It has been said that faith plants the seed and love makes it grow. Robin Pitten, owner of Edgewater Gardens in Williston, began her love for plants from her grandfather and mother. As a small child, Robin watched her grandfather breed mums. The goal of flower breeding is the creation of new flowers that would not normally be found in nature. By selecting two flowers of the same species with different traits -- such as color, height, or bloom type -- and cross-pollinating them, seeds that combine the traits of both plants will be produced. The seeds produced are F1 hybrids that will grow into new, different plants.
Not all flowers are candidates for cross-breeding, as some have natural inhibitors to prevent crossing. That was the beginning of her fascination and love for plants. Robin says she has the love of everything that grows in her blood. She loves the fact that she starts everything by seed in the greenhouse. All her plants are NC plants, local to our Eastern NC climate, which makes growing them easier than what you would purchase at a big box store. Her seeds are non-GMO, and she has a lot of heirlooms. Robin says, “I love everything about the process: seeds, to propagating, watering, weeding, and watching them grow.” You will find annuals, perennials, herbs, trees, shrubs, fruit, cut flowers to even locally made animal food.
You can store a seed on the shelf for a lifetime. It will never become what it was created to be until you put it into the ground. Its potential will never be fully realized until it’s planted. We might think that we are nurturing our garden, but of course, it’s our garden that is really nurturing us. Robin loves to “give back” to the community. One of her favorites is having programs for school children. School groups and home school groups have had the benefits of being a part of the planting and growing process. Robin says, “You would be amazed that a lot of children have no idea where food comes from. Most think it comes in a can or the frozen food aisle.” She has had children exploring dirt, digging holes, planting seeds, and working the garden hose. They come back in a few weeks to see the “fruits of their labor” (of course with Robin’s help while they are back in school) and are so excited to see the end result.
“A little seed for me to sow, a little earth, to help it grown. A little sun, a little shower, a little while, and then a FLOWER.” One may say that Robin plants more than seeds as she touches the lives of others it is a seed of kindness that is sown and never lost. It sprouts in the hearts of others to bloom.
Rebecca Jones is a contract writer for the Carteret News-Times and a member of the Carteret Local Food Network blog writing team. She was born and raised in the Piedmont Triad area where she spent most of her life. She has two grown children and 6 grandchildren. Writing has always been a part of her life and she believes that it is a way to showcase and bring awareness to events that affect your community. In April of 2018, Rebecca and her husband George moved to Beaufort, NC. Her most recent two books, Love Brings You Home (about Hurricane Florence) and Go Deep (a devotional with photos), are sold locally and on Amazon.