Bessie Brooks: Botanical connoisseur
Published 8:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2023
Bessie Brooks, an 89 year old Mosses resident, spends her days nurturing the mini botanical garden she has cultivated over the years at her home . During a stroll through Brooks’ garden, guests witness the abundant beauty of the blooms and blossoms she grows, some of which she has been tending to for over a decade.
A vast majority of the land surrounding Brooks’ home is covered with the beauties she grows. The plants that have special light or heat restrictions remain inside her enclosed porch areas. Brooks nurtures a wide variety of different flowers, plants, and trees, and has a dedicated area where she grows fresh vegetables.
Brooks says growing and tending to plants and flowers has been a hobby of hers for as long as she can remember, and that her green thumb is a precious gift she inherited from her late mother.
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“My mama loved flowers and she had a lot of them. We always worked with them, and she taught me how to take care of them.” Brooks said. “She’s been gone for close to twenty years now and I still have a lot of her flowers.”
Brooks holds a special fondness for sharing her beloved pastime with others. After all, it was shared with her once upon a time. She finds pleasure in gifting already established plants to members of her community, and delights in allowing others to take cuttings from her plants to propagate their own.
“I like to give people clippings of my flowers so they can grow them too,” Brooks said. “I went to take my friend a back-to-school box yesterday and I saw one of my plants sitting on her porch. It made me so happy. Every Mother’s Day I go somewhere like Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy a bunch of planted flowers to hand out at church. All of this – it’s all done in my mother’s honor.”
Brooks’ also helps her children and grandchildren to share in carrying on her mother’s floral legacy by teaching them the art of plant tending, the same way her mother taught her.
Brooks will celebrate her 90th birthday in October and says her birthday wish is to have 90 people in her propagation network so her flowers can continue to provide beauty to others for years to come.