Kathy Collins-Lantz “The Flower Garden Lady”

563340_4974374289434_1553079675_nSpring is in full swing, especially at the home of The Flower Garden Lady, Kathy Collins-Lantz. She has become well known for her cottage and English style of gardening, and she is delighted to share her knowledge and experience with you.
Each time a visitor strolls down the carefully laid paths of wood, metal and stone there is so much to see. Color abounds amid old watering cans, whiskey barrels and fountains. Roses trail along the edges of old windows and archways that evoke a peaceful and calming feeling. “I want my friends who have hectic jobs and over-scheduled lives to come here to relax and recharge. I got into gardening for the peace and quiet. Last night I was out in my gardens until 10 o’clock and still didn’t want to quit working to go inside,” Kathy said. Her motto fits her well; “I live in the gardens: I sleep in the house.The talent for mixing the old with the new and turning a drab landscape into a magazine-worthy show place is the Flower Garden Lady’s special gift. Her family tree reads like a who’s who of artisans with her father and a few other relatives still working in the television and movie industry in set design. Their credits include such shows as Gentle Ben and big budget movies like Titanic. Her grandfather used to fish quite a bit and he would then turn his experiences on the water into beautiful paintings. He would practically give his art work away, selling each one for a single dollar bill! He was just happy to make a little extra money. His greatest joy was in doing the paintings themselves.
When Kathy isn’t digging, weeding and planting it’s a fair bet that you’ll find her on one of her Harley Davidson motorcycles. She has a 2013 Harley Davidson 110th Anniversary model FatBoy Lo and a Harley Davidson 2011 Tri-glide that she has blinged out with an award winning paint job. Brian rides a Harley Street Glide. “I’d rather be with my husband, Brian, and my H.O.G. family riding through the countryside than just about any place else in the world,” Kathy said.
When the two married, Brian didn’t know anything about gardening but Kathy soon acclimated him. As she studied gardening magazines and seed catalogs, Brian began to fall in love with the beauty of the plants and trees that were appearing on their property.
Today, when Brian isn’t working, he can be found tending to the home grown vegetables or preparing a meal using the bounty from his garden. The patio and courtyard are strategically designed around a huge grilling area complete with Big Green Eggs, natural stone counters, an ice machine and a barbeque fridge. Just like Kathy’s’ gardens show attention to detail, Brian’s vegetable bed and grilling area show an affinity for earthy textures, fine details and a love of the outdoors.
Kathy grew up in Miami and Ft. Myers, FL and came to South Mississippi via a few years in New York. Being a self-taught gardener comes with trials along the way. “Listen to the older folks”, Kathy says. “They have invaluable tips that will help you with all of your gardening.”
There is a process Kathy and Brian have adhered to when it comes to creating a garden. “First, plant your base plants. Trees and shrubs always go in before anything else. Next, add your perennials. These are the flowers that will come back year after year. Lastly, give your garden that pop of color that annuals provide.”
One thing that can help flower lovers to get that perfect blend of color in each section of their landscaping scheme is the use of a color wheel. Just like you would use a color wheel to mix and match wardrobe pieces, or to paint your home, you can use a color wheel to help you get the most impact in your garden.
Kathy can be found on Face book. Just search for The Flower Garden Lady. That will bring you to Kathy’s’ blog and all of the knowledge that she brings. The morning that we visited she got her 2000th Face book friend! There are links on her page that allow you to see photographs and you can follow along with her as she continues to learn more about her passion of gardening. You can ask questions, and also find many helpful tips!
Kathy says that her one irreplaceable tool is her PROHOE by Rogue Tools. It’s a tool that is forged by hand from old farm implement iron. Sharpened on three sides, this tool can really make quick duty of small brush, bulb planting, shallow holes and even grass scraping. “My PROHOE was a little more than a trowel from a local gardening store but it has been my best purchase ever,” Kathy said.
This is also the best time of year to see many different kinds of birds and flying insects “working” your flowers. Kathy likes to be extra kind to God’s creatures and plants with butterflies and hummingbirds in mind. When we visited her peaceful patio area there was a pair of Brown Thrushes scratching leaves under a red oak tree and a Painted Bunting flitting around one of her many fountains. Hummingbirds stuck their beaks in the honeysuckle as a Blue Jay scampered from limb to limb in a nearby oak.
If you’re not a gardener but want to begin, just contact Kathy on Face book. She can walk you through your new venture and will help you maximize the bang for your buck as you develop your gardens.

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