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If there was a 12-Step program for people addicted to plants, surely Sandy Price would be a charter member. “Hello, my name is Sandy and I am a Plantaholic,” she states in the Introduction to her humorous gardening memoir, Confessions of a Plantaholic: How I Retired to Florida, Started a Garden, and Lost My Mind.

And she’s not kidding. How else can she explain driving around with a full set of cutting tools in the trunk of her car, ready to snip off a piece of plant she takes a fancy to—even though it’s in someone else’s yard? Or getting a water bill the size of the national debt and then deciding to do something about it. Shoot the members of the local water board? No! Get a rain barrel large enough to float a life-sized replica of the Titanic. And what about those pesky grasshoppers and fire ants that are hell bent on devouring her beautiful plants? Simple—vacuum up the grasshoppers and feed instant grits to the ants, which then explode upon taking a sip of water. Aren’t you glad you asked?

Price, the gardening columnist for The Punta Gorda Herald and both a Florida Master Gardener and Master Naturalist, describes her attempt at growing her dream garden after decades of living in inhospitable spots such as Alaska and Montreal, where the growing season is either nonexistent or can only produce alternating crops of snow and mud. Price was thrilled to retire to Florida. After all, doesn’t everything grow in Florida? As she finds out the hard way, the path to a beautiful garden is equal parts sweat and knowledge. So with a bright and cheery outlook on her gardening adventure, Price tries, stumbles and learns, often dragging her long-suffering husband Frank along for the bumpy ride. And with tongue planted firmly in cheek, Price recounts her travails and dispenses some real-world useful advice about plants and their culture (such as how to grow Dragon Fruit, which looks like an egg laid by the Creature from the Black Lagoon). Most of all, she leaves readers with smiles on their faces.

So put on your gardening clogs, get out your spade, and dig into Confessions of a Plantaholic.

About the Author
Sandy Price retired to Florida in 2006 after a misspent life gardening in hardiness zones from 3 to 11. She and her husband of 40 years first built a hurricane-resistant house to replace the one Hurricane Charley destroyed. Sandy is now cultivating a Florida-resistant garden, which is more difficult than it sounds. Her initial failures and the fixes she found inspired this book.  The gardening columnist for the The Punta Gorda Herald, her writing has appeared in a number of local publications.

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