Thursday, October 27, 2011
Taylor enjoys her backyard ‘heaven’
By SUE WATSON
Holly Springs is noted for its gardens and plants and its gardeners. Edythe Taylor, a master gardener, is no exception.
She has a jungle of flowering plants, grasses, vines and bushes around her house. Sprinkled among it all are old broken pots and colored glass that make ideal planters and add lots of color.
Going all out for color, Taylor has a dugout pond with colorful goldfish and Japanese Koi.
And there is the bottle tree and bottle tree farm. If that is not enough, she has sprinkled throughout the area lots of masonry and concrete statuary like frogs, elephants and even a grasshopper.
“I just love junk,” Taylor said. “I find junk and fix it to go in my yard.”
She and her husband, Lee, both love growing plants, she said. Taylor took up gardening after retiring from teaching.
Some of the plants she has include Mexican petunias, ornamental grass, purple hyacinth bean, pink salvia, Knockout roses, and purple Muhly grass.
Taylor ran a Lolly Pop Junction Day Care in the Meadows back when Mayor Smith was living, she said. She started teaching in 1998 at Cadet School.
“About 25 years ago, I was the first daycare in this area,” she said.
She later taught at Holly Springs Intermediate School and at Galena.
She’s a teacher and a talker. And she is a mother of three.
Pointing her cane at a large broken water vase, Taylor said, “He’s not through yet. I’ll have something growing out of both ends (top and bottom of the jar).”
Taylor gives credit to native plant specialist Kristin Lamberson at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs for helping her get a start with native plants and grasses.
“I received a great deal of help from Kristin; she provided me with native plants,” Taylor said. “They’ve been really helpful. They are some great people. Great people.”
Taylor is a volunteer at Audubon during the annual Hummingbird festival.
Lamberson said she first met Taylor at one of the hummingbird festivals.
“I believe the connectedness of humans to nature and responsibility as humans as stewards to the natural world really clicked for her,” Lamberson said. “From there, she took our Audubon naturalist course. It’s more than plants for Edythe, through being outside, digging in the dirt and discovering the natural world, she has challenged herself and worked on conquering her fears.
“I helped Edythe with some of the ‘bones’ of her garden, working to screen her place from the road, creating a more private sanctuary for her and her family. We also discussed plants that benefit wildlife while offering interest throughout the seasons – a place of textures, fragrance, color and LIFE!
“Edythe has about five green thumbs, but where I think she is brilliant is in her use of “stuff;” incorporating yard sale finds and things people throw away as waste. She has amazing gems tucked within the realm of her garden that exude such whimsy and personality – it’s just fantastic. It is also refreshing to see and experience, for often it’s just the high-dollar gardens that get attention while small bits of heaven like Edythe’s rarely get celebrated. Her place is inviting and absorbing; a truly sacred place.
“Another bonus of Edythe’s garden is that she has become the neighborhood garden ‘go-to’ person. Children and adults alike are always welcome to her place; she loves to talk about her plants, the critters visiting her garden, bird houses and feeders. She is a powerful spokesperson for the use of native plants and a shining example of what a home landscape can be.”
Although Taylor said she calls her backyard “paradise” she likes backyard “heaven” better.
“God’s made it all possible,” she said.
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