Laverne Davis, mastermind of the growing beauty at The Bernice Garden, has been a trained and designated “master gardener” for 9 ½ years, but in her family, a green thumb just comes naturally.
“My entire family as far as I can trace back history were great gardeners,” she says. Her four siblings, who live in Michigan, “all have great interest in gardening and have beautiful landscapes.” Laverne’s daughter also has “a love for gardening and grows vegetables, herbs and flowers for her personal use.”
Laverne says she was drawn to the garden after meeting owner and founder Anita Davis – no relation – in 2010 and visiting the site. Things grew from there.
Though already heavily involved in volunteering in community gardens, “I was drawn to Bernice Garden by the beauty, peace and tranquility the garden offered. Anita asked if I would be interested in maintaining the garden and I accepted.”
Since she retired after 32 years as a marketing representative for a large communications company, Laverne hasn’t really sought out gardening work but says people keep finding her – and she spends most of her time doing what she loves.
“My favorite things about gardening are the rewards I receive. Gardening relaxes me and gives me a sense of great anticipation as I await the end results.”
You can see how much she loves plants by her gentle touch and serene demeanor as she works among them. You can almost see them loving her back. The Garden is a testament to how living things respond to her care.
“Some of my favorite flowers are cosmos, zinnias and marigolds,” Laverne says. “These flowers are somewhat like me; they are very reliable.”
They also remind her of her youth.
“I grew these flowers when I was very young, they bring back memories of my childhood days.”
But she does have other interests that keep her life full.
“Besides gardening, I play golf with Michael, my husband, on occasion; sew when the weather is undesirable for gardening; and have many long chats with siblings and friends regarding gardening.”
And she devotes time to another project dear to her heart.
“I support a community garden in the South End, Crump Community Garden. I have a great garden family there that I love and cherish. We work together for a common goal, to grow healthy food.”
Soon the Crump Garden family plans to offer tours, she says, with a smile as broad as a sunflower. “The garden is awesome.”
For Laverne Davis, gardening is no mere job or hobby, it’s a lifestyle.
“Gardening means beauty, peace and doing what I love – producing flowers, and vegetables the healthy way.”