By GWEN SISSON
After a hard day at Welch Funeral Home, Jackie and Nina Wofford turn on the music and the fountains and enjoy the sights and the smells of their backyard garden.
The sound of the water, soft piano music playing and the wind chimes mixed with the sights and smells of the beautiful flowers makes for a relaxing sensory experience, after a long day of work at Welch Funeral Home.
“Everyone should buy a set of hand-tuned wind chimes,” Nina Wofford said. “They are so beautiful.”
Their garden began with a small patio adjacent to the swimming pool in their backyard, and over the 20 years they have been at this house, the Woffords have added a little here, and a little there. Jackie does a lot of the digging while Nina does a lot of the “supervising” and plant selection.
Friends Rob Rice and Russell Hamilton have also helped the couple as they have made additions, replaced older plantings and created additional patios and other structures. Nina said Rice helped them get the garden started when they moved in to the house in the early ‘90s.
The Wofford garden will be one of five Starkville gardens on display as part of the Art in the Garden event, set for May 21.
Nina Wofford said getting ready for the Art in the Garden event has been “great therapy.” She said work can be stressful at times, and it has been fun to work in the garden to get ready for the event.
“We don’t go on vacations —we tend to work all of the time,” Nina Wofford said. “Whether working in the garden or relaxing on the patio, this is relaxing and fun for us. Getting ready for Art in the Garden, we have had a lot of fun working and planning. I would say 99 percent of it was good.”
Suzy Turner, co-director for the 2011 Art in the Garden event, said the Wofford’s garden seems to be a great place to relax.
“The Woffords’ garden is especially serene and the pool area is very inviting,” Turner said. “What a wonderful place to relax in after a hard day’s work.”
Art in the Garden co-director Wanda Thorne said the Woffords’ imposing house, set on a large site on South Montgomery, foretells the immaculate garden at the rear of the property.
“Beautiful arbors highlight the entrances to this garden,” Thorne said. “The courtyard and swimming pool are gathering spots for the Woffords’ grandchildren and other guests. This garden is filled with whimsical objects and a statuary to delight garden visitors. The various fountains create a soothing sound, making the garden a serene sanctuary.”
The Wofford garden is one of the larger gardens on this year’s Art in the Garden tour. Not only will ticket holder have the opportunity to visit five of the most outstanding gardens in Starkville this year, but local artists will be creating a work of art in each of the gardens. Visitors will not only have a chance to visit with the homeowners about their private garden retreats, but visit with the artists as they create a work of art during the event.
For ticket information for the 2011 Art in the Garden tour, contact the Starkville Area Arts Council at 324-3080.