Steve Burger

I live in the western suburbs of Atlanta. Average rainfall is about 55"/year (140 cm) and it falls fairly evenly throughout the year. Summers are hot and winters are mild but with punctuated extremes.

This last decade has seen milder weather than usual, with my winters climbing almost an entire USDA climate zone (10f or 5.5 °C range), from 7b (5 °F average minimum or -15 °C) to 8b or (15 °F or -10 °C). To those not accustomed to the weather in the continental areas of the USA, this may seem quite cold, but these are quick dips and average temps are much milder than that. For instance periods greater than 24 hours below freezing are rare and the ground never freezes deeply.

Because of this relative mildness and the heat of summer I can grow a wide variety of plants. I have concentrated on growing hardy subtropical plants such as palms, gingers, bananas, citrus, and amaryllids. The last one has become something of a new exploration due to the efforts of other contributors to this site.

I grow many others, native plants for instance, as well as winter bloomers of all sorts and anything that stretches conventions regarding when plants "should" bloom. I also like to surprise people with plants that are conspicuously not a part of the common flora of the area, such as palms or citrus.

Another recent obsession which I have yet to really explore to the point I'd like to take it are the irids. I have many more to collect before I feel I am in a "good" place, however I'm having fun with it.

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