Interview the Gardener: Beky Connolly

Interview the Gardener: Beky Connolly

What’s your favorite plant and why?
It’s an even tie between Hoya and Sansevieria (Dracaena).
- Hoya are mostly vining plants, with so many variations in size, shape, and leaf pattern, all unique and (most) easy to care for. Due to their succulent leaves and being primarily epiphytic plants (growing on trees in nature) they are more forgiving to the forgetful waterer. They don’t require a lot of light either, making them ideal for indoor gardening. 
- Sansevieria are amazing plants. They’re considered ‘plants of steel’ because the only way you can kill one of these is by long term overwatering. Most species can take low light, as low as it gets without being in a closet, to full sun. Very versatile, very drought tolerant, they vary drastically in their size and shape, so much to collect.
What’s your best gardening tip?
1.) Terra cotta  2.) Keep it tight
-A lot of plants, tropicals especially, have delicate root systems and are prone to root disease. Planting in terra cotta, a porous material, will help your plant dry down evenly and not sit wet for prolonged periods of time as it would in a glazed ceramic container. 
- It’s not necessarily harmful to keep a plant “root bound” in its container. As long as you’re able to keep up with its watering needs, the plant won’t suffer. Being tightly potted will also get your plants to fruit/flower for you more frequently!
What’s going on in your personal garden right now?
Repotting!! I’ve only lived in the state for 6 months. I had a collection of 172 plants back in Connecticut, most of them I had shipped over to me in plastic nursery pots. I’ve been slowly repotting them every now and again, in addition to the new ones I’m acquiring from the farm and around the Portland area.
What’s your favorite thing about working for Cornell Farms?
I love the variety here at the farm. I'm strictly an indoor gardener. Spending time here has caused me to branch out into patio gardening I guess you would call it. I now have a small collection of cooking herbs from our kitchen garden, looking forward to our expansion of medicinal herbs! A few colorful coleus, black colocasia & petunia from the patio department. And two Japanese maple I’m training into bonsai.





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