Margaret Tinsley's retired, and she needs the time, considering she spends 20 hours a week tending to a garden filled with flowers and plants of all kinds.

"I love to garden because I can look at everything and know I did all that work myself," said Tinsely, as she surveyed a yard filled with begonias, canna lilies, crape myrtles, ferns, monkey grass, and her favorites, hibiscus and Knockout roses, which bloom all year round if the dead blooms are pulled off.

When she moved to her Berry Street house in 1960, the backyard was just woods and debris, but now it's a lush green paradise.

Tinsley taught kindergarten at Ficquett Elementary School for 35 years. Though she gardened during those years, she's increased her efforts since retirement and the death of her husband, Charlie J. Tinsley, a co-principal at Newton County High School following integration.

Tinsley has two daughters, Veronica and Sonya, and three grandchildren, Walter, 22, Ciara, 20, and Sophia, 5.