Some of the finer things in life aren’t always the most expensive. For three women who live at Capital Mobile Home Estates, some of their greatest possessions are right outside their front door.
Although they don’t have much space, they have turned their yards into their own garden oasis — filled with their favorite flowers and plants — that they didn’t have to empty their pockets to create.
Upon entering Linda Flynn’s yard, you walk down a cobblestone path that not only serves as a walkway, but also a way to divert water during heavy rains.
The pathway leads to a beautiful arbor covered in purple and white clematis. A woman she worked for gave Linda the arbor.
“I garden on a dime,” Linda said. “I get flowers on clearance or grow them from seed.”
Linda’s yard is filled with impatiens, begonias, butterfly bushes, crape myrtle, elephant ears, knock out roses and more.
“I usually get flowers for holidays,” she said. “My kids know what to get me.”
Linda grows her own annuals from seed. After the flower dies off, she digs up the seed and puts it in her shed for the winter.
“The cold won’t hurt it,” she said. “If it gets wet and freezes, then that is what kills the seed.”
Linda said a lot of what she has learned about gardening came from the Bible.
“It tells you to watch the moon,” she said. “When it’s a full moon, that’s when the water levels are the highest in the ground. It talks about the seasons — all kinds of science.”
One of her favorite features in her yard is a birdbath, which is surrounded by begonias.
“I love everything that services animals and anything that draws butterflies,” she said.
Janice Perry is another thrifty and talented gardener at Capital Mobile Home Estates.
“I buy discount at Lowe’s,” she said.
Janice said she goes to Lowe’s just about everyday to see what’s on sale. After the flowers fall off plants, Lowe’s will mark them down.
“I bought butterfly bushes for $1.50,” Janice said.
They will also put landscaping materials on sale, like bags of dirt and mulch that are torn.
She has several flowerbeds on her property. Each tends to serve a purpose.
One of her beds, which is long and narrow and filled with butterfly bushes and daylilies, serves a dual purpose. Not only is it pretty to look at, it also acts as a barrier to keep people from driving into a field from a dead-end road.
Another one of her beds is filled with flowers that attract hummingbirds. One of the main flowers in the bed is bee balm. Hummingbirds love the sweet nectar the flowers produce.
Janice also has several seating areas around her property, which she either bought second hand or scavenged from the side of the road.
“I like little places to sit at,” she said.
One of her finds from the side of the road is a little bike that serves as a planter. She also found window planters that she painted white.
Also surrounding her home, are many potted plants all with arrangements of flowers that she designed. One of her large pots is filled with pansies.
“I had some pansies that were dying so I put them all in one pot.”
Janice’s 20-year-old grandson Anthony Franks decided he wanted to try out his green thumb and planted a small vegetable garden in Janice’s backyard. He planted tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, strawberries, cabbage and more.
Right now, the garden serves just his family, but he hopes to build it up big enough by next year so that he can sell some of his produce, he said.
The garden does seem to be a hit with his family, so much so that his mother has nicknamed him “Harvest Bub.”
Like Linda, Janice is also good at growing and reproducing plants. Along her driveway are three large bushes that she was able to grow from a twig she broke off of a bush on the property where Staxx BBQ is now.
“I liked those bushes,” she said. So, she broke off a twig and took it home and let it grow roots in a pot, and then she planted it.
That one twig has now grown into three large bushes. She also did that with her knockout rose bushes.
“If it’s green, you can grow it,” she said.
Another neighbor who has a green thumb is Marie Doss. She has lived at Capital Mobile Home Estates for 40 years.
Marie has several features in her yard including an antique bicycle and wagon wheel, and a water fountain all surrounded by her favorite flowers and plants.
She has peonies, knockout roses, hostas, hibiscus, crape myrtle, flowers she calls “pink buttercups” because that’s what her mother called them, and more. One of her most prized plants is her smoke tree.
“I was proud to get it,” Marie said. “It’s so pretty. It blossoms once a year and the flowers are smoky looking.”
Marie’s peonies are also special to her because when she was growing up in Beattyville, on Memorial Day she and her family would decorate the graves of their loved ones with the flower.
This year, Marie said she expanded her flowerbeds and had to use 90 bags of mulch.
“That’s the most I’ve ever had to use.”
Marie said her love of gardening must have come from her parents.
“My mom and dad were both green thumbs,” she said.
Marie said she will spend all summer out in her yard.
“I just enjoy doing it,” she said. “I like to look out and see what’s new each day — what’s bloomed.”