Melanie Landrum’s Cottage Garden – Sowing Seeds and Spreading Joy through Flowers
Story and Photos by Bonnie Helander

Melanie Landrum is used to cars stopping on the road to gaze at her front garden, or golfers on the course adjacent to her house, pausing before a shot to admire and comment on some of her blooms. She has lived and gardened at her Canongate Golf Club home for 50 years, creating a beautiful tapestry of color for those around her to enjoy. Melanie remarks, “I live in a fish bowl on the golf course, so I try to make it pretty!”

Raised in Newnan, Melanie moved to the first house built on the course (Hole 10 Roquemore) across the street from the Canongate clubhouse in 1972 when her father became the club Golf Pro – a job he kept for 34 years! Her parents always enjoyed gardening, and Melanie can point out plants and trees they planted years ago; but her passion as a child was horses, and she rode and showed horses for 25 years.

Melanie met her husband Ron, at Delta, where she worked in Operations. When her parents needed assistance later in life, Melanie and Ron moved “back home” into her parent’s house and then stayed on after their passing. Melanie took the same passion she once had for horses and poured her heart into gardening. 

A warm, down-to-earth, and caring person, Melanie’s informal cottage garden style fits her personality. A kaleidoscope of color spills out from the garden beds in the spring through the fall. Like most avid gardeners, Melanie can’t resist any new plant or variety. She always finds a place for an unusual, new find. 

The garden has evolved over the years. Ron, a very handy man, built a combination workshop and garden shed with a porch, where Melanie has created charm and character with pots, vintage signs and other garden art. A greenhouse was added where Melanie weaves her magic, propagating plants to add to the garden or share with friends. Anyone rarely leaves her home after a visit without a seedling or some vegetables she has grown in her vegetable garden raised beds.

Melanie has over 50 varieties of heirloom roses- many spilling over arbors and her white picket fence. It is hard for her to pick favorites but she is very partial to the fragrant, yellow ‘Julia Child,’ the pink ‘Belinda’s Dream,’ and ‘Katy Road Pink.’  Another favorite is the pink climber, ‘Peggy Martin’ – a rose that survived Hurricane Katrina after being submerged in salt water for two weeks! Melanie travels to Petals from the Past Nursery in Jemison, Alabama to get her roses and other heirloom plants.

Just for fun and to save money, Melanie loves to sow flower seeds directly into garden beds. She makes sure the soil is first well amended with Soil3 Humus compost. It really is all about the dirt! Melanie sows cool season flowers into her beds around Thanksgiving – poppies, larkspur, bachelor buttons, California poppies and Love-in-a-Mist. In early May, after the last frost, she direct sows warm season flower seeds like cosmos, zinnias and sunflowers. She is awarded each year with a colorful swath of self-seeding spring and summer flowers.  If you come by during spring or summer, you are likely to leave with a beautiful bouquet!

Melanie loves gardening for the deep friendships she has made in the community. “The friends I have made share my same passion, and I learn so much from them. They have given me the confidence and encouragement to try new things in the garden.” Melanie hopes others will be inspired by her garden to take up the joy of creating beauty in their own yards. She suggests joining a local garden club or taking the course to become a master gardener. Or, just find some friends who can inspire you and share their knowledge. A master gardener herself, Melanie invites area residents to attend the Backyard Association monthly gardening talks, hosted by Coweta County master gardener extension volunteers, on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Newnan Fairgrounds.