Garden visits have begun with vigor, but I’ve heard said that we could have waited until June to plant and they’d be just as big by now.  The soil was so wet and cold throughout May that things sat pretty dormant until June, but our families have certainly embraced gardening whole heartedly.

Theresa Ousley’s family garden is planted out and looking beautiful!!  With the partnership and direction of her husband, Eric, and the help of her daughter Erica, and grandkids Brycen & Laken, it’s going to be a good gardening year!  She loves to use simple, organic methods of pest & weed control with her hot pepper flakes (to deter the cats, raccoons, and deer), and layers of newspaper and grass clippings (to deter the weeds around her veggies).  Lots of learning going on in this garden! Erica and the kids have even started their own section of garden with potatoes, beets, beans, peppers, and popcorn.

Theresa with her jar of hot pepper flakes.

Rena Ratliff’s family are amazing gardeners!  They have multiple fields running close to 100 & 200 feet long and full of the healthiest plants!  They certainly don’t slack in the area of hard work while also running a thriving business and helping other family members out. Rena is a very humble, sweet lady, and she can be proud of her gardens.  I was in awe!

Dale Jacobs is gardening with a neighboring family this year and they have FILLED this Community Garden FULL of wonderful plants!  They’ll be eating good this coming winter!

Jennifer and Robert at Left Beaver Creek Townhomes have their hands full with this large garden and 3 kids of their own; not to mention a half dozen other children from they neighborhood who come out to “help” tend this Community Garden. They’re troopers though and try to enlist all the neighborhood help they can get.  The office staff, Dorothy and Deana, have even grabbed a hoe and pitched in.  Praying for a bountiful harvest and more helpers to bring it in!


Jennifer Prater has a beautiful little homestead with chickens, bunnies, beef cattle, dairy cows, and puppies & kittens.  Her children are living the sweetest lives and enjoying every minute of it!  He garden is quite impressive with all these other distractions. I don’t know how she does it along with a nearly full-time job of driving bus in our community, but “That’s how she rolls!” and she does it well!

Janet Wells brings a whole different type of gardening to the table and makes it all look effortless and beautiful!  She’s got one raised bed full of beautiful veggies and she tucks more veggies in between her flowers and her bushes all around the house.  I found sweet potatoes growing in with beautiful flowers in a mutual relationship that suited everyone well, herbs with marigolds, and strawberries in some lovely sculptural pots. Bravo!

Cindy Hackworth comes from a long line of successful gardeners and she’s keeping up the family tradition. Cindy loves growing gourds and painting them to sell at the Farmers Market and various craft shows. She gets excited when she discovers new types of gourds to grow and gets them into the soil ASAP!  To get to their garden you have to do some creek stomping and that’s pretty cool in my book. Her Dad, Buddy, is an inspiration to me with his wheel hoe and putting out over 600 sweet potato plants! Her Aunt’s garden is a huge show of lush greenery as well! It was an enjoyable morning playing in their garden and they even shared some “Dolly Parton” tomatoes with me!  “The biggest red tomatoes I’ll ever see!”


Jim & Darlene Tuttle have had a rough start to their growing season, but you’d hardly know it. Their garden is thriving, their house is being remodeled, and they’re taking it all slow and easy. They’ve got some fun tropicals like pineapple and banana trees scattered around their property, and pots of rhubarb and thyme on the deck.  It’s always a joy to visit with this family and catch up with them.


Kenneth Bradley had me visit his garden a month ago and Boy, does it look different this month!!  His corn has shot past “knee high by the fourth of July” and is taller than him; his large heritage greasy beans are filling in the bean trellis that he fashioned for them; and his pepper plants are full and coming on strong! The numbers his Scientific mind was throwing out today had me in awe of his record keeping skills (7 years worth!), not to mention the number of corn, beans, and cucumbers he’s estimating! He had a wonderful handed down treasure of a wheel hoe out there too!  Kentuckians know how to plow a straight row and bring in the crop!

Glenna Robinson & Scotty Bradley are a gardening duo that are hard to keep up with!  Today Glenna was “graveling” new potatoes without disturbing the roots of the plants, so the smaller potatoes could continue growing.  I learn something new every time I visit them. Glenna’s Daddy taught her how to do that and she’s taught her kids how to do it too. She’s also becoming a pro at planting in succession for continual harvesting through to October and my mind is just reeling with the possibilities!  Four successions of beans are in the works and she’ll replant several other veggies before the end of July.

This month has been non-stop GO! GO! GO! and I’m not expecting things to slow down any time in the next 3 months.  I’ll be saying Calgon Take Me Away! before it’s all done.