ANDERSON, Ind. —
When Larry and Alex Ricketts built their condo near Edgewood, they had no idea who would live on the other side.
Were they allowed to choose a neighbor; they couldn’t have made a more suitable choice than Sheila Hodges.
Green thumbs sit on every one of their hands as beautiful gardens stretch across both yards, complementing one another perfectly. As the Ricketts enjoy the loveliness they have created, they also soak in the allure fashioned by Hodges — and vice versa.
While they are members of the Edgewood Garden Club, they are not members of the Madison County Master Gardener Association. Still, both stunning yards can be seen during the Madison County Master Gardeners’ Garden Tour this Saturday.
“It’s always a privilege when they consider your yard worthwhile,” said Sheila, retired from General Motors.
“I said that I don’t have what I’d call a garden,” said Alex, retired from Anderson Community School Food Service. “Mostly I’ve done landscaping and planted in pots, but they convinced me that it didn’t matter.”
Gardens of the month
Beating the heat has been difficult even for these experienced gardeners, who have each been honored with “Garden of the Month” awards at various times by the Edgewood Garden Club.
“Even the annuals aren’t taking off at all even though I water them every day,” said Sheila.
“It’s hard to keep things looking nice with this heat,” agreed Alex. “It has been a real challenge.”
Not a new hobby for any of them, all three gave up larger gardens when they entered condo life.
“I had a big area and Larry had a vegetable garden with tomatoes, onions, green beans, radishes and zucchini,” said Alex. “I like the perennials because they come back every year and I like annuals for my pots.”
“I was a GM transplant and moved to Kokomo,” said Sheila. “I had property with a lot of land and flower beds. I really don’t have any rhyme or reason to the way I plant. I see something I like and I plant it.”
More than just enjoying the beauty of the result of their work, Larry, Alex and Sheila love the work itself.
“It is relaxing and I just enjoy playing in the dirt,” said Sheila. “I have to be careful because I want to keep making more and more beds and then they become too much. But when it looks nice and you stand back and look at it, it gives you a sense of accomplishment.”
Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.