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84-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, July 3. 1993
LOU ANN GOOD
Lancaster Farming Staff
LEBANON (Lebanon Co.)
“When our five children grew up
and moved away during the 19705,
it took me a while to find myself,"
Lilly Hershey said. “But I finally
Much to her surprise, Lilly dis
covered that she had a whole lot of
formerly untapped creative ability
that has resulted in her winning
numerous blue ribbons at flower
shows and has enabled her to teach
crafts at Lebanon Extension
. “I thought I couldn’t do any
thing when I first joined the Flower
Club,” she said.’
For many months, she went to
meetings as an observer, always
staying in the shadows, never
intending to become involved. But
Lilly found that the Flower Club
members were a friendly group
and when a workshop on making
pine cone wreaths piqued her inter
est, she made one. Her completed
pine cone wreath earned a blue rib
bon in the club’s competition.
‘That was a big incentive to
me,” said Lilly, who then made
numerous wreaths for gifts and
even instructed others on how to
make the wreaths.
“Life took off again," Lilly said
of those years in the 19705. And, it
has not slowed down since then.
After the pine cone wreaths, Lil
ly began designing pictures made
of dried materials. Two of those
pictures also captured ribbons and
created within her an admiration
for the beauty of natural materials.
Soon she was drying flowers and
picking weeds to use in
“It took a while for me to do
flower arrangements good enough
for the judges to give me a blue rib
bon, but I’ve gotten a few through
the years,” Lilly admitted.
In 1991, Lilly was elated that
one of her arrangements got the
Award of Distinction, which
means the best over all categories.
Lilly Hershey suggest* making a spice necklace. You
need strong thread and two needles. Thread a 36-Inch piece
of strong thread with a needle at both ends. Soak 2 tables
poons of whole alieplce and 1 teaspoon of cloves, some
pieces and one to three whole anise, 4 tonka or vanilla
beans, and some cinnamon sticks. For eight hours, soak
dark and light pieces separately. Start at center front of
necklace and Interchange spices as you go along. You may
use rose hips, small red peppers, dried ginger, whole nut
meg balls, and other favorite spices.
for decorating is using fresh
greens. “With greens, there is so
much you can do for your own
home and for gifts,” she said.
Much of her expertise in using
greens in arrangements came from
working a Royer’s Garden Center
for 10 years during the 1980 s. It
was there that she learned to appro
priately use insecticides and herbi
cides and now treats the hundreds
of trees and bushes that grow on
When Lilly retired from the
Garden Center, she found that she
missed the greenhouse. When her
husband put up a large shed to
house his 35 antique cars, Lilly
told him that if he needed a shed
that size for his hobby, she needed
a greenhouse for her hobby.
Her husband good naturedly
agreed and Lilly got her green
house in the backyard. In it, Lilly
grows plants that are difficult to
find locally. She refers to the
greenhouse as her therapy. On
some bitter winter days, she finds
rejuvenation by just sitting inside
She starts cuttings from unusual
plants of friends. A rosebud gera
nium is one in which she has found
hundreds of people like a cutting.
“Anyone can go to a garden cen
ter and buy a big beautiful plant,”
Lilly said. “I prefer to take a small
cutting and see what becomes of
She pointed at a profuse pot of
healthy ivy and said that it was a
pitiful piece when she first nursed
the cutting into becoming a beauti
“1 talk to my plants every day
and I think it helps,” she confessed.
Lilly’s garden is quite a distance
from the nouse and lays next to the
creek that meanders through the
To reach the garden, Lilly hops
on a golf cart and steers through an
assortment of ducks, chickens,
dogs, and cats, that wander compa
tibly on the property.
In addition to vegetable staples.
Lilly Hershey tends her garden planted with vegetables and flowers.
Depression and my parents cleaning up dolls is to wash dolls’
couldn’t afford to buy dolls for hair in false teeth cleaner. “It
me,” said Lilly who surmises that works better than anything else,
aspect probably has a bearing on she said of the unorthodox use.
why she prefers the older dolls Lilly’s husband, Melvin, col
with sleepy eyes. lects antique cars and has the dis-
Some of the dolls she purchases tinction of owning the first fire
are in pieces. She learned to fix the engine used in Lancaster County,
dolls herself when she took one to It is a horse-drawn model with
a doll hospital and was told that it hand carved wood and is estimated
could not be repaired. She had paid to date back to the 1700 s before the
$3O for the pieces and was offered Revolutionary War. Melvin’s car
$lOO after she put it together again, collection focuses on unusual cats
A trick of the trade that Lilly such as Packards, Sears. Hubmo-
flowers to use in her projects or
just to enjoy pampering. She
grows 130 varieties of iris and a
peppering of mint teas. Because
the garden is bordered by wood
land on two sides and a creek on
the other, wildlife is profuse so the
garden is fenced in on all sides. If
the gate is left open, the horse, SO
chickens, 23 turkeys, and 60 ducks
that roam the property, sometimes
wander in and feast on the growing
To keep the weeds from grow
ing, Lilly lays newspapers
between the rows. She prefers
newspaper over plastic as it allows
rain to soak through and keeps the
ground moist. Because the paper is
biodegradable, it rots into the soil
or can be tilled into the soil at the
end of the season.
“It’s another way to recycle
newspapers, Lilly said.
At one of the garden is a com
post barrel where Lilly disposes of
all weeds and table scrapes.
“In the spring, I empty the com
post barrel and you wouldn't
believe what rich black soil comes
out of it," Lilly said.
Three years ago, Lilly became
president of the Lebanon Flower
Club. Now, she is concentrating on
fresh flower techniques and has
joined a Herb Club. She happily
reports that three of her grand
daughters are interested in her dry
ing flowers and growing straw
flowers and stadce.
Lilly has invested money into
purchasing a good dehydrator for
drying herbs, fruits, and veget
ables. She also uses the herbs to
make seasoned mustards and herb
vinegars. The mustard is made by
drying herbs and grinding them
into a powder.
“Mix the ground herbs into the
cheapest mustard you can buy
because the brand name mustards
do not mix as well,” Lilly advises
those who want to add their own
seasonings to mustard.
About the same time that Lilly
joined the Flower Club, she also
became interested in doll collect
ing. She now has SO dolls.
“I was told that I collect dolls
because I grew up during the
These pressed flowers on
a round plaque is only one of
the many projects for which
Lilly captured top awards in
Flower Club competition.
Lilly Hershey shows off some of her favorite doll collec
tion. She collects older dolls with sleepy eyes. Most of the
50 that she has collected needed extensive repair, which
Lilly enjoys doing.
In her one-person greenhouse, Lilly likes to grow things
that cannot be purchased in local greenhouses. “Some
times during the long winter months, I Just like to come here
and sit In the sun,” she said.