Nothing, not even chains, can fence in Edwards’ blooming garden

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 10, 2001

NATCHEZ – &uot;Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

&uot;With silver bells and cockle-shells, and pretty maids all of a row.&uot;

If Gayle Edwards answered the rhyme, he might answer that his garden grows through the fence.

This spring, Edwards and his wife, Sue, planted a small garden of cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, bird gourds, marigolds and zinnias.

They knew many of their plants were climbers and creepers, but the extent of the climbing came as a surprise.

&uot;I knew the gourds would climb. But I didn’t know they’d climb and grow like that,&uot; he said, pointing to the 50-foot long chain-link fence filled with the plants’ clinging vines.

The result of the ambitious climbing is a cantaloupe that is growing through and around the fence.

&uot;I like to tell people that it didn’t know whether it was a liberal or a conservative, so it just decided to straddle the fence,&uot;&160;he said with a laugh.

Gayle’s wife, Sue, instigated the garden project. &uot;She wanted a place to grow things,&uot; Gayle said. &uot;She likes her flower beds and tomatoes.&uot;

And Sue is enjoying the results of both. The couple shares the produce with family and friends, and Sue likes watching the butterflies that the flowers attract.

&uot;I plant the stuff that I know the hummingbirds and butterflies enjoy,&uot; she said.

Sue has a form of cancer called lymphedema that keeps her from working in the garden as much as she would like, but she does not let it hold her back.

&uot;I sneak out and pluck something every once in a while,&uot; she said.

She is grateful for all of the garden’s produce and wonders.

&uot;I just feel like God has been so good to me,&uot; Sue said. &uot;He has just over-produced all these wonders for me.&uot;

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