August 2017 Yard of the Month: 1834 Mimosa Ave
August 8 @ 8:00 am - September 5 @ 5:00 pm
August’s yard of the month belongs to Doreen Williams at 1834 Mimosa Ave.
Doreen bought her house in 1983, and her landscape features three original plants: the Deodar cedar, the white azalea at the front left corner of the house, and a sad Aucuba “Gold Dust” that gets too much sun now in the back.
Through the years, Doreen has planted, removed failures, moved, amended, mulched, fertilized, pruned, and deadheaded all else as necessary, rescuing plants, propagated some, and dividing and passing along multiple specimens.
Born and raised on a family farm in Mint Hill, Doreen has gardened all her life. However, that gardening was for the purpose of feeding the family of seven, the cows, pigs, chickens, and Jake the mule (before her father could afford a tiller). There were few flower beds, and they did not receive much attention when there were crops to harvest and preserve. The five children (all females) were the farm staff, and their worst task was picking off peanuts. There are no regrets because, Doreen said, because it taught them how to work.
Doreen became interested in plants after taking a class on herbs in 1994. She has an Associate Degree in Horticulture Technology from CPCC that took her seven years to finish, as she could only attend night classes, but her last 17 professional years were at garden centers and nurseries, and for the last 10 years, as owner of her own landscape services business. Frequently, she said, those in the business are akin to the cobbler’s children. The last thing they want to do when they finish work is to tend their own garden!
However, gardening is Doreen’s therapy. Her backyard is her meditation room. “I like to see plants go and come through the seasons (as planned), and that gives me outside work nearly all year,” she said. “I love to cut flowers and foliage and bring inside. I save seeds and gladly share a plant with a passer-by. The bumblebees and butterflies are abundant. It is a pleasure to open the front door an early morning and watch a dozen or more goldfinches fly from the evening primrose to the safety of the woods nearby.”
Soon, Doreen said, the purple beauty berry will take center stage, along with the fall camellias. Early in the year, she will have another camellia, Lenten roses, crocuses, early daffodils, and dwarf rock garden iris. Shortly thereafter, the warm-season show will begin all over again.