Tennessee Records Repository

Decatur Co. TN

Eugenia Hawkins

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Brewer Printing Company, Jackson, Tennessee, n.d.).

This People of Action, issued circa 1969, reproduced newspaper clippings about people in Decatur County. Most items probably were written in the mid 1960s. Most, but not all, of the items were written by Lillye Younger herself and most, but not all, appeared in the Jackson Sun. The photographs, which in the book were poorly reproduced from clippings, have not been scanned.

Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of Lillye Younger for permission to make these web pages.

Thanks to www.tnyesterday.com for contributing this transcription.

By Lillye Younger, Sun Correspondent

Parsons Is Kept Well Supplied With Flowers

PARSONS, Tenn. — Despite the work involved, Mrs. Eugenia Hawkins of Parsons finds that her bobby raising flowers, shrubs and trees provides many moments of pleasure.

A profusion at blooming plants throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons also acids beauty to the landscape of her home.

Mrs. Hawkins has been "planting things" for the past 30 years. "My mother-in-law gave me some regal lily seeds when we moved to Parsons from Huntingdon in 1931 and this was when I began my hobby," she said.

Her lily garden is a mass of blooms in June and July, resembling a variegated carpet. There are 300 or more plants of various varieties in the garden. The colorful day lily, with its blooms ranging from lemon yellow to orange, grows in clumps.

The regal lily stands skyward with its head covered with white blooms and a yellow throat. Its outstanding feature is a sultry odor of heavy perfume that reaches passersby before they reach the garden.

All of her lilies came from seed except two bulbs, a pink and golden bulb which she bought and cross-pollinated. A beautiful hybrid developed which grows from 8 to 9 feet tall. Her tiniest lilies are the sweet-scented lilies of the Valley.

Mrs. Hawkins has specimens of annual and perennial flowers for cutting. Her colorful blooms are carried to church as well as to social functions where they enhance the beauty of party rooms. Her garden is so well known that anyone needing fresh garden blooms knows that Mrs. Hawkins has them."

Besides lilies, numerous other blooming flowers are raised on her 3/4acre plot. Included in these are bachelor buttons, zinnias, petunias, periwinkles, marigolds, snapdragons and many others. Their blooms reach from Main Street to the "old railroad track" where the legendary peavine once traveled.

Mrs. Hawkins not only gave thought to flowers, she also included shrubs, trees, vines, fruit, and a vegetable garden in her well-rounded planting.

Grape vines are dotted among the flower beds and hanging from these vines are huge clusters of blue and white grapes. Trees with big red luscious apples are scattered here and there. Even a wild crab apple tree grown from a seed which she planted. "I soaked the seed in lactic acid overnight and then planted it," she said.

"Apple trees grow easily from seed," she continued. "If you throw out an apple core little trees will spring up."

She marvels at the way seeds are carried by the wind and the birds. Two of her pecan trees came from pecan seeds brought by bluejays. She calls them her "Jaybird Pecans." Other trees in her garden are sweet gum, holly, elms, walnuts, maples and boxwood. Some of these came from seeds planted by the birds.

To supplement her planting Mrs. Hawkins has a vegetable garden which has a wide variety of food. Red, juicy tomatoes, slender, green beans, parsley, green cabbage, white onions, corn and broccoli are among her many vegetables.

The rows are kept free of grass and weeds by the patient labor of Mrs. Hawkins. She shares her vegetables and flowers with her children who are here and there.

"I have always loved flowers and derive much satisfaction and excitement at the unfolding of plants," she said. The smell of the flower-perfumed air, the sight of the abundant yield from plants and fruit are just a few of the dividends she receives from the results of her work, not to mention the beneficial sunshine and fresh air.

Mrs. Hawkins arises at 5 am. in summer to work in her garden. "Its cooler at this early she explained. Since my family is reared. I can't say I haven't anything to do for there's always something to do in the garden."

Her husband, Jean Hawkins, died in 1944 leaving four children — Don Hawkins, Newport,. Tenn., Mrs. Patsy Davenport, Jackson, Tenn., Mrs. Emogene Forsythe, Frazier, Tenn., and Mrs. Louise Gregory, Parsons.

Her formula for being one of the most successful gardeners in Parsons is quite simple. "A good mulch and a little fertilizer."

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