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Her Garden Grows

Tucked back on Burnette Road just off the pavement is a small cottage draped in lush greens and shoots of color at every turn. The owner of the home and lifelong Barnesville resident is Betty Martin, a joy of a woman who is as quick to talk about her plants as she is her family. Considered by many friends as an authority on Southern plants and the unique mix of classic English gardening with wild, Southern styles, Martin is as dainty as a morning glory, as colorful as a red hot poker and as rare as a ladybird poppy. During a recent visit to her home, Martin graciously provided great conversation, a full tour, and some pointers sure to turn your own yard into a conservatory. Five tips for a better garden (in no particular order) Don’t be afraid to fail. “Sometimes you lose a plant. You can’t always control the world around you,” says Martin about bugs and drought ‘“ and seemingly life itself. Share. Martin and some of her friends get together every few weeks to exchange clippings and “volunteers” to make their own gardens more robust. Water in the morning. “You know,” Martin says, “I’m not sure why you should water in the morning. I just always have and it seems to work well. It’s no replacement for rain, but it’s effective.” Work at it. On a fair day Martin will spend two to three hours in the gardens just pruning, weeding, nurturing, enjoying. “This is my garden and working in it is how I most enjoy it. Besides, you can’t help but love the results,” Martin is quick to add. Use what is around you. All three of Martin’s ponds use rock gathered in Lamar county for landscaping. It is a natural resource and keeps the seamless look about the landscape.

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