The Dart: McLemores say gardening is relaxing hobby

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; Within eyesight of acres of fertile Concordia Parish fields, Jack and Nancy McLemore are content with their backyard garden which, though small, will soon boast vegetables and flowers in every corner.

The two picked a sunny, mild afternoon to tackle their annual gardening tasks with a passion.

For Nancy, the first task was to trim back the richly purple verbena, keeping it from completely taking over the nearby azaleas.

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&8220;We&8217;ll have to replace some of the azaleas. There was such a horrible drought last year some of them died. And, too, we have a native hydrangea we&8217;re going to plant,&8221; she said.

Jack, meanwhile, was busy preparing the vegetable garden at the edge of his property for the tomato plants they bought earlier Sunday. The soil freshly tilled, he was tying into place along the rows a hose that will serve as the garden&8217;s watering system.

&8220;Come back in a few weeks, by May 15, and it&8217;ll look totally different,&8221; Jack said.

Gardening has been a pastime for Jack&8217;s family for years, and he said it also functions as a relaxing hobby. &8220;Everybody should have a garden,&8221; he said.