When did you start gardening?
Diane: I dabbled in things like tomatoes when I was employed, but I didn’t give gardening my full attention until I retired in 2008.
Bob: Diane is the gardener. I’ve always just been the hired help. I do the heavy lifting in the projects, like recently creating a new garden bed in the front of our house for annuals.
What are your favorite plants?
Diane: That is like choosing which child I like best! It depends on the day. When we started we planted a large amount of coneflowers. Our daughter majored in biology and chemistry and did a research project on echinachea. She gave us a lot of her extra plants. From there we started expanding the garden a section at a time.
Bob: My favorite plant is the bottle brush buckeye shrub, which is the only plant I have ever picked out and planted on my own.
What is the focus of your garden?
Diane: We have an eclectic garden because I pick out whatever I see at the garden center that looks pretty. We have a lot of shade, so our plant choices are predominantly shade-loving plants.
What is your best gardening tip or advice?
Diane: Just try it! Put the plant in the ground and see how it works. If it doesn’t grow, it’s okay!
Bob: It is better to err by putting a sun-loving plant in the shade rather than putting a shade-loving plant in the sun.
Describe a gardening mistake you have made:
Diane: Putting a plant in an area of the garden that it will not grow well in.
Bob: Continuing to plant squash. You barely get any fruit before the bugs eat it.
What Master Gardener activities have you participated in?
Diane: I joined in 2008. I’ve helped coordinate a previous home garden tour and garden show. I was President of the organization in 2015, and our home has been featured on the home garden tour.
Bob: I joined in 2013. I like doing physical work. I have volunteered at the Monarch Watch garden in the past, and now I work at the Fairgrounds garden. I help as needed in areas like setting up for the garden show, etc.
What is/was your occupation?
Diane: I worked in non-profit management and retired as the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Kaw Valley Council (northeast Kansas).
Bob: I retired from Westar as the Director of Regulatory Services.
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