Watkinsville Garden Club
Joy Nellans Redmond
Joy Redmond is a woman who deserves her name. Any time you see her she has a smile on her face, and her life is filled with family, friends, music, art, and yes—gardening.
Joy joined the Watkinsville Garden Club in 2016 when she retired from her job teaching special education students at Cedar Shoals High School. She also plays in three bands. She plays a guitar and sings in the Athens Women’s Singing Circle and The Folk Society Band, and is in the Athens Symphony Chorus.
Joy and her husband, Rob, live on 30 acres of land with two creeks running through it outside Watkinsville. Surrounding their property are 500 acres of uninhabited land, giving them an expansive view of nature and the changing seasons. She moved there in 1993 with her husband and their twin girls, Catherine and Virginia, who were ten years old. The twins are the children of her previous marriage to Vincent Nellans who passed away from pancreatic cancer. Two horses also came to live with them, and one of them still lives there, growing old together according to Joy.
She has happy memories of summers with the girls when they would take mud baths, slathering themselves with clay from the creek banks, lying in the sun until it dried, and then jumping in the creek to wash off. Joy feels lucky to have been loved twice in her lifetime—two loving husbands and two loving daughters. “When you can’t change the past, you cherish the present.”
Gardening has always been a part of her life. Her mother, a master
gardener, was her mentor. Throughout her adult life, she has had a
garden, especially victory gardens with okra, eggplant, and tomatoes.
One of her favorite spots now is sitting in a garden swing near her rock
garden, filled with seasonal flowers such as spider lilies, daffodils, day
lilies, and roses. She also has an herb garden. In the spring of 2019
they got a hoop house so that Joy could start plants for the garden.
They also grew vegetables in raised beds. Her favorite flower is lantana,
and her favorite season is spring.
In addition to her teaching credentials, Joy has an art degree from the
University of West Georgia. Her art is intertwined with the plants in her garden. She turns stepping stones into glass mosaics, which appear throughout her garden and in the gardens of her friends and family. She also produces bottle art—her guardians of the garden. These are bottles on garden stakes decorated with pottery shards, buttons, rocks, and even her mother’s jewelry!
You can find Joy at the Oconee Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings from April to November. She has been on the board of the Farmer’s Market since 2005 where she sells her garden art and many other items.