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A garden born out of love

April 14, 2011

Two years ago, Phil Schmidt lost his wife Martha Jean to cancer. She was his friend, his companion and the mother of his children. She was also the love of his life.

He was left alone with just her memory and unfulfilled dreams. His answer to his loss was to dedicate the rest of his life to create a garden to commemorate her life.

He had never gardened before but he learned now, all for the love of his wife of 36 years. An industrial engineer by trade, accustomed to dealing with numbers and formulas, he is now a full time gardener who deals with colors and sun and soil conditions.

Where there was only grass before, there are now flowerbeds, crushed stone walks, sculptures, bird feeders and birdhouses. Several ponds add the enchantment of water to the place

During these two years, he has planted lots of roses and hydrangeas and azaleas and tons of bulbs. And he keeps planting more every week. The garden is a very peaceful place where the silence is only broken from time to time by the sound of the chimes and the singing of the birds. A beautiful monument to a woman who loved and was loved.

If you are ever close by, stop to talk to Phil. He will be happy to show you the garden and share his memories with you. The Martha Jean Memorial Garden is in Otto, NC, close to Clayton in Rabun County, GA. You can find more information in the August 2010 issue of the Georgia Mountain Laurel magazine, page 74.



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