A Garden Geek is my journey of lessons in home ownership and renovation. I bought my first house at 28 with my then-husband. I became a single woman homeowner at 35. Oh my, what I didn’t know about yard work and home maintenance!

This blog is for every woman, girl, or guy, who buys a home without any idea of how to build, clean, fix, and maintain it. I am using my hardcore organizational skills and technical expertise to create my personal oasis.

My name is Barbara, and I live in Orlando, Florida. In my spare time, I grow and love orchids, plants, and vegetables. I am not a “prepper,” But I am starting to think about hurricane season and ways to keep the lights on and the freezer operational. I like to travel, and I often take my inspiration from some of the South’s great homes and gardens.

Dendrobium orchid - peace in pink
Vanda orchid - peace in purple
Phalaenopsis orchid - blooming happiness

I currently own more than 60 orchids.

The Quest Begins

Like most people, I was stuck at home for 2020. Here in the USA, we have a name for the boredom and crazy panic of being stuck at home: “cabin fever.” It might also be called cabin fever in Canada, Mexico, and halfway around the world. I was ready to escape when we passed the two-week mark in lockdown. Unfortunately, restaurants, movies, theaters, shops, and virtually everything social were closed.

This old house was crying, “I’m unloved,” and that is really where it began. I enjoy gardening, painting, and decorating, but for the last year, everything about my home has been driving me crazy. Every space had an eyesore, and no space gave me peace. I decided to get to work to save my sanity and find some joy. My objective is to create little pockets of peaceful surroundings. I’m not finished, but I’m starting to see progress.

A Family Heritage

I learned to love the garden with my Dad almost 40 years ago. He took great pride in growing spectacular roses and a green, weed-free lawn. After he retired to Florida, he created a vegetable garden in the backyard of our new home. He gave away at least 50 percent of everything he grew. I don’t think he loved the work as much as the rewards of neighbors and friends praising his efforts and enjoying the beauty. My Mom loved flowers. She became the President of the local Garden Club when my father passed away. She is mainly responsible for my interest in orchids and flowering plants. They both grew up in that World War II generation where everyone had a “victory garden.” They also were far more self-entertaining than me. I can respect the time when we weren’t tethered to the cell phone and only had three TV stations.

The 2024 Plan

Florida’s weather allows me to grow something almost year-round. My home is still too cluttered with stuff I’ll never use, and my yard has too many weeds mixed into the really beautiful plants. It has been a constant reminder of what needs to be fed, weeded, and tended. It is a lesson in patience and reward.

I’m learning about new plants, proper care, and how to add lights and whimsey to my yard. I’m creating a garden oasis that is inviting, comfortable, and always lifts my spirits. It doesn’t take a huge investment, just a little imagination. We deserve beautiful spaces.

My goal with A Garden Geek is to create a resource for everyone looking for inspiration, instruction, and motivation to create their oasis. I hope to find the best options in seating, lighting, outdoor products, and landscapes to help everyone else avoid the pitfalls of home repair. I’m going to share my best and worst products and techniques, and I’ll share what I find online and off that helps me the most.

Feel free to contact me If you have questions or want to see my favorite items. I hope we’ll find beauty in our backyard!

A Garden Geek