Gardening Goodness

Published 6:52 pm Monday, April 19, 2010

It was a rare find, a good buy, the kind of pick you have tocall and tell your friends about.

Brookhaven’s Doris Brown took a clipping of a favorite plant ina neighbor’s yard to the Lincoln County Master Gardener’s SpringGardening Extravaganza Saturday, hoping to identify the species andbuy one of her own. She found the Chinese Fringe Tree at a boothrun by Kat Kaw Nurseries, of Folsom, La.

“I’m thrilled. I just called my friend and she’s on her way downhere to get her one,” Brown said, holding the potted baby tree.

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There were several gardening success stories like Brown’s takingplace at the open gardening market in downtown Brookhaven, where anestimated 1,500 people wandered from nursery to nursery to stock upon flowers, trees, birdhouses and decorative pieces for their yardsand gardens. Brown was tickled with her fringe tree, but she alsotook home petunias, shrubs and a birdhouse to make springtime justright.

“I’ve always got something going on in the garden all the time,”she said.

Master gardener Homer Richardson speculated that Brown was notthe only project-laden gardener at Saturday’s ninth annualextravaganza. He figured the gorgeous, clear weather that hasfollowed what was a long, damp winter has caused many a gardener’sheart to beat hard.

“People have been waiting to plant things they normally wouldhave planted back on Good Friday, but it was cold and wet andanything they planted probably didn’t make it,” Richardson said.”Now, people are ready to get out and plant their gardens. AsPopeye would say, ‘I’ve stood all I can stand and I can’t stands nomore.'”

Lincoln County Master Gardeners President Cathy Ivy said the bigattendance at Saturday’s extravaganza was also due to the fact thatthere are plenty of gardeners to go around in Brookhaven, oftencalled the “garden spot of Mississippi.”

“This is just a beautiful area that can grow a lot of differentplants, and a lot of us grew up with gardening,” she said. “We inLincoln County just love our gardens.”

East Lincoln’s John Lombardo loves his garden. A transplant fromLouisiana who never went back to the bayou after Hurricane Katrina,Lombardo left downtown with a sack full of daylilies for hisproperty.

“I like yard work. I like digging in the mud and seeingresults,” he said. “It’s springtime now, so it’s time to spruce upthe yard.”

Loyd Star’s Brenda Laird is a big-time gardener, as anyone whotaught biology in the Franklin County School District andBrookhaven Academy for 44 years would be.

“I guess it’s in my genes,” she said. “Anything living andgrowing, I like. I have to landscape around my patio, and I’mfinding everything I need here – more than I need.”

Enterprise’s Patricia Bowman is not really a gardener, but evenshe found something to buy at the extravaganza.

“If you looked at my yard, you’d say, ‘No, she’s not agardener.’ But there’s a lot of stuff here I like,” she said as shemade off with a pair of butterfly bushes, guaranteed to attractthose beautiful flying insects to her yard.