Page 13: The beauty of gardens

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Martha Boyce loves showing off her garden in the backyard of her Biloxi home.

"It gives me spiritual, physical and emotional satisfaction. It's the well being of my life here," Boyce said.

Boyce is Executive Director of the Mississippi Renaissance Garden Foundation and she said she is dedicated to bringing natural beauty into people's lives. After Hurricane Katrina, Boyce said she had a vision.

"We needed a place where we could all reconnect with the earth. That's the first thing I wanted was a garden for everyone to come to like the one I have here," Boyce said.

Hiller Park is the future site of the Renaissance Garden.

Holly Gibbs, with Hands on Mississippi joined the movement Boyce called, Horticulture for Humanity because Hands on Mississippi gets young people involved with worthwhile causes. Kids and adolescents have been recruited to help bring a series of gardens to South Mississippi.

"They can make a difference. In one little pot or one inch of dirt. Their faces and their ability to believe in themselves helps them grow" said Gibbs.

The foundation is working on four satellite gardens around South Mississippi.

One is in the Katrina Sculpture Garden on Highway 90. Another is at the Armed Forces Retirement home. One is planned in Diamondhead and the fourth is at Woolmarket Elementary School.

Five hundred thousand dollars worth of flowers, vegetables and herb seeds will be arriving in on the Coast in August. Martha Boyce said she saw the destructive power of natural forces with Katrina.

"This time we're partners with mother nature. I think she'll bring us joy and beauty," Boyce said.

Read more about the project at