GC Top Gardeners: Precelia G. Brown
By Jessica Rodrigo
In Cuero, there is a home painted white and yellow adorned with different decorations month-to-month. All year round in Precelia Brown's yard, flowers bloom and plants grow in beds high and low.
Sometimes pastel-colored Easter eggs of all sizes rest below rose bushes blooming in a mixture of yellows and yellow-pinks. In the winter, lights might hang from the roof and wrap around her different African bottle trees. But no matter the time of year, she will always have something growing in whatever she can find.
As a child, she was raised by a pair of farmers in Yoakum and spent her time running around outside, playing in the dirt. She said every Good Friday they would plant seeds and that she and her siblings were responsible for keeping it weed-free.
"Naturally, it just flowed through the veins," the 80-year-old recalled. "I was just big enough to take a hoe and chop up a space of my own, when they said I could plant me a few seeds."
In 1963, when she and her husband moved into their home, he told her that there would be no flowers planted in the yard. Despite what he said, she went out as soon as he left for work and she started digging her beds.
Since then, their yard looks like what some call a nursery, with all its potted plants resting on bricks or hanging from chains just within reach for watering.
She uses the knowledge from her parents for flowers and plants that take up almost every inch of space in her yard in both her front and backyards.
"I plant flowers in anything that doesn't move," Brown said. "Every plant at this house I planted. Every flower bed, I planted."
Between working with Cuero Independent School District and raising her three children, she would be in the yard planting flowers in her beds.
She even stayed busy with the community and worked as the first secretary for the Keep Cuero Beautiful organization in 1986.
She no longer works with the group, but still takes pride in being a part of the group that was awarded thousands of dollars and was put toward purchasing concrete planters that stud the sidewalk in front of the city administration building on Main Street.
"I enjoy seeing plants grow, and I love the garden," she said.
Family: Married almost 60 years. Three children, Valeria G. Brown, Gavilyn Brown Jones and Glitheria Brown Cruz.
What are your favorite things to grow in your garden?
Roses, lilies and all kinds of plants. I always grew up with plants and flowers.
Has gardening taught you any valuable life lessons?
Yes. If you can grow what you plant and produce, you will not be afraid to eat it. You know how it is treated with care.
If you could change the climate to grow any plant in your garden, what would you plant and why?
I would have every day be spring. Things just grow better in the spring.
Are there any specific reasons why you garden?
Gardening is therapy. For me, it takes the stress away, and I get exercise. I spend a lot of time in my garden.
What is the biggest problem that you have come across while gardening?
Trying to keep the plants watered properly. And dusting for harmful insects.