you can determine and plan for.
Gardening is an extension of ourselves, so we should definitely have fun with it and experiment. Even with a new garden zone, allow yourself to try different things in the garden. Like when Mama Failla bought one-dollar zinnia packs that later on decorated her front lawn with beautiful colors, you too can have big rewards that come from taking one small risk.
Similar to gardening, we also face different seasons in life. May it be due to a changing climate or taking on a completely different planting zone, welcoming the seasons of our life with open arms and a great attitude is Mama Failla’s top advice.
With your new gardening zone, there will come failures and unexpected turns, but they are necessary for your growth as a gardener. It will take time, but it will be worth it once you figure it out.
You’ve got this, plant friend!
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