By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
The first thing one might notice, driving past Carolyn Edwards’ house on Sumter Avenue just off Lake Frances, are the two large brown rabbit statues standing attentively among the pentas and Michaelmas daisies as if to greet visitors.
Then next thing one might notice is the early camellia trained to grow flat against the front wall beside the front porch, its white blooms set off by the green leaves and the red brick wall. Up on the porch itself, filling an entire corner, is a gigantic fern. It sits on a high stand, with fronds that rise almost all the way up to the ceiling and sweep all the way down to the floor. It looks almost like a jolly green giant of a thing that could get up and shamble down the front steps, across the yard, and down to Lake Frances if it had a mind to.
Carolyn Edwards, Winner of the Madison Garden Club’s Yard of the Month for November, said that she grew the gigantic fern from a single cutting given to her many years ago by a good friend, Mack Primm, former principal of Madison High School, where Edwards was a business teacher. He brought the cutting back with him from a trip to Alabama, and ever since then, Edwards has treasured the fern that grew from it.
Two other large ferns flank the front entrance, although they’re not nearly as big as the “Alabama fern.”
The back yard is edged with groups of whimsical birdhouses and more garden statuary, more flowers and a birdbath or two. With a yard that inviting, it wouldn’t be complete without the nice little patio where Carolyn and her husband Bill can sit and watch the birds, butterflies and all the other wildlife that visit their little backyard haven.
Carolyn’s artistry isn’t limited to the outdoors; she does tatting and is also a talented painter, working with oils and watercolor. Several framed examples of her work hang on the wall inside her home.
For her love of growing things and her attention to detail that makes her yard such a treat to look at, she will have the “Yard of the Month Winner” sign from the Madison Garden Club to display in her front yard for the entire month of November.