Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Winston County Master Gardener's "Yard of the the Month"

The Winston County Master Gardener's "Yard of the the Month" is
Mrs. Mitzi Taylor's yard on West Main Street. Mrs. Taylor loves being outdoors and working in her garden, but her early gardening experiences weren't with flowers. She and her brothers and sisters spent a lot of time in the garden growing vegetables for the family. After her marriage, she admired the flower garden of her mother-in-law, Mrs. Edith Taylor, and decided to plant flowers. "Mama Taylor" was Mrs. Mitzi's mentor and rekindled her interest in gardening.

Mrs. Mitzi never had a formal landscape plan, she just planted trees and flowers wherever she thought they should go. "There was no rhyme or reason," she said, "and I replanted frequently. I would have frustrated a landscaper." Her favorite flowers are the many azaleas that abound on the property. The Taylor garden has evolved over the past sixty years. At first there were small trees and lots of sun, then the trees gradually grew and the garden became shady. After a tornado some years ago, many trees were downed or damaged and required cutting, so several parts of the garden became sunny areas again. Today the garden is a mixture of sun and shade resulting in a wide variety of beautiful plants. During the spring, myrid plantings of azaleas that abound the propety are the stars of the show. In addition to the azaleas there are snowball plants, Japanese Maples, camillas, hostas, hydrangeas, lorapetalums, dogwood trees, climbing roses and several more plants that are not blooming now. Of special interest are the native azaela trees. The Honeysuckle Azaela looks like honeysuckle growing on a tree, but on closer inspection, it is found that there are no vines; the blooms belong to the tree. Other native azaelas in the landscape have yellow or orange flowers.

The garden is now home to several of the metal sculptures that were previously on display at The Taylor Gallery. The backdrop to the beautiful landscape is the lake behind Mrs. Taylor's residence. Many ducks, geese and other water birds make their home there. One of Mrs. Taylor's most vivid memories was watching a huge grey crane with an enormous wingspan fly across the lake. "It looked just like a dinosaur flying by," she remarked. Another vivid memory was riding near the lake on the lawnmower and being chased by an irate Black Swan. Mrs. Mitzi still loves to spend time in her garden and admire God's handiwork. She says, "Get out, dig in the dirt, hear the wind in the trees and the birds singing, and you just feel so peaceful." Mrs. Taylor invites the public to drive through the garden at 15160 West Main Street and enjoy the azaleas and spring flowers that are blooming now.