STANLEY––For Donna Ward, you might say that these days, everything’s coming up tulips.
A surgical technician for Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, Ward and her photographer husband, Bill, are both well-known Stanley-based singers. They’re renowned for their love of gospel music and for many performances at local and regional events.
But did you know that Mrs. Ward also has a green thumb? Yep, her backyard’s a-blooming right now. Spring has sprung, and so have the pastel tri-colored tulips in Ward’s garden. She planted them last year, as she told The Herald on Friday, and now they’ve come up and look beautiful. The same is true of the purple irises. They add an appropriate note of Lenten lavender to this season.
Ward spoke further about her love of gardening and more.
“I grew up with two parents that have always planted vegetable gardens and a mom that has always had a love for flowers,” she explained. “In the summer, we plant all kinds of vegetables: green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, okra, tomatoes, green peppers, corn, cucumbers and bell peppers. I have always loved flowers. But I’m not a fan of something that is just seasonal, so I do not plant anything that is an annual. I like perennials. When I go to such places as Wal-Mart or Lowe’s to pick up flowers, I always pick out something that’s going to come back next year.
“Can’t really say that I have a favorite,” she continued. “I like variety in the yard. When I planted the bulbs last year, I had no idea that they would be three different colors (lavender, yellow and a pale scarlet)! The bag was labeled ‘mixed bulbs’ on the front of the package. It was a very nice surprise to see how they all lined up with different colors.”
For the past 20 years since she has been living in Stanley, Ward has had a vegetable garden, and she has planted flowers.
“I love everything about gardening,” she said, “whether it’s my vegetables, and I get fresh produce from what I have grown, or whether it is my flowers and seeing them sprouting back up the next year. I also have three daughters (Jael, Anna and Sara) to whom I have passed on the vegetable garden. They all three help to plant, weed and gather. Of course, it is a family thing. My husband tills the ground and puts out the fabric to prevent some weeds. The girls and I do the planting, weeding and gathering.”
And there is a lot to do. Between her home’s indoor and outdoor areas, Ward has about 61 different kinds of plants for which to care. You might say she nurtures nature.
Mr. Ward sang the praises of his wife’s horticultural abilities.
“Her nurturing, love and care for her plants,” he said, “as for her family, makes for some awesome things to bloom and grow!”
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