By Ann Sheek
The Clemmons Courier
The one-acre yard of Brady and Betty Davis is filled with blooming roses and a multitude of flowers, along with a prolific vegetable garden. Here is one Lewisville couple, blessed with green thumbs during their 25-year marriage..
They are past the normal retirement age, but continue to work, not only with their roses and vegetables, but also at other jobs. Brady retired from the school system and enjoys lawn maintenance work. Betty has operated a beauty shop in the basement of their home for 40 years, and is the beautician at Vienna Village nursing home two days each week.
The Davis garden now has nearly 50 rose bushes of many colors. They began their rose growing just after they were married, with six bushes. Earlier in their married life, the Davises were members of the Winston-Salem Rose Society, and won a box full of ribbons for their roses at the annual Dixie Classic Fair.
Growing the roses is pleasurable to the couple, but their greater joy is sharing the roses with others. Up until this season, the Davises provided fresh roses to their church, Temple Baptist.
Brady brings vases of roses to the Jerry Long YMCA reception desk, so many people can enjoy these gorgeous flowers. “I go to exercise at the Y five days each week, and like to share our roses with other folks.”
Betty continues to take roses to the patients at Vienna Village for their dining room. “Give a beautiful rose to a woman, and this makes her day,” said Betty. “I try and take vases of roses to Vienna Village when I go to work on the ladies’ hair. They just love our roses.”
“My daughter also owns and operates a hair salon in Winston-Salem, and I take roses to her shop, so her customers can enjoy these,” said Betty. “A couple of years ago, I accidentally killed every one of the rose bushes we had, by spraying them with a toxic substance. One of my daughter’s customers, Jerry Long, from L.A. Reynolds, missed seeing the roses, and asked my daughter why there were no more roses, and she told him Mama killed all her bushes.”
“Well, would you believe it, but Mr. Long gave me 10 free rose bushes to begin our rose garden again. It was such a nice gesture, and since then, we have added more roses and I leave the spraying up to Brady,” said Betty.
Brady says growing and caring for roses is a full-time job. “I have a compost pile, and we put all our food scraps on the pile, except grease and bones. We also put on leaves and grass clippings and then I sprinkle lime and some fertilizer on the compost too,” said Brady.
“Before Brady and I were married, I was a widow, and had some roses,” said Betty.
“I would drive to Elkin and my Dad’s farm, where I would shovel cow manure from his barn and bring that back to put on my roses. It was a good fertilizer.”
Now, Brady says he uses triple 10 fertilizer once a month, and in between, he spays liquid fertilizer, mixed with water on the roses. “Each rose bush needs one inch of water each week. Brady has 14 five-gallon plastic buckets, which he fills with water. Each bucket has a nail hole in the side, so the water can leak out slowly in a week.”
One question was posed to the Davises. Just how do they keep the plentiful, hungry deer from their gardens?
“We take old nylon stockings, and stuff these with cotton, that has been saturated with Lysol cleaner. It smells very strong, and seems to deter the deer
from eating our roses,” said Betty.
Brady says he also uses fishing line to surround the roses and vegetables. “I put up the metal poles and string a couple of pieces of fishing line around the perimeter, and when the deer attempt to enter the gardens, they can’t see the line and when they brush against it, they won’t try to go through.”