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Coastal Gardening

The roots of friendship

By Bob Hearle

Being a master gardener for almost two years caused me to reflect back on how it all began. I saw a notice for the new class and mentioned it to my wife. She was most enthusiastic and so I enrolled. For 15 weeks, every Wednesday at 9 a.m., we all met at Brookgreen Gardens to hear about gardening here in South Carolina. It didn’t take long to know we had a lot to learn, some more than others. We made some good friends and shared stories, all under the watchful eye of instructor Carlin.

We finished the course and took our final exam in mid-December. On the way out I said to one of the class, “What are you doing next Wednesday at 9? How about breakfast?” He immediately agreed and so it was decided.

In one week the group grew to nine and two weeks later to 14. We’ve continued to meet every second Wednesday at 9.

The man I shared the breakfast idea with was Paul Scheno, who had been a teacher for over 30 years and still volunteered as a tutor for teach my people. He was a quiet man who shared many interest with me: writing, plants, helping others. We spent many enjoyable times having lunch and breakfast, just the two of us. Our families had dinner together discussing writing, poetry and plant trips to take together.

Last week we lost Paul to complications of a brain tumor. I know he is missed by his wife Susan, his family and Marina and me. He leaves those he touched better for it and the plant world saddened by his loss.

Begin to think about fall bulbs for spring flowers. Daffodils, snowdrops, crocus are some of the favorites. Lenten rose is a great choice for December/January blooms and newer varieties offer a broader range of colors. Remember hollies and pyracantha produce red and orange berries respectively. You will enjoy them and so will the wildlife.

Make this your year to think outside the box. Be creative, try new plants. Share your successes with the gardening world.

Send me an e-mail with your comments and questions.

Bob Hearle is a certified master gardener who lives and gardens at Pawleys Island.

Previous columns

  • Beat the heat with container plants
  • No time to rest on your laurels
  • Bug with a taste for kudzu
  • It’s time to prune
  • A start on the new gardening year
  • Preparing for the holidays
  • Fall garden chores
  • The second season
  • Higher ed center classes
  • Plants that bring the tropics home
  • Chores for the doldrums
  • On the edge of summer
  • Plant hardiness and Zone 8B
  • Green ideas
  • Getting plants ready for spring
  • Reading your soil test
  • Prune plants for health and to promote growth
  • Seed propagation
  • Introduction / Soil tests

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