By GWEN SISSON
Ruth Morgan said Beverly Merrill Robinson is “a small petite lady with a soft voice and her head chock full of memories of growing up in Oktibbeha County.”
Emily Jones calls her a “legend” and “quite a character.”
At the age of 90, Beverly Merrill Robinson has proven to be fearless.
She does her own bush-hogging over about 30 acres fondly known around Starkville as Daffodill Lane. She uses the chainsaw to cut downed trees on her property. She drives her little blue car over pastureland to give a quick tour of the place. She takes care of her younger sister who is 85. And in her younger years, she was Oktibbeha County’s first female pilot, taking flying lessons from local aviation legend, Sumter Camp.
She exemplifies that same spirit of adventure in her garden, where she has implemented a daylily hybridization program in two large beds. Robinson has two large daylily beds where she plants her favorites and takes the pollen from one plant to mix with another to create new colors and textures.
“It is like a living color,” Robinson said. “You can create any color you want, like a painting.”
Something is always blooming on Robinson’s acreage. She is best known for the acres and acres of daffodils growing each spring. The road for best viewing the daffodils is now called Daffodill Lane at Robinson Lake, just off Old West Point Road. In the spring, this area just outside of Starkville is a mass of yellow flowers of different varieties.
She can be found in the yard almost every morning. Robinson said she thought retirement would be a time to rest and take it easy, but she keeps as buzy as ever. Robinson gets up early and can be found in the yard until about 10 a.m., when she goes in to begin preparing lunch. She said it is too hot to work in the yard after lunch, and plans her work accordingly.
In mid-summer, the hills are starting to grow up, and Robinson is anxious to begin bush-hogging the area. She has taken care of the property for many years while her husband, Jimmie, took care of their Country Store. And she has had that job since.
This year, a wren has built a nest in the engine of her tractor, so she is postponing some of the work so she doesn’t destroy the bird’s nest. But as Robinson drives her little blue car over pastureland, she talks about getting the chainsaw out to take care of a fallen tree, or bush-hogging the side of the lake... and what will be growing next year in the garden.