Creative gardening is more than plants

My gardening buddy and closest neighbor, Brenda, (below left) accomP3310148panied me on a garden tour yesterday that changed the way we will look at gardening forever. 

Our young friend, Laurie Parker (at right), showed us how it is done when you are creative beyond words and can see possibilities in the most mundane and otherwise boring materials.

Laurie is a fulltime author of more than dozen books and designs jewelry on the sly.

  1. But her true passion is gardening, and she has taken a half acre behind her Timbercove home in Starkville, MS and turned it onto a natural retreat .  It has become a lush oasis in the heart of concrete suburbia. .

I can’t wait to borrow some of her ideas.


That’s Brenda who wandered off the beaten path enjoying bloomers we didn’t know existed.  Many are native to Mississippi and borrowed from the side of the road.  There’s Baptista,,Touch me Nots, and Penstermon.  There is a rose-covered pergola, a parterre with an asparagus bed featuring a fountain made from roadside “trash.” 


She has created a grotto so secluded and dark the temperature is a full dozen degrees below the rest of the world. She coated a rubber ball (above) with mud and painstakingly cultivated a bed of moss.


Perhaps the most startling discovery is that a sheet of foam board from Lowe’s can become the replica of a cathedral door or a sculpture of the sun.

She cut the foam in an arch and painted faux planks.  A friend supplied real hardware for the gateway into one of many outdoor rooms.

A hoola-hoop (below) has become the base for a living wreath of climbing hydrangeas or English Dogwood. She has created a bubbling fountain from a discarded firepiit and more foam has been cut in the shape of birds which perch high in an evergreen trees..  A blooming althea has been trained into one of many arbors which lead to pathways extending in all directions.


A wordsmith and collage artist,Laurie is the author of popular rhyming favorites such as Mississippi Alphabet, Louisiana Alphabet, The Turtle Saver, It Really Said Christmas and A is for Angels. Her first hovel “The Matchstick Cross” was released last year and her travels for book signings and other appearances cuts into her gardening time. But her heart is in the garden and the dirt is her refuge.  A woman after my own heart. 



The thing about Laurie is that she is as adorable as she is talented.  That is so unfair to the rest of us.  But I’m hoping some of her creativity rubbed off on Brenda and me yesterday. 


2 thoughts on “Creative gardening is more than plants

  1. Would you believe I have been thinking of doing the same thing with a rubber ball! I have not started on it yet but hers sure looks cute – sounds like she has lots of great ideas. Would love to see her garden!

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