How does your garden grow?

Howard and Sally Brown of Hernando tend a roadside garden that is the talk of the town. Brightly-colored daffodils and plentiful produce abound.

Howard and Sally Brown have one of the most admired gardens in all of DeSoto County.

Flanked by tall blooming daffodils that can only be described as an explosion of color, the couple's garden lies just a stone's throw from winding Robertson Road.

"A lot of people stop and tell me, 'Oh, I admire your garden — your lilies are beautiful," Sally Brown said of the rows of daylilies that adorn the Browns' vegetable garden.

Howard Brown, who grew up about a mile down the road from the couple's Robertson Road home, remembers when the road out front was nearly impassable.

"DeSoto County has changed over the years," Brown said. "Back years ago, the road here would get so muddy in the wintertime that people would get stuck," Brown said.

Brown ushered a reporter to a small patch of cantaloupes near the front row of the garden.

An oddity that is drawing a great deal of attention lately is a "two-headed cantaloupe."

"I've lived here 26 years and I've never seen one quite like it," Brown said. "We had a garden when I was growing up. We had a dairy farm, a garden and raised cotton and corn — all of it," Brown said with a grin.

Brown's hands are never idle.

Year around, Brown handcrafts swings and Adirondack chairs in his shop, located behind the couple's home.

For years, Brown also helped tend another garden, of sorts, a memory garden.

Brown was among many volunteers who tended to and maintained the small Nesbit Cemetery.

"Somebody else does most of that now," said Brown, 87.

Never one to let grass grow underneath his feet, Brown said he prefers to stay busy.

"I enjoy it," Brown said. "I enjoy staying busy."

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252

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