Written By: Ann Self | Issue: September – 2022
Becky Savitz’ garden is testament to a passion for careful stewardship and an enduring love for the beauty of nature.
Becky Savitz’ garden looks like pages out of afairytale book. Colorful. Whimsical. Magical.Even the life size mosaiccow standing sentry at the bottomof her yard looks like she has asecret story to tell.In fact, that’s the case. Becky’sgarden was once a cow pasture.Years of accumulated cow manurebecame the fertile soil of five acres of rolling hills bathed insunshine, part of her formula to create an Eden-like oasis.During the summer, Becky’s Garden is in full bloom, burstingwith a wide variety of flowers near her Cashiers home.However, the plants get growing hundreds of miles south, inTampa, Florida where she spends the winter months with herhusband, Ed.“I buy my seeds from Johnny’s SelectedSeeds,” she explains. “My home inTampa is ideal for growing.”Becky makes individual greenhouseswith seed flat trays of rich soil andclear plastic bags with knives as plantmarkers to prop them up.When the seeds begin to sprout and grow, she moves them ontoshelves into the warm Florida sunshine to await their trek to theNorth Carolina mountains in mid-May “Every year we pack several thousand plants that are readyto plant into a U-Haul truck,” she says. “When we get there?Instant garden!”Paths lined with a vibrant medley oftowering hollyhocks invite visitorsto explore the various garden areaswithin the acreage. Hydrangeas,boxwoods, and rows of espalier fruittrees help define distinct spaces.Beds include multicolored zinnias,poppies, and nasturtium intermingled with herbs and roses.“I plant so there is something blooming all season long,” Beckysays. Climbing roses cover fences and arbors, including onewith a gate to welcome guests into the center of what Beckycalls the Wedding Garden where her daughter was married. Atable with one of her pique assiette mosaic creations sits in themiddle with a tile saying Thyme Began In a Garden.The saying is a reference to the name of Becky’s garden, WildThyme. Within the garden is more than 100 varieties of thyme.The herb borders beds and lines stepsleading to and from the house.“When you walk on the thyme, itreleases the most wonderful smell,”she observes.But perhaps the saying also alludes toa more spiritual purpose and place. ForBecky, the garden, like Eden, bearswitness to God’s creation and recreation. Land that was oncecovered in manure has been transformed into somethingbeautiful and full of life.
by Ann Self