Etheridge’s garden labor of love

Published 5:09 pm Thursday, June 12, 2014

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Dot Etheridge’s garden has many different flowers and vegetables.

Dot Etheridge works hard on making her yard as beautiful and useful as she can, and it shows.

She grew up in Talladega where she learned the art of planting from her mother, Elsie McKinney.

Now living in Demopolis, Etheridge, 74, and her husband are both retired and spend their time helping to create life through gardening and beagle breeding. They have lived in their home on Bert Rosenbush Road for 28 years.

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Dot Etheridge and her husband Gwinn have lived on Bert Rosenbush Road for 28 years.

Before retiring in 1992, Dot was in charge of the child nutrition program at Demopolis Middle School. Now, she is the librarian at the Fairhaven Baptist Church.

Together, Dot and Gwinn, have two children, Teddy Etheridge and Lisa Moody, four grandsons and two granddaughters.

After their kids flew the nest, Dot began work on her passion, gardening.

“I just like the outside.. it’s my time alone with God and nature,” Dot said.

The Etheridge’s yard has faced up and downs, like the freezing temperatures of this past winter, but continues to flourish due to Dot’s caring hands.

“She lost a lot of flowers this year because of the cold weather,” Gwinn said.

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Dot said day lilies are her favorite flower.

Dot’s garden consists of day lilies, gardenias, a variety of roses, wisteria, amaryllis, marigolds, glads, trumpet vines, irises, crimson honey suckle, violets, ferns, princess flowers, purple hearts, wildflowers, corn flowers and many more breathtaking plants to nourish the heart and soul.

Each year, Dot gives hundreds of plants away and will continue to give plants to her friends at Fairhaven.

Though Dot’s home is first notable for its lovely flowers, her gardens also contain plants of an edible nature such as tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, blackberries, red peppers and more.

Dot works with plants every day that she possibly can.

When her children no longer had use for there “Radio Flyer” wagons, Dot put them to use as planters in her garden.

“I start plants in whatever I can find,” she said.

With several bird baths around surrounding their home, Dot and Gwinn like to spend their time outside among the pleasant sound of song birds and wind chimes.

“In the evenings we sit on the patio and drink coffee if it’s not too hot the birds are just in and out, in and out all the time,” Dot said.

Dot’s passion for planting gives her time to think, pray and contemplate.

“When I’m working… I pray about things that are going on all over the world and here at home,” she said.