Category Archives: Gardening

A Realtor’s Gardening Project

The Tommy Morgan Realtors Oxford branch office has a vegetable garden.

The branch broker, Sean Hettinger, is the mastermind behind the healthy food activity.

He told me that in Ohio, where he moved here from, a woman in town had planted vegetables along the curb in front of her house when a tree was taken down. The spot was left bare and open, so why not put something useful there?

She grew vegetables and anyone was welcome to take what was ripe.

Back to the TM office, Sean has a view of the parking lot from his desk, and there is a little strip of dirt and weeds across the parking lot between the curb and the retaining wall that holds the parking lot up on the hill. He decided to get rid of the ugly weeds and put something more visually pleasing there. So that is how vegetables and sunflowers began popping up each year in that little strip of dirt.

There isn’t much there right now; just a few remaining late-season brussels sprout plants but he is surely planning the summer garden.

Sean is also our TM branch office resident chef, concocting healthy and creative breakfast meals for our weekly sales meetings. In the summer, though, we can feast on what ever is growing in the garden, so a salad gets added to the breakfast.

Not only do the agents in the branch office benefit from his generous gardening but he lets others in the office park take vegetables home.

I usually break off a couple of the small tomato varieties to snack on, but I’ve taken some squash home, too.

Do you have a small sunny spot at your office or near your home? Plant a garden to share with neighbors, friends and co-workers. Everyone benefits. Enjoy!


Early garden view

Midsummer garden view 1
Midsummer garden view 2
Late summer
Late summer
2020 winter: what’s left of the brussels sprouts
Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors BOF-Oxford 2092 Old Taylor Road #101, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344


Backyard Wildlife Habitats

I had a great time at the Lafayette County Oxford Public Library today leading a workshop on Backyard Wildlife Habitats and getting your yard certified. It is my favorite workshop to lead. I really missed my teaching partner, Tracy DiPietro.  When I lived in South Alabama, she and I would lead similar workshops for school children to supplement their science classes. Tracy and I are Master Environmental Educators and I am a Certified Junior Master Gardener Instructor.

I am available to help Oxford residents and schools with their gardens so feel free to contact me.

Today’s workshop was part of the Books and Lunch program at the public library. There were door prizes and lunch, made of vegetables from the library’s garden, was served to participants.

I will have another gardening workshop early in the fall. Topic TBD. Check the library’s website for upcoming summer workshops.

If you missed the workshop and want to know all about turning your Oxford yard into a backyard wildlife habitat read on.  You’ll need 4 elements to make this habitat. These are:

1. A water source: pond, stream, lake, bird bath, fish pond are just a few ideas.

backyard habitat water source and cover elements

2. Cover: a place for animals to hide from predators: shrubs, trees, ground cover, a broken pot on its side for a toad to hide in, rock ledges overhanging a fish pond for the fish to hid under, etc.

3. A place to live: bird houses, butterfly hut, foliage for butterflies and other insects to lay their eggs on, trees for nesting.


4. A food source: hummingbird, squirrel, and bird feeders, foliage, flowers, etc.


Once you have these elements, add a place for you to sit and enjoy your yard. Then, head over to and register your yard for a certificate and sign. The certificate will cost $20; signs are additional and optional but great to have on a post in your garden for all to see.

Have fun!

Eileen Saunders, Realtor~Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655~662-404-0816/662-234-5344.  Equal Housing


It’s true that trees can add value to a home.  They can also do a lot more:

  • Trees add a cooling effect for your house when planted in the correct space. According to the Center for Urban Forest Research, a tree planted on the west side of your house can save you 3% in energy bill after 5 years. And, the USDA claims that properly places trees can reduce both air conditioning and heating needs.
  • It is believed that landscaping with trees can increase property values. Mature trees can add appraised value to your home, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraiser.
  • Trees add an aesthetic quality to a home.  A landscaped yard, with trees included, add to the curb appeal of the house making it more appealing to potential renters or buyers.
  • Trees can reduce runoff and erosion on your property. This allows the ground water supply to stay at top levels which is important for tree survival. Tree roots can also keep sediment and harmful chemicals from entering streams.
  • If you need a Green reason to plant trees, the USDA estimates that one acre of forest can absorb 6 tons of CO2 and adds 4 tons of oxygen, which we need to breathe.
  • And for mental health, Texan A&M University research determined that visual exposure to tree trees  reduces stress, blood pressure and muscle tension.

So why wouldn’t you want to plant trees on your yard?


Eileen Saunders, Realtor ~~ Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Rd., Oxford, MS~~ 662-234-5344 (o) or 662-404-0816



My garden talk at the public library scheduled for last week was rescheduled due to the 4+ inches of snow that the area received.  The new date is Monday, March 9 at noon in the library auditorium. Call for a reservation since lunch is being served: 662-234-5751. Read my previous article to find out more about this event by clicking here.

Meanwhile, the Oxford Community Gardens are ready for the new growing season. Plots are available for $35. So far, no waiting list.  Contact for more information.

Eileen P. Saunders, Realtor
Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors
2092 Old Taylor Rd., Suite 101
Oxford, MS 38655
662-234-5344, 662-404-0816

Vegetable Gardens in Oxford

One of my hobbies is gardening. I’m a Jr Master Garden instructor and have a Master designation in environmental education, backyard wildlife habitats, birding and more.  I enjoy gardening and teaching how to garden.

This week, I will be presenting a garden talk at the Oxford Lafayette Public Library on Thursday, February 26, at noon.  I’ll be giving instruction on how to use the library’s Seed Lending Library, and getting started with your summer garden.101_0422_00

It is time to start planning so if you have interest in growing vegetables in your yard this year, call to reserve a spot at this event. Lunch will be served so the library staff will need to know how many to plan for.

New to Oxford?  Come out to get acquainted with Zone 7 growing.

Did I mention there will be door prizes?

The library is located at 401 Bramlett Blvd.  Phone number: 662-234-5751.

Eileen P. Saunders, Realtor
Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors
2092 Old Taylor Rd., Suite 101
Oxford, MS 38655
662-234-5344, 662-404-0816