Carolyn Griffey is a winner and won’t quit
By JIMMY WILLIAMS Special to The Messenger
Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:21 pm
Carolyn Griffey is nothing if not an inveterate activist.
She has spearheaded civic projects for 40 years here, all of them making our community the richer for her unbridled enthusiasm. In the considerable realm of her own garden she, likewise, has achieved remarkable results.
Carolyn and husband/physician Walter live in a 35-year-old federal home atop a promatory just outside the city limits off Paul Drive. Surrounding the home are acres of meadow and woodland. These Carolyn has harnessed over the last one-third of a century into an outstanding and extensive garden.
Not only that, she has, at the same time, beautified the grounds at their lake house that commands just about the best view of any from the Ned McWherter bridge.
It seems nothing can stop her when she has gardening on her mind, which is just about every waking hour, and some at night as well. The results of her boundless energy are those two gardens and civic betterments which are too numerous to mention.
Case in point: Some three or four years ago Griffey decided her other acres of gardens weren’t enough and planned to carve out a horseshoe-shaped mixed border in a field a few hundred yards from the house.
The plan was to have a focal point at the center of the open end of the horseshoe backed by a planting of evergreen hollies. Then a semicircle of turf, then the horseshoe border. This would be some 600 feet in length and range from 20-35 feet deep.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of plants would be required, starting with a foundation of shrubs, some deciduous blooming kinds and others evergreens (i.e. Emerald Green arborvitaes as punctuation marks amongst the other greenery).
Then would come placement of perennials. A border of this magnitude would require large masses of perennials between and in front of the aforementioned shrubs. And small trees enter the picture, too.
After only these few years, the border is attracting attention from all over. A few months ago, the executive editor of “Fine Gardening” magazine had a chance to view the border and was duly impressed.
When the Athena Delphian Club had fall and spring garden walks last season, visitors oohed and aahed at the spectacular sight, particularly on the fall tour when the late season sun backlighted the whole show.
Did I say nothing could stop Griffey when she has her garden on her mind? Well, so far, knee surgery, a heart stent, flu bouts and caring for grandchildren have miserably failed to make much of a dent in her gardening, and she constantly is creating plans for further expansion.
Go get ’em Carolyn!
From Poor Willie’s Almanack — Quitters never win and winners never quit.
Editor’s note: Jimmy Williams is production superintendent at The Paris Post-Intelligencer, where he also writes this column.
Published in The Messenger 10.28.08