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Carla Gigliotti doesn’t call it garden ‘work’

July 21, 2011

Carla Gigliotti of Punxsy, here with her youngest daughter, Lilly, is the July recipient of the Punxsutawney Garden Club’s “Garden of the Month” award. The fountain is a gift from her mother and father in-law. (Photo by Holly Bloom/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Caring for four small children and managing a home on a daily basis does not let Carla Gigliotti of Punxsutawney turn away from her English-inspired flower garden, nor neglect the fact she’s the recipient of the Punxsutawney Garden Club’s “Garden of the Month” award for July.

“I did not feel worthy of the award because it’s not done yet,” she said. “I have a picture in my mind of what it is supposed to look like. There’s so much more that needs to be done with it.”

Moving from South Africa at the age of 16, Gigliotti always had a background in gardening. She figures some of her green thumb must come from her mother — and recipient of the June’s Garden of the Month title — Julie Branken, owner of the Plantation Bed & Breakfast.

“I don’t know if it’s genetics,” Gigliotti said. “The climate is just so different over there. I would watch my grandmother and mother garden almost year around.”

Gigliotti describes how gardening is a pleasure when it comes to maintaining it. She has more than 10 different plants in her garden and plans to expand in the future.

“The nice thing about gardening is it’s not a chore,” she said. “Last night, I was out on the patio grilling, and I noticed a weed, so I just picked it out.”

Gardening can also be a nice project with a spouse, Gigliotti said.
“We do big projects together,” she said about working with her husband, Dave. “We don’t really butt heads. We just kind of trust each other; landscaping is so forgiving.”

One of their newest projects is decorating old farm windows for placement within the framing of the patio to give a unique and different touch to a original porch.

These windows are made using calking, shattered glass and marbles to create different art designs. These are just some of the things unique to the Gigliotti’s garden.

Making a beautiful landscaped garden does take time and money, Gigliotti said, and with prices for almost everything on the rise, she has this problem under control.

She said she hardly any money to create her English-inspired garden, thanks to a certain location down the road.

“I go there and buy their hanging baskets and put them in my planters for instant flowers and color,” she said. “I try to have continuous color from spring, summer and fall.”

She also uses produce in the gardens, which offers many options on where to put everything.

Gigliotti said the thing about gardening is you can place flowers and other plants and move them if you don’t like them there as they grow.
“Gardening is really a learn-as-you-go thing,” she said. “I just keep chunking pieces off of different plants and moving them through out my garden. It gives it a full effect.”

Some of the flowers and other plants that are located in her garden are lilies, double bloom impatiens, ferns for shade; and mums, cherry blossom trees and gladiolas from a friend in Long Island, to name a few.
Swapping flowers from friends is another way Gigliotti keeps her garden at a low cost.

“I go to my friends’ houses, and if I notice a little blossom on their flowers, I ask if I can have it and dig it up to be put into my garden,” she said.

Gigliotti said doing little by little with the garden makes it easy to maintain and enjoy the outdoors. She said she never thinks her garden will be done, because she’s always planning new designs around her home for new plant life.

“It is like interior design, only with gardening,” said Gigliotti. “I always have a picture in my head where I want to put new things. I just love gardening and plan to keep adding on year after year.”
Gigliotti plans to add a rose garden in the near future with a decorative fence.

She also plans to add different trees, flowers and other plants around the house for years to come.

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