Kittrell Azaleas

Multitudes of azaleas brighten Roxie Kearney’s property in the Bobbitt community.

KITTRELL — When Robert and Roxie Kearney moved from Epsom to the Bobbitt community in 2001, their new home lacked color.

“When we moved here in 2001, there was one azalea plant,” Roxie told The Daily Dispatch in a telephone interview.

That has changed. Now the area is ablaze with color, multitudes of azaleas catching the sunlight under towering trees.

A stream behind the house is bordered with pink and white azaleas. Flowers flow along the roofline of a venerable log house.

Jay Fuller, a friend of the Kearneys, said, “The garden is unbelievable.”

Roxie Kearney described the setting more as a barnyard. Buildings of different types are scattered about the property.

Roxie said she and Robert brought plants they had rooted in Epsom. “We rooted and then planted them.”

Roxie, now 86, was born in Vance County “two or three miles” from where she now lives; Robert, who died in 2010, was born about a mile away.

They farmed tobacco, and Roxie worked for the Department of Social Services for 25 years, doing “about every job they have there.”

They raised eight children, six girls and two boys, one of whom is now deceased. There are now 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

When Roxie and Robert “moved back to where we started,” they brought some of nature’s beauty and brilliance with them.

And perhaps something else. Fuller said he finds Roxie to be “a constant inspiration and a beautiful role model for seniors.”

And there are the azaleas. Lots of them.