Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

July 2, 2013

Gorgeous Gardens

Amy Brocato Pearson
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Shannon Cobb, seated, Rose Johansen  (in floral), Jean Petri (in teal) and Sydney “Benny” Walker tend to one of the newest “Gardens of  Hope” in East Texas.

Two more container gardens were installed Monday, this time at Angelina House, bringing the total number of the gardens in East Texas to eight. Numbers  nine and 10 will be installed today at Twin Oaks.

“This was a fun group,” said Betty Lou Smith, who, with husband Joe Smith, own and operate the Joe Smith Plant Farm in Jacksonville. “A lot of these residents were former customers. Even one of Joe’s former teachers is here!”

Betty and Joe Smith teamed up with the Lone Star Military Farmers to launch the “Garden of Hope” project this spring. They, along with area sponsors, provide container gardens to area assisted living facilities. The two containers at Angelina House are sponsored by Gibson Signs, Family First, All Smiles, Dr. Todd and Debra Perish, the Spooktacular Bull Bash and Joe Smith Plant Farms.

Residents are in charge of maintaining the gardens, which contain cherry tomatoes, jalapeno and green peppers, cucumbers, impatiens and full-sized Jacksonville tomatoes.

 - Amy Brocato Pearson