Elizabethtown man loves to grow, show and share

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“I
wanted an old fashioned Pennsylvania Country garden, like my grandfather
had.”

That was the
humble goal of floral artist Jim Showers when he moved into his century old
family property in Elizabethtown 23 years ago.

“I know
every tree and every plant in the place and where it came from,” said
Showers. “And I know what to do with them.”

Visitors are
treated to five acres of unique plants, trees and flowers, blended together by
a network of rolling grass walkways and carefully positioned steps. Along the
way, you will find several sculptures created by some of his artistic friends.

“It's
called the Rising Sun. It's all made of copper and ceramic,” exclaimed
Showers, pointing to a thousand pound circular creation, made by Lancaster
sculptor Kevin Lehman.

“It's a
big and dramatic piece. A powerful piece.”

All
throughout the garden, pockets of sunshine and areas of shade highlight the
plants and sculptures.

“This
little antique iron garden we put here about five or six years ago,”
Showers said, pointing to one of several rest stations and quiet stops on the
tour.

Showers says
the finished garden that visitors see today evolved from years of trial and
error planting, trimming and hoping. And he did not do it all by himself.

“I have
a helper,” he said. “His name is Don Homsher. He's been helping me
every Saturday for 22 years.”

Showers'
love of horticulture came naturally. He was raised by people who knew how to
grow things and loved doing it. Throughout his career, his floral designs were
featured at Longwood Gardens and in numerous high profile homes and buildings
in Washington, D.C. And, his work can still be seen at Floral Designs of Mt.
Joy, where he works part time. Showers admits that tending to such a large
garden is getting a little harder with age, but don't look for him to hang up
his spade any time soon.

“I cant
leave the garden,” he said with great enthusiasm. :I have big plans for
the garden. I've been working on it forever.”

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