JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – If you go to the yard and garden centers on the weekend, they’re crowded with people buying plants, fertilizer and potting soil. Obviously, gardening is a big deal here in Mississippi.
The Pulitzer Prize winning author Eudora Welty’s garden has been restored back to the way it was when she worked in it for pleasure, escape and healing.
We’re interested in one type of plant Eudora and her mother, Chestina, made sure was represented in their garden. You may want to incorporate it into your flower bed. It’s a native plant. April was Native Plant Month in Mississippi. Although it rained so much last month, we’re probably better off celebrating it now. Susan Haltom, who restored the garden, said not only are native plants beautiful, but also very practical.
“The native plants are important to us in Mississippi because over the eons, they developed alongside the native bugs, insects and pollinators,” said Restorationist Susan Haltom.
“The garden influenced Eudora’s writing in many ways that are significant and profound. The garden was not just a distraction from care and worry, the garden feeds right back into the page. We see it when she mentions more than 150 kinds of plants in the body of her work. When she mentions a plant, she mentions it in the right season and in the right place, surrounded by the right insects,” Haltom said.
There’s a reason for this emphasis on native plants.
“I want people to change the way they garden. Over time, the native plants have developed to be beautiful and appropriate to our soils and climate,” she said.
What would the South be without our flowers? What would we be without them? They unconsciously guide us through the seasons and help us know where we are and how far along into the year we are just by looking at a flower bed and referring to our memories.
If you’d like to see Eudora Welty’s home, there is no charge to walk the yard. It’s open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.