ST MARYS — Each year when spring begins to bloom, Priscilla Phillips works on several gardens that surround her Center Street Home in St. Marys.
Phillips, 82, lives just a hop away from Sacred Heart Parish, and across from a busy intersection. A couple of years ago, she decided to plant a garden at the bottom of her yard, so cars that stop at the stop sign across the street had something beautiful to look at, such as tulips and peonies.
The garden comes back on its own each year, Phillips says, and she will add poppies and irises. She also likes primrose and lilies.
Phillip’s home was built in the early 1900s. She often enjoys gardening when there is music playing at the church, she says, and will sing along to the hymns.
Cars will stop and compliment the garden by the road, Phillips said, and people will walk around the property to take photos of all of the flowers. She also has a smaller vegetable garden, and grows blueberries and raspberries. Birdhouses can often be seen, too.
“I think it’s all part of God’s creation,” she said. “It starts as just something small, and becomes beautiful.”
Phillips, originally from New England and a former registered nurse, compared watching gardens bloom to people getting to know one another.
“People tend to judge a person, and they don’t get to see the beauty behind them,” she says.
She recalls spending a week in the summer at her grandparent’s farm, where she’d see things grow.
“I’ve learned from my heritage and background,” she said.
Sometimes, people will ask Phillips to purchase flowers, especially the white iris, or produce. She is also a canner, taking after her mother in that regard.
She also enjoys refinishing furniture — sanding, painting and reconstructing it. She has been making masks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Phillips is also a dedicated volunteer at the St. Marys Resale Shop downtown St. Marys.