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  • Writer's picture Lance Williams


Cow dung. Yep, bovine meadow muffins; decades of it. That's part of Becky Savitz's genius. The former math teacher is a planner extraordinaire. Want to create a truly world-class garden? Well, give yourself a leg up, buying up five acres of mega-fertile old cow pasture. After that, you're on your own.

Patiently, lovingly, intentionally, Becky, with the devoted help of husband, Ed, has dug and bled, cut and sweated, planted and cried, devised and conquered; rustling a scrap of pasture into a southern Shangri-La, an Edenic experience worthy of pilgrimages from 1000's of garden lovers worldwide, and even a cover shoot by Southern Living magazine.

Every year her south Tampa greenhouse is the birthing ground for 1000's of seedlings Becky then hauls to Cashier's, N.C. to plant. Every September she then has to cut it all down, strip it away so that spring will bring it new, even more luxuriant life. It is Becky's witness to God's creation; His desire to lovingly prune away our broken lives and renew us in Him. With childlike glee she delights in sharing the beauty of His creation with anyone willing to make the pilgrimage up the mountain. I trust these pictures will speak more eloquently than my words.

From roses and hydrangeas, to poppies, zinnias, skyscraping hollyhocks, and apple trees espaliered into living sculpture, Becky's garden boasts more than 500 varieties of plants, vegetables, and trees, playing host to weddings, garden parties, and everyday gawkers.

Oh, and gardening is how Becky spends only HALF the day! The other half is spent spinning magical masterpieces out of broken pottery and china. It's an old French technique called PIQUE ASSIETTE. She's ingeniously taken thousands of shards and cast-offs and created hundreds of vignettes: One side of her N.C. fireplace is Van Gogh's Starry Night, and the other side is Jack and the Beanstalk. OH WHAT A LIFE!

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