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under the sun B:
Garden Flourishes Under Milt Stoughton's Green Thumb
BY SUSAN USHER
An elegant sun room and a curved pa
tio extending along the rear of the
house both offer guests uninterrupted
views of Milton Stoughton's garden.
You're not likely, though, to Find Milt re
laxing on the patio, enjoying the soft gurgle
of the garden fountain or leisurely watching
birds at a feeder.
"My only looking comes when I'm work
ing in it," he says, guiding a visitor through
a compact garden that's colorful even in late
Celebrating his 7Kth birthday on Feb. 24,
this talented businessman-turned-gardener
relishes the hours he spends close to the
earth, creating a landscape pleasing to the
"Clean living and damn meanness is what
you have to have," he insists playfully.
Perhaps a childhood spent on a family farm
in South Dakota plays a part, along with no
hesitation in following his own advice to
would-be gardeners: "I'd tell them don't be
afraid to get their hands dirty and to get
down on their knees."
A low-maintenance plan that features on
ly a few annuals helps keep the workload
manageable and pleasurable.
Stoughton moved here in 1982 with his
first wife, after his retirement as manager of
Fruehauf Trailers* Charlotte plant. They
built on two 65-foot lots on Eyota Drive, off
N.C. 179, not far from the beach where they
had vacationed off and on during their 10
years in North Carolina.
After removing 3X trees. Milt built the
pink house, a small guest cottage that over
looks a back corner of the garden. He lived
there for most of a year while building a re
tirement home of his own design.
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new beginning after the loss of his first wife.
Inside, the home he shares today with his
wife, Mary, showcases her talents as an inte
rior decorator as well as his custom wood
work, a hobby Milt's enjoyed most of his
The garden is Milt's and Milt's alone,
Mary insists, saying, "l don't want to get my
The concrete patio curves like a reverse
"S" along the garden edge, brick edging
covering a narrow ditch designed to drain
water away from the house. Scattered sprin
klers insure regular irrigation.
"This is the third year and the last year for
pansies." he pronounces, glancing at a cor
ner bed with little signs of life. "They're still
not doing anything."
The pansies are an exception; examples of
Milt's green thumb and sense of artistry
Ornamental trees, shrubs and beds of
perennials arc around a patch of green lawn.
Gravel and brick paths meander through the
garden, bounding oblong islands of color.
Scattered stones seem to emerge naturally
from a landscape (hat only a few years ago
wasn't much more than loose, infertile sand.
The thing that s shortest around here is
land fit to grow things in." He continues in a
gruff tone of dismissal, "Beach sand, that's
all it is."
Milt's solution is tucked discreetly into a
corner: Two giant composting bins that have
been in business from the beginning.
Dogwoods planted along the back fence
add springtime color and arc within nibbling
reach of visiting deer, while azaleas edge a
Platform and hanging feeders tempt a va
riety of birds through the winter months.
Three feeders provide sunflower seed for the
gray squirrels that scamper freely through
the property, tails swishing. Stoughton
hasn't been able to find more of the deer
corn he prefers.
Trees and shrubs of varying heights,
shapes and growing habits add form and tex
ture. Fresh green leaves are just starting to
appear on Milt's 120 Gerber daisies. A
prickly yellow-green Mahonia holly, pink
camellias, a red-barked dogwood and red
orange firethorn berries sparkle against an
otherwise muted winter palette of grays and
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^ DRESS S H O R ^
Spring Savings Time
New Spring Apparel ?
Now 20% Off p
Does Not Include Jewelry or Handbags ? Layaways Welcome /
Final Winter |
on all remaining winter apparel
Sorry, no layaways on final clearance items ? All sales final. No
refunds or exchanges at these low prices. ^
American Express ? MasterCard ? Visa ? Open Mon-Sat 10-5:30
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AT AGE 78, Milton
Stoughton (in photo above)
finds pleasure tending his
own lush garden, sweeping
paths and getting down on
hands and knees to weed,
mulch and dig. At right, the
results are visible all year
round, especially in
In April the garden will burst into its most
colorful spectacle of the year?the pastels of
springtime azalea, forsythia, wisteria, flow
ering dogwood and bulbs.
Come summer, garden tones will deepen
and brighten. Hummingbirds and butterflies
will draw nectar from the giant blue butter
fly bush. Cannas, daisies and other perenni
als will add their longlasting color.
Stoughton counsels, "Anywhere you want
a fence, just plant canna."
Trumpet vine and mandcvilla will ramble
over Milt's handcrafted arbors and garden
seat. Getting just three hours of overhead ues later as he sits in the sunroom, sipping
sun a day, the garden will offer a cozy re- coffee and sorting through pictures of the
treat from the heat. garden in its best spring garb.
"It's not a bad hobby, making something "You've got to do something to stay out
grow and getting to look at it," Milt contin- of the bars."
Auto Accidents Disability Job Ii\juries
ARE YOU A HARD WORKER NOW INJURED OR DISABLED?
Kathleen Shannon Glancy
Attorney at Law
114 S. Front St., Wilmington, NC
LET ME WORK HARD FOR YOU TO OBTAIN FAIR AND
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AT LITTLE RIVER
On Sale At
CAROLINA SHORES AUTO SERVICE
FOOD CHIEF (TEXACO)
FOOD LION SHOPPING CENTER
Dr. Christopher J. Moshoures
is pleased to announce
the opening of his
new office location
for the practice of
Optometry and Diseases of the Eye.
4830 Main Street ? Shallotte
C'W TMt BHUNSVWCK Bl AC OX