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The Constant Gardener

Mary Patton, director of public relations at Howard County General Hospital, is more than just a media guru. She’s an award-winning gardener who took home two blue ribbons and one third-place white ribbon for her home-grown tomatoes at this year’s Howard County Fair. She planted 22 vegetables, blueberries, raspberries and an herb garden in nine 4-by-70-foot raised beds. “It was the best garden I’ve ever had,” says the 30-year gardening veteran.

The secret to a great garden? “Fabulous dirt,” says Patton who begins each May with a truckload of compost. Her totally organic garden is free of chemicals and pests (with the exception of her dog Chip who devoured all the asparagus). “In the beginning I used a lot of sprays, but now I understand inter-planting and know enough about the use of biological agents to keep the garden healthy.”



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