Sue Ann Succio of Chisholm has been gardening since her childhood, having inherited her green thumb from her grandmother.

“I used to go with my grandma and spend hours in the garden,” she recalled.

The lessons learned from grandma included how to plant seeds, how to save seeds, location and watering preference of plants, among others.

Today, Succio’s flower gardens surround her yard. She also grows a vegetable garden with tomatoes and peppers. Raspberry bushes, apple, plum and cherry trees can also be found there.

Below Succio gives a glimpse of her gardening experiences:

What is gardening to you?

I just enjoy watching things grow. It’s kind of exciting when you’ve been away and come home to notice a new bud.

What will be blooming in your garden this spring?

Roses, irises, petunias, pansies. There will also be some perennials and plant annuals to mingle in amongst them.

What grows in your dream garden?

Bougainvillea. They are beautiful flowers.

What are your favorites and why?

Pansies, because I like their happy little faces. I also like the irises and petunias because of their colors, and they are easy to grow. Phlox are one of my favorite perennials, and they come in so many colors. They come back in spring bloom all year.

How much time do you spend in your garden each week?

In the spring 20 to 30 hours. Then once everything is planted, 10 to 15 for weeding, watering and maintenance. Planting is the hard part.

Do you have a specific monthly budget for your hobby?

No. I’m tempted when I see a new plant when out and about. I’ve given up on trying to stick to a budget.

What is your major challenge as a gardener?

Vacation. If you leave for two weeks, you need someone to water. I call it “ceremonial watering,” when someone who isn’t a gardener does the watering — a splash here and splash there. When I water, I soak them good.

What was your last purchased gardening item?

A special shovel specific to digging perennials up and is nice for gardening. It’s small, sharp and pointed.

Do you remember your first plant?

It was probably a geranium. I don’t plant a lot of them anymore.

What is your most memorable achievement as a gardener?

Cherry trees. I have had success with them. The first time I was able to pick the cherries and make cherry jelly.

I also discovered that I could transplant cucumbers and they would survive. Someone told me that wouldn’t work.

If you have a food garden, what is your favorite dish to make at harvest time?

Salsa. Hot and spicy is my favorite. I grow the tomatoes, onions and peppers. Then I buy some extra tomatoes from a farmer, when making my salsa.

Unique tips or advice for anyone considering gardening?

Patience.

~ Compiled by Marie Tolonen, Chisholm Tribune Press

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