Rosi Ware doesn’t have to go far to reach her happy place.

One of the most recognizable, active and committed Key West residents, she finds peace and happiness in her backyard garden, which is reminiscent of those in her native England.

“We bought our house in ‘96, but didn’t move here full time until 2000, so that’s when I started on the backyard space,” she said. “It’s really more of a cottage garden, very informal and filled with plants falling all over each other. We also have a fountain in our lagoon-style pool because I love the sound of running water.”

Despite the informality, there’s still a method to her madness. Ware, who is an avid volunteer with the Key West Garden Club and the Monroe Association for Remarkable Citizens (MARC), has a colorful section devoted to attracting butterflies “and a white area of perfumed flowers.”

In the Garden Club, located inside the Civil War-era fort at West Martello on Atlantic Boulevard, Ware has much more space to plant, play and primp.

“Of course, if I were back in England, I’d have roses in the backyard, but here in Key West, I have orchids,” she said.

“It’s always peaceful back here with birds, butterflies, and of course, our shelter dog, Leroy, who’s a cuddly little mutt, part shih-tzu and part bichon.”

Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? The Queen (of England, of course!) I was honored by her majesty as one of 75 women who had made a difference to British business in the last 75 years. I also worked with Robert (“Call me Bob”) Redford for a couple of years on the Sundance brand.

What would you like to be remembered for? Making a positive difference in the community/world/people’s lives.

What song always gets you on the dance floor? “Brick House” by The Commodores

What item do you hate spending money on when you go to the grocery store? I don’t go to the grocery store. My husband Jeff does all our grocery shopping.

Dream vacation destination? That’s tricky as I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited most of the places I want to see. I LOVED cruising down the Nile; Garden Route in South Africa and anywhere in New Zealand, oh, and elephant riding in Laos.

Least favorite smell? Dead iguana, especially when the dog rubs his head in it!

Best purchase you’ve ever made? Our house in Key West in 1996

Did you grow up in a strict household? Yes, quite religious. Church and Sunday school every Sunday. If we were late for meals we didn’t get any…you know….
Were you bullied as a kid?  Never. I was very fortunate. Plus, I had two big brothers who always looked out for me.

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.