Hello, my name is Helena Mahoney. I am 87 years old and live in Vero Beach, Florida. I have been reading Fine Gardening ever since I became a certified Master Gardener, almost 30 years ago. I live in Zone 10 on a suburban lot that is less than half an acre. Most of my beds are in partial shade because of the extreme heat here. I have many unusual tropical plants in my garden, including bromeliads and philodendrons.
Gardening in Florida is pretty different from what most of us are used to! Look at all the lush, tropical foliage.
A comfortable place to sit inside and look out at the jungle beauty of the garden outside.
Northern gardeners are used to thinking of bromeliads as houseplants, but where temperatures don’t get below freezing in the winter, they can be great perennials outside for shaded spots. Northern gardeners can mimic this look by using them as annuals and bringing them inside for the winter.
This beautiful philodendron looks to me like the currently wildly popular ‘Pink Princess’. Houseplant Instagram accounts have made this a must-have plant, but in Helena’s garden it doesn’t have to live in the house.
Light shade is a great feature in the hot Florida sun, and many plants thrive in those conditions.
Masses of bromeliads make a beautiful planting here.
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Thanks for sharing your garden, Helena and hello to you from a former Brevard County resident!
I wish I knew then what I know now about plants - my yard there was always pretty lush and green, but it certainly lacked the charm & interest that your garden has! Congratulations and best wishes!
Beautiful gardens! Thanks for sharing!
Wonderful. You have a beautiful place inside and out.
Your garden is so interesting. Living in Ontario Canada we are so envious of tropical plants. Love your sitting area. Just gorgeous!
Your garden is a tropical paradise, it's wonderful!
I'm so glad you mentioned your age and how long you've been gardening because somedays at my age (65) I wonder how much longer I can go on- but you give me hope and inspiration!
I wish I could take a walk down your brick path right now!
I saw several plants that you’re growing outside that are my houseplants! You do live in a tropical paradise!!! Thanks for sharing your garden!
What a beautiful gift you have given to yourself over your decades of gardening. It is a lush and colorful paradise that those of us that don't live in a tropical climate can only imagine with houseplants! Enjoy every moment of the beauty you have created.
Love the bromeliads! You are proof positive that gardening makes us stronger!
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