County native Bonnie Holland has creativity coursing through her life. Now
living just across the line in Pike County, Bonnie is a local who is
treasured for her talents, ranging from her floral preservation business,
to her sewing and her cooking.
really can’t imagine what peer pressure is. How boring to do what
everyone else is doing! If God had wanted us all to be the same, He could
have used one cookie cutter for us all. I’m glad He used a separate
cookie cutter for me, and I’ve certainly lived that way," she says.
with polio as a young child, she thanks God for the illness that kept her
still enough to cultivate both her handiwork talents and the patience and
determination that drove her through years of therapy, eventually
regaining the strength to walk. Perhaps most of all, Bonnie says she is
thankful for a wonderful mother who pushed her to excel in life and
refused to accept anything but her daughter’s best efforts.
didn’t know how to do many of the things I learned as a child, but she
brought me books that taught me to work with my hands. I learned to
crochet and sew and so many other skills from books she gave me; and as I
read and practiced, I taught her what I learned. I wouldn’t trade those
times with her for anything, and now I can see that even then God was
preparing me for the work I would be doing later in life," Bonnie
lived away from her home community for many years before returning to care
for aging parents. "And I was so glad I did," says Bonnie.
"I had had enough of city living."
1993, Bonnie began Nature’s Notables, her floral preservation business
that creates lasting mementos of any occasion featuring fresh flowers.
"Flowers are such an important part of so many aspects of our lives,
and I’m proud to offer people a way to capture their significance."
also creates and sells women’s dress pants she calls butterfly pants.
"I found the pattern a friend and I created in the 70’s, and I was
so excited when I came across it again. I use quality fabrics and
stitching, and they are the most comfortable things to wear. I always warn
people who buy them that once they have a pair, they’ll want to wear
them all the time."
just as impressive as her floral art and fashion sense is her culinary
aptitude. "I didn’t really know how to cook when I left home.
Mother always stressed education and learning, so I was never in the
kitchen with her much. I had learned some baking from 4-H, but I guess I
learned through osmosis from being brought up in a family of good cooks. I
carried with me the memories of the wonderful food mother and both my
grandmothers had always cooked, so I called to ask questions and
experimented until I got the results I was after."
has even created a cookbook that is part recipe collection and part
pictorial history lesson of the Pike County property where she lives and
works. Originally named Silverside Farm after his prized hogs,
Representative Parke Thompson built the home and its outbuildings that are
still admired by motorists traveling Alabama Highway 29.
of the recipes featured this month is taken from Bonnie’s Nature’s
Notables Recipe Collection, which is dedicated to her mother, Margaret
Ulm. Bonnie suggests Cornbread Salad as the perfect accompaniment to black
eyed peas at any New Year’s Feast. And if a late New Year’s Day
breakfast is on your calendar, Bonnie recommends Strawberry Soup for an