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Cleveland resident plants flowers and spreads joy Featured

There are many ways to make the community in which you live a better place. For Cleveland resident Jimmy McClellan, it was as simple sharing one of his favorite things with the people around him. "You would have to see my yard I guess to really understand, but I just love gardening. That's one of the things my wife and I do for fun is working out in the yard. We have a fairly large area and we just enjoy getting out there and planting all sorts of flowers," he said. McClellan owns a lot on Chrisman Avenue and rather than use it for a commercial space, he decided to turn it into a community flower garden. "I bought the lot a few years ago and there was an old house on it at the time. It was pretty dilapidated and so I tore it down. Once I did that I wasn't really sure what to do with the land. I was mowing grass one day and realized that I could get rid off all of the grass and plant flowers. “I decided to go with zinnias. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision. I just ordered them in bulk and planted them," said McClellan. While his decision may have been made quickly, his flower choice was quite practical. "Zinnias grow really well here in the Delta. They don't mind hot weather; they don't need a lot of babying so I don't have to worry about them. They also make great cut flowers. They'll last about a week if you get them in water and people seem to like them," said McClellan. "Last year was my first year to do it and the response from the community was really great. There were a lot of elderly ladies that stopped and asked if they could cut some flowers. There were people who asked if they could cut some to bring to the nursing home. “I had people come and cut some for weddings. There were a few ladies who cut some for funerals. There were some people from Delta State University who came and cut some for an event they were having up at the campus. “I thought it was great. People enjoyed them so I decided to do it again this year. I have seen people out there all summer picking them and even taking pictures. I just did it for the community because I wanted people to be able enjoy these flowers as much as I do," he said. There is no need to call ahead to pick the flowers. "Anybody who wants to can come and cut as many flowers as they like to and just smile the whole while they're out there doing it as long as you don't pull them up out of the ground'," he added. McClellan explained that with zinnias, "If you cut them, they will come right back. They are great cut flowers. I'll leave them until around the end of August and then I'll mow the whole lot. The thing is though, after I cut them, I'll have another crop around the end of September. It depends on the weather of course but it takes about 30 to 45 days for the flowers to come back."

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