By Georgia LaMar, Atlanta Audubon Volunteer Certifier
We’d like to welcome Mary and Robert Rockwood, of McDonough, to the Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Program. Georgia LaMar, Atlanta Audubon volunteer, recently made a certification visit to their home and submitted this account. “Not only does Mary rescue native plants, but also German Shepherds and hearts as a cardiovascular technologist,” says Georgia.
A bit about Mary: I grew up in upstate New York. My interest in gardening and the outdoors stems from the years seeing my mother tending to her gardens, or maybe it was from my grandfather with his big vegetable and flower gardens; as well as time spent outdoors camping, playing in the woods, and scouts. Pair that with Robert, who loved the outdoors, hunting and camping with his family, and as my Eagle Scout found our unique setting here in Henry County and cut my trails long before I knew what was here.
When did you decide to make your home an Audubon sanctuary? Following one of Atlanta Audubon’s annual Wildlife Sanctuary Tours.
How would you describe your style? Natural
What is the one plant you can’t do without? Piedmont azalea (Rhododendron canescens). I first saw these and other native azaleas on the property of Verma Farlow in East Point Georgia back in the 1990’s, and I fell in love with them. Verma would sell plants from her yard in order to help pay for the cost of her husband’s heart medication. Searching for them led me to Nearly Native Nursery in Fayetteville, and from there Jim encouraged me to look into Georgia Native Plant Society and Garden Delights /Lazy K Nursery in Pine Mountain. These interactions lead me to being a supporter of native plants.
Do you have a favorite trick? No. I’m always learning via symposiums, talks, books, and web searches. My favorite on the internet is Ellen Honeycutt’s Blog, Using Georgia Native Plants, and my favorite book is The Natural Communities of Georgia. I wish I had had these resources before I began working in my yard!
Any words of wisdom? Be patient. Stick to plants that are native to your habitat, and expect the change that Mother Nature unexpectedly provides!
To learn more about Atlanta Audubon's Wildlife Sanctuary Program, please visit our Wildlife Sanctuary page.