Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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May 21, 2013

Stotts family has been turning heads along Ind. 119 for 33 years

GOSHEN — The massive garden along Ind. 119 southwest of Goshen is easy to spot and has attracted many visitors in its nearly 33-year history.

For the Stotts family, it is just a way of life.

The Stotts family perennial garden, maintained by Betty and her daughter Debra, has been a passion since the family built its home in 1981.

Betty and her late husband Phil started the garden, planting just perennial flowers and trees.

“A perennial is the way to go because most everything never dies,” Betty said.

The garden stretches over the family’s 2.5 acre plot at 22735 Ind. 119 and features blooming trees and flowers.

Visitors are welcome to stop in and walk around.

“Some days we have one car,” Stotts said, “sometimes five.”

She has kept a guestbook to record visitors every year since 1984, she said.

One such visitor on Wednesday was Nancy Bricker, of Union, Mich. who was stopping in for the first time this year.

“Every year it seems to be bigger and better,” Bricker said.

The time put into maintaining the garden becomes nearly overwhelming, according to Stotts.

“The older you get, the harder it is to keep up with,” she said, adding it takes “whatever hours you got” to keep the garden looking pristine.

“We’ve spent 33 years working our you-know-whats off,” she said.

According to Stotts, beginning in April with the crocus, the garden has something new blooming every two weeks until August.

The garden will continue to keep visitors in awe and catch the eyes of drivers passing on Ind. 119 for years to come.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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