Carol Cloud Bailey
Growing Up With A Green Thumb
Gardening has been in our family for as long as I can remember. Granny Cloud, fondly known as ‘Big Momma’ was a teacher, but when I knew her, she was a nurserywoman growing plants in the back yard and selling them for “egg money.”
Big Momma could grow anything; even a broom handle stuck in the ground would grow for her. She was fond of telling tails of Florida and predicting the weather. Granny Cloud also took it on herself to “fix” my education about growing things from THAT school, the University of Florida, though she attended the University herself.
I have a Bachelors degree from the University of Florida and a Masters degree from Florida A&M University. I have worked in the green industry for more than thirty years as everything from a business owner, teacher, and extension agent to landscape maintenance employee, manager, writer, and recycler.
Whether it was taking out the garbage, hiring employees or paying the bills, I have done it. What I love best though is sharing what I have learned. Currently, I teach as an Adjunct Professor at Palm Beach State College, work with folks in my business as a Landscape Counselor, and do some freelance writing including a regular column for Treasure Coast Newspapers.
Most of us are from somewhere else and wherever that may be, gardening like living is different from where you grew up. South Florida gardening can be particularly trying. The vegetable growing season is in the fall and winter, the rain is not distributed evenly thorugh0ut the year, and every known and unknown bug, fungus, and critter seems to feed in your yard.
To be a successful gardener, you must be able to adapt to local conditions, and as tough as it is for the “old dog” to learn new tricks; gardeners must be flexible and learn those new tricks. I strive to provide information that can be turned into knowledge with a local flair.