Move into town unveils Vidalia woman’s love of roses, gardening

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 12, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – The Vidalia Garden Club found itself in a dilemma last week with its Yard of the Month award.

With all the beautiful yards in town, the problem wasn’t deciding which lawn had the lushest grass or the most beautiful flowers. The dilemma – where to put the sign?

Mary Mullins’ garden at the corner of Murray Drive and Robert Gray Street is filled with daylillies, clematis, a small water garden and 450 rose bushes.

Looking at her garden covered in a blanket of yellows, pinks and reds it’s easy to understand why finding a spot to put the sign was such a dilemma.

It is also easy to understand why Mullins’ garden won the award. With hard work and tender care Mullins has turned what was once a typical suburban yard into a garden bursting with color and fragrance.

Three years ago, Mullins lived on Stephens Road three miles outside Vidalia on a piece of property covered with pecan trees. With so much shade from the trees, Mullins found it difficult to grow much of anything.

Her gardening urges lay dormant until she decided to move to Robert Gray Street. With two small rose bushes, Mullins addiction to gardening began.

&uot;I dove right in and I’ve been diving ever since,&uot; Mullins said.

Three years later, Mullins’ yard is covered in roses. With hybrid teas, shrub roses, grand floras, florabundas, and other roses, the garden has just enough room for Mullins to pass with her sprayer.

But that is not stopping Mullins from planting more.

&uot;I ain’t quitting,&uot; Mullins said. &uot;I’ll just have to find the room.&uot;

Each week Mullins spends time spraying the flowers against insects, black spots and mildew. With wand in hand, she sprays each bush.

After all the work spraying, watering and maintaining her garden, Mullins likes to sit back and enjoy her creation from her wisteria canopied swing.

But Mullins is not the only one who gets enjoyment out of her garden. As she was diligently spraying her roses Monday, suddenly a driver yelled from a passing car, &uot;Way to go, Miss Mary.&uot;

With a big smile, Mullins waved and went back to spraying.

The Viewfinder is a weekly feature produced by our photography staff that reflects the diversity of our community.