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Gardens now paved over still exist in my memory

This time of year makes me feel very sentimental. I miss three Bluffton gardens. Kiss Beach, his son Raymond and Hugh O'Quinn each had wonderful gardens.

Mr. Kiss lived in the house now owned by Michael Hahn, who uses it as an office. Mr. Kiss' garden was a wonderful sight to behold. There was also a flock of chickens let out of their enclosure to spend the day roaming around Calhoun Street.

Raymond and Brittie Beach's garden was at the corner of Wharf and Bridge streets. It was a sight to behold. Tomatoes, my favorite summer treat, were the main crop. Brittie also had a green thumb and grew lots of flowers. I used to stop by and visit and come away with a treat or two.

Mr. Hugh's garden was next to his house at the corner of Wharf Street and May River Road. His garden had everything imaginable growing in it. Mr. Hugh had a wonderful old tractor he tooled around town on, plowing other people's gardens if needed. All three of the gardens are now used as parking lots, but to me they will always hold fond memories.

I have three other gardens I now keep track of. My favorite is on Buck Island Road. In March, Pressly Giltner and I spent one day riding around Bluffton looking at everything. We stopped by the garden on Buck Island Road and took pictures of what it looked like with nothing planted. Now, two months later, it is chock full of vegetables including okra, tomatoes, beans and corn. There are even fruit trees that produce pears and plums. The amazing thing is I never see anyone in the garden; it is as if it appeared like magic.

Another garden that looks great is a little plot on Pritchard Street. There, in a small fenced area, squash and other summer vegetables are almost ready for picking. Down the street at Leigh West Brown's house, a garden is being prepared in raised beds.

I planted some baby lettuce plants this spring that were a gift from a friend, and the squirrels loved them. The harvest from my little patch was just enough for a BLT sandwich.

A tip of my hat to all gardeners everywhere. Hope springs eternal though that someday I will be able to reap a harvest of tomatoes -- or at least just one.

  • I am happy to report that South Carolina students will learn cursive thanks to a new bill that passed the S.C. legislature. Second-graders -- all 57,300 of them -- will be required to learn the art of writing. School children will also have to have the multiplication tables memorized by the fifth grade. I can remember spending quite a lot of time learning to write. If one doesn't learn how to write, how could anyone ever have a letter to cherish from a loved one?
  • One of the biggest tennis events of the year, the French Open, has just ended. In past years, pesky pigeons have disrupted play by swooping down during matches and distracting players. The pigeon's droppings also became a nuisance. Pigeons love the area where the stadium is because it is next to the Bois de Boulogne. There are also lots of cafes and restaurants nearby where the pigeons look for food. A week before the start of the French Open, trained falcons were brought in to scare off the pigeons. The raptors are fed well and trained, so they do not eat the pigeons; they just frighten them away. Raptors are also used at other outdoor events and were even called upon at Prince William's wedding at Westminster Abbey. I love to watch them; they are amazing birds.
  • Fun times can be had at the Coastal Discovery Museum this summer. Marine science expeditions are held from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays with marine biologist Amber Kuehn. Participants will board the research vessel Spartina to learn about the area's salt marsh ecosystem. You will also discover creatures that live in our area waters under a microscope. The cruise leaves from the Pinckney Island Landing. Cost is $35 for adults and $25 for children. The museum has many fun events planned for summer season. Reservations are required; call 843-689-6767, ext. 223.
  • Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.