The Blankenships have been married for 65 years and have lived in the same home in Rockdale County for 50 years. The lovely couple very kindly shared some history of their yard.
As the couple, their daughter and I relaxed in their cool, cozy living room during the hot, July day, Beatrice Blankenship shared with me her two loves: Elvis and flowers. She walked me over to her mantle where she showed me her favorite Elvis birthday card and a 15-year-old newspaper clipping. The photograph from the clipping shows Mr. and Mrs. Blankenship presenting a carpet of pink thrift which once covered their side yard. She described the complements she would receive about the pink carpet of flowers. Unfortunately, the 40-year-old thrift died out a few years ago.
As we took our seats Beatrice began to walk me through the history of the plants that reside in her lovely yard. First, she told me of the crape myrtles J.B. planted after returning from an army base on the Panama Canal.
"Me and my husband were gone for 41 months, overseas. My sister and her husband lived here and didn't put out any flowers. So when we came back, J.B. put out some crape myrtles, and we started putting out more flowers." Their floral journey began with those crape myrtles and blossomed into a lifelong affair.
As we walked the yard, flowers of all colors stood out. Hydrangeas, roses, red-hot pokers, lilies and many more flowers are rooted on practically every square inch of the couple's yard. As Beatrice shared more stories with me, I understood that having a yard to take care of is a must for this couple. Their "green-thumb" is another extension, like a sixth sense. Without the yard and the flowers and all the beauty, life would not be normal for the couple.
As for advice, from a green-thumb to a not-so-green-thumbed gardener? "You have to give the plants plenty of water," said Beatrice. She added that fertilizer is a must to give plants that extra boost.
The Rockdale News publishes a weekly feature about local gardens and gardeners.