Neighborhood: Henley in University Park
Neighbor since: 2001
Polly Curran’s Florida-friendly certified Lakewood Ranch lawn first took root in Asia.
Curran fell in love with orchids and tropical plants while she lived overseas for 20 years — split between Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Australia — while her husband, Phil, worked as the chief financial officer for the now defunct Digital Equipment Corp.
Curran’s yard even smells like Thai food; she uses the leaves of the Indochinese and Malaysian kaffir lime she planted in her yard to make Thai soup.
Curran’s garden isn’t just for cooking, though. Her honeysuckle attracts hummingbirds, and she uses some of her plants for her related hobby, ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement.
As part of the Sarasota chapter of Ikebana International, Curran teaches ikebana to the Sarasota Garden Club and Lakewood Ranch Rotary Club.
Curran, an artistic photographer, also takes pictures of her plants and digitally alters them.
Her photos will be exhibited at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ 33rd annual Juried Photographic Exhibition April 25.
In her own words
On the benefits of having a Florida-Friendly Lawn, a certification that encompasses nine environmental principles: “It’s being good to your environment. It’s helpful to put the right plants in the right places and to find a biological solution.”
On her favorite plant: “It’s the bromeliads. They’re colorful and red, and I keep them around my pool. They’re also easy to care for.”
Loves her neighborhood because: “It’s so natural. It’s not manicured. We have a lot of birds, bobcats and deer. You can see a gator or river otter occasionally.”