- Country neighbors:Two Shiloh families share their love of gardening
with each other
BY MARGIE RICHARDS
Faye Nash, like her neighbors Andrew and Joyce Adams, enjoys
every minute of being home since her retirement, and more importantly,
being outside in her flower, herb and vegetable garden.
Although the summer heat and humidity put a damper on many outside
activities, these neighbors in the Shiloh Community of Madison
County still manage to enjoy their respective outdoor gardens
and each other.
Nash and her husband, Ellis, have been neighbors with the Adamses
in this quiet rural community for more than 25 years. And unlike
most folks nowadays, the Nash and Adams families do a lot more
than wave at each other in passing.
"We visit each other often," Joyce Adams said, adding
that, among other things, they often exchange gardening tips
with each other.
Nash agrees, adding that the couples have even been camping,
fishing and on vacation together over the years.
Nash says she has enjoyed gardening all of her life and much
prefers being outside to being inside. She admits to being much
more of a homebody than her husband, who although in his early
70s, still works part-time for Russell Research and loves to
She has lived in Shiloh all her life, and she and Ellis purchased
land next door to her homeplace in 1960. Her mother still lives
in the home she was reared in.
Each year Nash adds something new to her garden. She experiments
with different varieties and types of flowers and shrubs, learning
what grows best where. Trees and shrubs provide plenty of fruit
for canning and drying.
One unique idea for drying apples that she has shared with the
Adamses is to first dry the apples she picks in her commercial
dehydrator, then place them in an old pickup truck in back of
her home, where the sun and heat inside it make the dried fruit
"That's her apple-drying truck," husband Ellis laughs,
pointing to the old truck in the garden.
Nash loves flowers so much, she even plants them among her vegetables
and herbs which she uses for cooking.
The Adamses' yard is also filled with good things to eat, both
fruit and vegetables.
Andrew Adams spends many hours since his retirement outside tending
his many fruit-bearing plants and trees, such as blueberry, scuppernong,
fig and apple, to name a few. In fact, he has two gardens: one
he plants in the spring and the other, near an old spring, which
he calls his "late garden."
Mr. Adams has developed quite a reputation for the various species
and colors of sunflowers growing in profusion in the garden and
yard, many of them "volunteers" that come back year
"I love to sit out on the porch in the early morning and
watch the wild canaries come to feed on the sunflower seeds,"
Mrs. Adams said.
Around an old spring in front of their house, visitors can be
treated to a taste of pure cold spring water out of an old-fashioned
gourd dipper, while around the "spring house," ferns
and other plants requiring moisture and shade grow profusely.
Mr. Adams found the source of the spring, then spent many hours
digging out around it to allow the fresh cold water to come up
in a solid stream. Adams said that he has found an old wash pot,
ash, and other items used for washing clothes near the spring,
which, like their home, is on part of an old estate, known locally
as "Dink Swamp," since the land lies so low. Adams
said ladies used to come from miles around to wash their families
clothing at the site in front of their home, building fires under
wash pots and scrubbing the clothes on rocks.
An old barn, circa the late 1940's, sits near the spring, built
from the scraps of a log house that stood on the site of their