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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Special Challenge Participant Feature - Sherry Ellis of Gone Gardening!

Today is the last of our Special Challenge Participant feature! And I’m honored to bring to you Sherry Ellis of Gone Gardening. Her theme was “Gardens Around the World,” which fits the theme of her blog. Ah, but she had to follow the alphabet – added challenge! So, please welcome Sherry!

Your blog is all about gardens, which made your theme natural. Why the interest in gardens?

My interest in gardens and gardening came from my mother, who is an avid gardener. Growing up, I remember all of the pretty flowers around the house. My mom would point out what they were, and tell me all about them. Now that I’m an adult, I like to garden, too, but I have to admit that I don’t have as much time to do it as my mother, because I’m so ridiculously busy.

As far as the traveling aspect of my gardening blog is concerned, I used to do a considerable amount of traveling before I had children. My career as a musician and SCUBA diving instructor took my all over the world. I always made it a point to seek out gardens, because I find them to be very peaceful and beautiful.

What percentage of the gardens you’ve featured have you visited?

I’m laughing, Alex, because now you’re making me do math! I have personally visited 18 of the 26 gardens featured in the A-Z challenge, which makes the answer 69% of the gardens. I have seen all of the English gardens, most of the European gardens, the Canadian gardens, most of the Chinese and Japanese gardens, the Australian garden, and the African gardens.

Which garden is your favorite?

That’s a tough one! I really enjoy English gardens. Of those, I like the Hidcote Manor Garden, in Gloucestershire, England, and the Exbury Gardens, in Hampshire, England.

I’d have to also say that the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Capetown, South Africa, are just gorgeous! They have summer sunset concerts there, too – a perfect combination – music and gardens!

You had a real word for X. (As opposed to many of us who make up a fake word!) Tell us about the gardens for X.

Ah, yes – X! My X garden was the Xishuangbanna Tropical Garden in Xishaungbanna, China. It’s China’s largest tropical garden, covering almost 2,000 acres. It’s used for research by the Chinese Academy of Science, and contains over 10,000 species of tropical plants!

What’s the biggest garden in the world?

Okay, Mister Trivia Man, I know how much you like trivia, so here you go: The world’s largest botanic garden is the Shaanxi Botanical Garden, located in Shaanxi, China. It covers over 300 square miles!

What garden would you like to see some day?

I would like to see the Keukenhof Garden in the Netherlands (which, by the way, is the world’s largest flower garden). That’s where all those beautiful tulips and spring bulbs are grown. I bet it’s just gorgeous in the spring!

Do you have a garden? Is it real or plastic?

Yes, I have a garden, and no, it’s not plastic! I don’t do plastic gardens! I actually have several: a shade garden with plants like hostas, astilbes, and ferns, a sun garden, along the front of my house (I think I win the prize in my neighborhood for the most summer flowers), and a vegetable garden.

For the Challenge next year, will you stick with the theme of gardens?

I think I will, and feature gardens in the United States. I’d have to make sure I can find gardens for the letters Q, X, and Z first, before I commit to anything!

Thanks for having me as a guest!

Thanks for being here, Sherry!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE



Great post and a great theme.


Rob Z Tobor said...

I like gardening quite a lot but at this time of year in the UK its too cold and wet for me. so it will be fending for itself until we see a bit of life creeping out of the ground.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again, Sherry!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sherry - I hadn't twigged you'd started on the A-Z challenge with gardens - dumb me!!

Delighted you've visited so many - and Imust get to Hidcote, and Exbury - that I see on the tv .. but have never been to in person.

However - Kirstenbosch is one of the first places I go to, when I get to Cape Town on my visits .. it's a stunning sight.

I've loved the French gardens you've visited ... and should you get over for Keukenhof - give me an email and I'll come over and join you ..

Cheers Alex and Sherry - great post and questions .. love the Xs ... Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

Just goes to show that one can blog on any topic in the A to Z. Nice job, Sherry.

Tossing It Out

Christine Rains said...

Awesome interview! I love these little garden trivia facts.

Sherry Ellis said...

Thanks for having me as a guest, Alex!

Tina said...

I love gardening, too. Great interview, and nice to learn so many new facts! I'd also love to visit the tulips in The Netherlands. Bucket list!
Thanks Alex and Sherry.

Tina @ Life is Good

Tony Van Helsing said...

I appreciate a well kept garden but hate gardening myself. My wife tends to do the most creative stuff whereas I am good at knocking stuff down and carrying the heavy things. My knowledge of plants is limited to the green bit goes on top and the brown stringy bit goes in the ground.

Pat Hatt said...

Glad you survivied the a to z and great interview from thee. And sure you will do it once more as 2013 the a to z comes ashore.

D.G. Hudson said...

I'm a gardener and this interview was very interesting. I'm impressed Sherry, that you have traveled to all those gardens. Wow.

In our last house, we had 3 flower gardens in the front, two in the back and container gardening on the patio, flowerboxes on the deck. I've cut back since then, but I 'have to' garden when spring comes. I always grow herbs.

Nice interview, Alex and Sherry.

Sherry Ellis said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Yvonne - I appreciate that you took the time to stop by!

Rob - Maybe when it warms up you can try gardening.

Hilary - You'd love Hidcote and Exbury!

Arlee- Thanks! Glad you liked the post.

Christine - I enjoy garden trivia, too!

Tina - Thanks for visiting!

Tony - Funny! Don't worry - you're in good company - I don't think Alex knows much about gardening, either! LOL!

Pat - Yep, I'm sure going to try!

DG - I used to travel a lot. Now with kids - not so much. I plan to resume when they're grown.

Ella said...

Fun interview, math and plastic gardens, lol.

Wow, Sherry you have traveled a lot~
I look forward to the next A-Z challenge! I have green thumbs, so I look forward to your challenge!

Well done Alex n' Sherry!

Travel Gourmande said...

Great interview and interesting trivia. Another excuse to visit China. Dreaming of seeing the beautiful tulips in bloom in Netherlands too. :)

Lynn Proctor said...

i adore sherry and follow both of her charming blogs!!!

Stephsco said...

Very cool theme! My mom is really into gardening so I've been on some garden tours with her--anything from local stuff near her in Michigan to plantation visits in the south. I was able to visit some manor home gardens in England a few years back which was really cool. I tend to some veggies in the summer, but I mostly leave the flowers and stuff to her.

Michelle Wallace said...

Wow Sherry, you've sure been round the world... and the Kirstenbosch Gardens are BEAUTIFUL!
I'm useless when it comes to plants... I once "killed" a cactus... how difficult is that? Very difficult. So that tells you. End of story.

Sherry Ellis said...

Ella - Thanks!

Arni - China is a fascinating country. I think you'd enjoy it.

Lynn - Awww - thanks!

Stephsco - So cool that you've been able to visit some English gardens.

Michelle - Hmmm. Yes, it's very hard to kill a cactus. LOL!