Mr. Pride forgot about a career in medicine. "You
should see me fuss over a tree or plant that's sick. How
do you think I could have survived a lifetime as a doctor?"
Seventy years ago, Mr. Pride couldn't understand
why holly trees didn't show up in home gardens. He still
couldn't understand why his favorite tree did not become
We've got a hardy variety now. And the holly
is lush and green all winter long - with red berries. These stay on all winter until the robins
come back in the spring - then you should see them
feast. They love to nest in holly too - the sharp leaves
defense against cats.
Mr. Pride's city garden in Butler had stunning
holly trees, some the result of the original seeds
given to him years ago by his fraternity brother.
He spent much time at his farm five miles
south of town, where he cultivated rows of the glossy
green holy in different stages of growth. He specialized
own strains, carefully developed from the original rugged
West Virginia type. He called them Grace hybrid hollies
- named for his wife, Grace Elizabeth (Betty) Pride.
He developed 16 varieties
One thing holly taught the quiet, soft spoken
horticulturist was infinite patience. "Nothing hurries
holly," he said. "It's slow growing, but
strong. And some varieties have produced trees 85 feet
three or four centuries old."
Such magnificent specimens were in Mr. Pride's
dreams, no doubt, when he planted his 20,000 seedlings
years ago on his grandfather's farm, which grew into Pride