First United Methodist Church in Pontotoc, Mississippi, was constructed in 1910. The church, a Romanesque Revival building, is featured in Historic Churches of Mississippi.

As many of you know, my inspiration for starting this blog, was from my Mother, Maxine Patterson, who passed away in  2010.  She was involved in many ministries in her church and community, but her greatest love was creating flower arrangements for weekly worship services at First United Methodist Church in Pontotoc, MS.  For over thirty years, she grew, gathered, and made countless floral arrangments for worship services there.  Although she was widely known in the community for her prize winning roses, she loved to incorporate flowers and greenery from other acquaintances from whom she had acquired “cutting rights”.  I can remember her trunk being supplied with rubber boots, gloves, and flower clippers just in case we might “happen on” something unique growing on the roadside.  Some of her favorites included Queen Anne’s Lace, cattails, persimmons, and Beauty Berry.  It was not unusual for her to stop the car suddenly, and step into a ditch to explore the options!  Also, she loved to take excursions in the woods to collect Jackson Vine (Similax smali), and even engaged a property owner to take her out in his four wheeler to harvest it!  She definitely enjoyed “the hunt” for unique and natural flowers to incorporate into her floral creations.  Mother found peace and solace in the garden, and was happiest when she was gardening in her beloved rose garden.


Below are a few of my Mother’s church arrangments:


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Wilma Sartin with one of her artistic creations

Several years prior to my Mother’s death, a sweet lady named Wilma Sartin, began helping my Mother with the weekly church arrangements. She now heads up the flower ministry at the church.  A gifted floral designer, she also works for a local florist sharing her many talents.  Although a master gardener, Wilma is also gifted musically, and even plays the violin!  Her sweet spirit, humility, and graciousness instantly make you feel like you’ve found a new best friend!  Wilma will always hold a special place in my heart.  She was my Mother’s last hospital visitor several hours prior to her death three years ago.  I will always have memories of a gorgeous bouquet of blush colored roses she brought to her bedside.  As always, her smile and love permeated the room….


A floral design incorporating roses from my Mother’s garden on Mother’s Day, 2010, several months after she passed away.


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A magnificent spring arrangement Wilma created in May, 2012, using flowers solely from the Patterson garden.

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Mother pictured far left with Wilma to her right.


May the talents of these two women inspire us to use our gifts for God’s glory!

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars..

                                                                                       Martin Luther



  1. My mother used to sing the hymn “I Come to the Garden Alone” while she worked in the yard. I know I fee God’s presence when I’m gardening. Your Mother had a wonderful ministry!

  2. I absolutely love this entry! I have enjoyed each and every one, but this one in particular. Your Mother was a beautiful lady…inside and out. She lives on through you, without a doubt! Thanks so much for the inspiring words and the inspiring photographs! Beautiful!

  3. Mary Lise., Thank you for allowing me to view these beautiful arrangements of Mrs. Maxine. I always enjoyed seeing your Mom’s flowers. My mother loved your mom, and Mrs. Maxine was so good to bring her beautiful flowers to mother when she was diagnosed with dementia. When mother went to the Nursing Home Mrs. Maxine never forgot her bringing roses to her room or to the dining room and living room. She certainly had a Divine calling and brought many smiles along the way. So glad you are carrying on the family calling. Belinda Ball Young Pontotoc, MS

    • I appreciate you sweet comments, Belinda! Mother was such a loving and caring lady, and an example to so many. She was so humble in sharing her gifts with people. I will share your sweet comments with Claire and Patti. I hope you and your family are doing well. Thanks so much for looking at my blog.

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