Mosses home has mini botanical garden

Published 12:27 pm Friday, July 26, 2013

Bessie Brooks shows off an Elephant Ear plant in bloom. It’s a first for her, she said, in the 30 years of raising them.

Bessie Brooks shows off an Elephant Ear plant in bloom. It’s a first for her, she said, in the 30 years of raising them.

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Some people have green thumbs. Bessie Howard Brooks of Mosses must have green hands.
Plants of every kind, fruit trees and pecans trees surround her.
“I love all the plants,” Brooks said. “My mother (Sylvia Howard) started this stuff. I’ve been in this house about 30 years. I have peace lilies, all kinds of vines, ferns galore.”
Of course that is just a sample of what surrounds the Brooks home inside and out.
But one thing that really surprised Brooks recently was an Elephant Ear plant that bloomed. She said she had one of them for nearly 30 years and said it never bloomed. In fact, she said she has a whole line of them that never bloomed. But one she has owned for just two years, she said, recently put out a bloom.
She said the bloom “looks like a banana.”
But Books has a banana plan, ferns and peaches. One of her peach trees is so laden with fruit that the limbs are on the ground. She’s got persimmon trees, mulberry, pecan trees, pears, figs, plums and apple trees and even a cactus that had grown so tall inside her home that it has doubled back on itself.
The cactus was once featured in the Lowndes Signal when it was 10-foot ball.
“We’ve got everything you can think of… plenty of pecan trees. Real good soil,” said Brooks.
“I make peach cobbler from the peaches. I make good fig preserves (from the figs). When the children come home, I give them some,” Brooks said.
She has five children of her own, but uncounted nieces and nephews. “And they will all be home third of August for a family reunion,” she said.
Brooks, 79, makes her home with her husband, James.
She said church people come and get her ferns and peace lilies all the time for church and various functions. “I just raise them and let other people use them in their churches,” she said.
Brooks said she worked in healthcare for 30 years beginning in the 1960’s. She worked for the Lowndes County Health Department for 25 years and retired in 1998 at the age of 65.
She said she was a nurse’s aid and when she was on the road and saw a plant, she’d just dig it up.
How much does Brooks bond with her plants. “If I get angry with somebody I go out there and go to playing with my plants and I get good,” she said. Brooks said if she gets angry with James she goes out works with her plants “And peace comes.”

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