Subscriber Login

Nonagenarian continues gardening

By John Estridge, Editor

If there is a weed in Bess Edwards’ garden, it is a superweed wearing the cloak of invisibility.

As Edwards walked out to a bare spot in her garden to have her photo taken, she stopped a couple of times to eradicate small weeds with her hoe.

She does not take prisoners.

Edwards will be 94 in December.

She said she comes out daily to work in her garden and the 18 flower gardens – Edwards said she counted the flower gardens – on her daughter Kim’s property off Cooley Road north of Brookville.

It was the family farm and Edwards and her late husband, Denver, deeded off parcels to their children.

According to Edwards, she has been gardening since she was a child.

She said she enjoys gardening or she wouldn’t be out there working.

“I like being outside working in the garden and the flowers,” she said. “I guess I just love nature.”

In her garden this year are: squash, pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and flowers. This year she did not plant half-runner green beans or zucchinis.

However, a person visiting her annual yard sale brought her three zucchinis so she will still be able to make zucchini bread.

She said the melons create good ground cover and keep the weeds out.

The zinnias she planted are drawing monarch butterflies. She said she read where they are on the decline.

However, several were having a good time hovering around the colorful flowers.

Someone gave her some Forget Me Nots, and she said they are now trying to take over her garden.

“I have to thin them out,” she said.

Colorful and large Rose of Sharon are in a flower bed across the narrow lane from the garden.

Edwards said she either gardens around 8:30 in the morning or after 5 p.m. in the afternoon.

When she needs a break, she sits down amid the beautiful flower gardens with a bottle of water.

This year’s garden is better than the previous year, she said.

Last year it remained too wet for too long, Edwards said.

Edwards said the garden’s soil is easy to work with this year and that makes it easy for her “to stay on top of it.”

Edwards said she labors at her work of love until she finishes what she started.

“I just want to finish projects,” Edwards said. “That’s just the way I am.”