Hibiscus Harry Goulding
Newcomers to Florida gardening often lament the learning curve involved. Here’s a tip: Hibiscus grow well in Southwest Florida’s climes. And thanks to the work of Harry Goulding, hundreds of varieties of hibiscus are available to populate your garden or lanai.
Goulding was born in 1908 in Punta Gorda and made his living working with his father as a fisherman. But his heart was always on terra firma. Perhaps surprisingly, it was boatsman and fishing guide Captain Jack McCann that taught him about hibiscus breeding. McCann was a gardener himself who picked up some of his knowledge from a library aboard a rich man’s yacht on which he worked. McCann also liked the occasional snort of bootleg whiskey. (This was in the early 1930s when Prohibition was in effect.) The story goes that Goulding had access to the liquor McCann sought and traded it for information about the exotic flower growing in McCann’s yard. And so began Goulding’s lifelong love affair with the hibiscus.
Over the next 50 years, Goulding registered over 500 varieties of hibiscus that he had hybridized. This astounding number doesn’t include the hundreds of hybrids Goulding destroyed because they weren’t up to his standards. Gouldings blooms were awarded “Best in the World” on five separate occasions. It’s no wonder that he’s still known today as “Mr. Hibiscus.”
Luther was born and raised in Michigan, but has been in Florida since 1989. He never went to art school. He learning how to draw by looking, and asking. "I've loved to draw since I was a kid, couldn't afford paints, but always had a pencil, a #2 and a sheet of paper, later color. Color pencils taught me about color blending, now, painting, it all has just transformed. I have to add, Denise Kowal, the Chalk Festival, I love, I've been helped and inspired, to step out of the box. A person, an organization that are truly special to me, and one day we will all prosper because of it. No borders, no boundaries. Lastly, Sarasota, my home for decades, I didn't realize the length and breath of the trials and tribulations for people like me, having grown up in the North. But things are a changing, with folks like Denise, and myself. Lets make the change for the best! The story of black folks in Sarasota, their hard work to build this city, with no recognition, but I felt I would do my part. My part to bring history to the present and the future. Because it took all of us to do so, so lets give credit to where credit is do."
Nanette Crist is a retired lawyer who began blogging when she moved to Florida. It was an online diary of sorts, a way to keep track of her new life. It was also a good way to share her discoveries with friends and family outside the area. Over time, Nanette realized her writing makes her experience the world differently. She keeps an eye out for interesting things to write about and then delves more deeply into them as she crafts her words. It's all about telling the story. Nanette's blog can be found at http://nanettesnewlife.blogspot.com.