I live on top of a mountain in a community called Bluff Park. It’s part of Vestavia, AL and included in the Shades Mountain area. I have two daughters; Leslie, a nurse and Paula, a school teacher. Between them, I have four grandsons; Jacob and Michae
l, graduates of University of Alabama and Sam an Eagle Scout and Scott, working on becoming an Eagle Scout.
I have lived on the same property for 50 years this October. And I have loved gardening since I was 4 years old. I remember digging up my grandparent’s yard making terrariums, complete with plants, creatures and a glass cover. I would say that I have been planting flowers all my life so I could pick them, having picked several neighbors yards while growing up! My mother was a wonderful gardener and was always doing something in the garden. When I see a plant she planted I feel connected to her. I love everything about gardening; especially the beauty and the miracle of it all.
My house sits on 3.5 acres. The front property is full of azaleas, dogwoods, irises, spireas, and camellias that are as big as trees. Under pine trees are gardenias, native azaleas, sweet shrubs, irises, Ryan’s Pink Chrysanthemums, lantana, roses, day lilies, yarrow, assorted perennials, a bottle tree, peonies and a chaste tree. The back porch overlooks birdfeeders, herbs, native phlox, old garden roses including; New Dawn, Lady Banks, Cecile Brunner, Mutabulis, clematis, oak leaf hydrangeas, gladiolas, and various annuals along with summer vegetables. Hostas, ferns, variegated Solomon’s Seal, Cast Iron Plant, Ajuga, Lenten Rose, blue mop head hydrangea, Hearts a Bursting enjoy the shade of a large oak tree.
About 5 years ago the minister of my church (Bluff Park UMC), now retired, Reid Crotty,
asked me to be in charge of the Church Grounds Committee. After a discussion of what I could and couldn’t do, we agreed I would oversee the grounds, while a yard service would take care of the mowing and pruning. I plan, order and plant flowers at designated church property areas. We have a volunteer committee that helps with the flower planting and mulching that includes 3 Chilton County MG, Joan Davis, Chris Kirkland, Charlotte Word along with other gardeners, Julie Adams, Jan Rogers, and Peggy Comer.
This volunteer job has been a very happy and rewarding experience. I have learned when and where to plant and how to care for many different plant materials. Comments from our church members have been very positive. They also consult with members of our committee if they have gardening questions.
Our church sponsors “Creation Kids” program. The kids have a blast during the summer growing, harvesting, including weighing and counting, and helping to take care of 5 raised vegetable beds that are located on the church property. The kids document the weather ad rainfall every Tuesday and 9:30 to 12:30. The kids work in the gardens for an hour, then have fun activities/games for an hour an
d then our UMC women provide a wonderful meal for them. Julie Adams coordinates this with the help of a team including Chris Kirkland, Jan Rogers, Penny Burns, Rosemary Dallam and me. Rain Barrel Workshops have been well received at our church too.
Besides spending appx. 12-15 hours per week weeding, pruning, planting, watering, looking, sitting, thinking about what I need to do and what I will do tomorrow; I like to read, go to movies, and play bridge. I took the Master Gardener’s course in 2002 and have held the office of Treasurer and have written for the AMGA Garden Pathways.
Something you might not know about me; in 1986, I traveled with friends who lived and worked in Cairo, Egypt. We took a ride in a Faluka, an Egyptian sail boat down the Nile River and visited King Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings and saw his gold sarcophagus. I worked for the Baptist Health Centers for 28 years and graduated from Birmingham Southern as a Cancer Data Specialist.
Words I try to live by are, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thess. 5: 16-18
“Just living is not enough”, said the butterfly. “One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” Hans Christian Anderson
My favorite thing about CCMGA: The people, they are kind, interesting, funny, knowledgeable and good friends.