Saturday, May 10, 2014
The grass is greener and the flowers are brighter. It stands out near the end of the street as colorful plants grow out of the ground.
That’s the sight near the cul-de-sac in the Longleaf neighborhood off Liberty Hall Road.
Rhett Walker is a retired butcher from New Jersey who was a part-time landscaper. He spends at least three hours a day, seven days a week working on his garden of flowers, trees and grass.
He has about 30 varieties of plants in the yard. One of his flowerbeds is in a heart-shape. That was for his wife, who also has baskets of flowers and plants on the porch she tends to.
“I put a lot of time and money in it,” Walker said. “It’s a hobby. It’s a challenge.”
He said the employees at Lowe’s know him well.
“This year we had a brown spot,” he said. “It’s a fungus that gets in the grass. This year I hired a yard service for pesticide (for the first time). It cost about the same as doing it myself.
“You take care of it, it’ll grow. Everything in this neighborhood is on clay. I dug it up and put in a layer of topsoil. Every three weeks I fertilize it with Miracle Gro.”
Walker has kept the plants in his yard all seven years he has lived in Goose Creek. Every year he adds more.
“I’m running out of room. It’s all irrigated. It gets all the water it wants.
“I get a lot of bees. It’s good. I get a lot of hummingbirds.”
Walker said he takes his palmetto tree blooms and turns them into jelly. They turn orange when they are ripe.
He was the first to put a barrel on its side and plant flowers in it, he said.
He still has a tilted barrel in his yard now.
He said people come from all over the Lowcountry to look at his garden.
“You’ve got to do the color so it draws attention.”
Some of his flowers are mums, dianthuses and pansies. One flower looks like a creature form out space or under the sea. Walker does not know what it is called. His wife picked the flower from a zoo.
“Carnations are my favorite because they smell nice.”