A Thousand Words Beyond the Hill

Edward Linsmier

If puns are “pun-ishment” for you, take an aspirin before you read any farther.

While some would run for air conditioning the moment a drop of sweat rolls down their face, John Potter would rather retreat to his “ear conditioning.” Elephant ears, that is. The plants, scattered across an antique International farm truck in the yard, are the “International Plant of the Ear.”

John Potter not only has his own method of air conditioning, but he also has his own Web site. But you won’t get to his site from a computer. A gargantuan stuffed spider is the only occupant of the weather-stained white web strung between two A-frames outside. A nearby sign reads, “Peas grow to our website.”

Adorning the lawn are Potter’s rusty trucks, which sport nifty names like Betty, Dumpy, Dodger and Vanna White. “Vanna’s the one with nice headlights,” John said.

With a smile, John explains that more than 200 potted Alocasias and Elephant Ear plants sit on the barn’s 22-foot sloped roof.

John works the outside nursery full-time with occasional help from his wife, Karen. There, they trim, plant and arrange. But they don’t mind the dirt or even the rain. They just enjoy life and smile whenever possible.

BEGINITAL Edward Linsmier is a sophomore photojournalism major from Virginia Beach, Va. He can be reached at [email protected]