Today's photos are from Bill Albert in Waterville, Ohio. That's right, Ohio.... Sure doesn't look like it! Bill says, "This is my garden in Waterville, Ohio. It was started from a lawn and nothing else. All the hardscaping was constructed by me. The yard is in full sun. The patios were given a southwestern environment, succulents, cactus, ornamental grasses. I then wondered what could be done in the plain lawn that I looked out on. Let's try tropical!
       The first year, I planted one banana plant, Musa basjoo (USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11). It did well. As I was instructed, at end of the summer it was cut to the ground and covered with four feet of leaves. Uncoverng the bed the following spring, sprouts showed up. I was elated. Other warm climate plants soon followed: Canna, hibiscus, croton, colocasia, coleus, castor bean, amaranthus, begonia, princess lily, tibouchina among them. In the years that followed, beds were added. A gazebo was built. The prominent torii was built as a memorial to my donor. For many years I had declining health due to an auto-immune liver disorder. In July 2010, I received a most precious gift that saved my life.
      The garden blooms all season, After the first hard frost, the bananas are cut down and covered. Cannas, colocasias, and others are dug up. The potted plants are drastically pruned and brought inside. I have had some encouraging results by leaving some cannas in situ, covering them with leaves with the bananas.
      The yard has attracted some attention from the area garden associations asking for tours. All leave very amused and somewhat awed." Well I'm awed, too, Bill! When I first opened your email I thought you were in Florida! Amazing. Thanks so much for sharing!

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!!

***Hey all--I'm happy to get people connected through email, but I want to do it carefully. Email me and let me know who you're giving me permission to send your email address to, and I'll make it happen, hopefully without too much confusion!

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