A Southern Garden Grounded in Memories

Leila looks forward to the cyclical unfurling of her plants across growing seasons. “I love that there’s always something that’s really pretty; it doesn’t all come at the same time,” Leila says. Since deer regularly venture into the garden, Leila selects plantings such as begonias and caladiums because they’re less appealing to hungry wildlife. Bill, both handy and tech-savvy, also developed a technology that triggers the sprinkler system when outdoor cameras detect the animals. “He is my hero and my champion,” says Leila of her husband. “I’m the one who does the planting and weeding and deadheading, but he makes it possible for me to do all that.” 

Leila has a feeling her catchall shed will soon be restored to its former playhouse glory for their grandchildren. In the meantime, she’ll continue to maintain the lovely landscape she enjoys viewing from her porch after a long, hard day of yard work. “I don’t always feel like going out there and sweating—it’s hot and there’s bugs and you’re usually dirty,” she says. “But it’s just pretty when it’s all fixed up. That’s why I do it—it’s therapy for my soul.”

Text by Ashley Shaw
Styling by Tracey MacMillan Russell
Photography by Stephanie Welbourne Steele

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