Hillsborough County program rewards sustainable gardeners

Bay Area gardeners who use native plants to help the environment are being rewarded through a Hillsborough County program. 

Cynthia Glover doesn't have to travel far to find paradise. She just walks out her back door. 

"To have a garden that is esthetically pleasing and comfortable to be in is very important to me," Glover said. 

She created a woodland wonderland on her half-acre property with more than 100 native plants in her sustainable garden.

"Gardening brings it all together for me…and it just makes it an actual home all the way around," Glover added. 

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All of her hard work paid off. She won the Hillsborough County Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Award in 2018. 

The 20-year program recognizes homeowners and businesses that observe Florida-friendly landscaping principles that conserve water. 

"These landscapes use very little additional water beyond rainfall," explained Amelia Brown, demand management program manager at Tampa Bay Water. "They don't require fertilizer and they attract pollinators, which is good for the environment." 

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Lynn Barber works for the Hillsborough County Extension Service. She provides educational services to Hillsborough County residents and businesses. She says Glover is a great example of a Florida-friendly garden. 

"Her plant selection is great. She uses minimal water only as needed," said Barber. "She doesn't use pesticides or fertilizer. This is the most environmentally-friendly landscape I think I've ever seen." 

Having a green thumb runs in Glover's family. 

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"My parents were gardeners. My grandparents were actually in agriculture somewhat. And so, yeah, just always been exposed to it," she said. 

She uses those gardening skills to create a beautiful and peaceful oasis.

Click here to learn more about the Hillsborough County program.