Amongst his lots of books about gardening, licensed Master Garden enthusiast Ben Franklin has one in particular that he never provides out to anyone– an autographed book called “Digging in the Dirt: Friendly Tips for the Gardener in All of United States” by his good friend and fellow Midland gardener, Ed Hutchison.Franklin treasures that schedule simply as he treasures his relationship with Hutchison, a nationally-syndicated garden writer who passed away Tuesday.”Of all individuals I have actually satisfied in Midland,
Ed is one person who has had an enduring impact on my life, “said Franklin, who likewise was a fellow Dow Corning employee with Hutchison and a previous next-door neighbor.”His enthusiasm for life manifested itself in his gardening. He was always uplifting and pleasant, and simply a downright fantastic character.” Hutchison was one
of 8 siblings and finished from Midland High School and Michigan State University, earning degrees in floriculture and journalism. He was a marketing communications manager at Dow Corning from 1977 to 2000.
Hutchison composed a gardening column for the Midland Daily News, going at least as far back as the early 1980s. After a hiatus of a couple of years, he resumed his column in 2021, called “In the Garden With Ed,” and his newest writing appeared in the Sept. 10-11 weekend paper. He started with these words: “Now is a great time to analyze your gardening effort and note what worked well and what did not.”
Franklin stated despite the fact that he and Hutchison worked for the exact same company for several years, they didn’t actually learn more about each other up until Franklin was becoming a qualified Master Gardener and Hutchinson took place to move into a home 3 doors down from Franklin on Congress Drive.
“He had the most gorgeous yard in the subdivision. I said, ‘Let me go see who owns this pretty garden,'” Franklin remembered.
From that point on, Hutchison ended up being a mentor, and a friend, to Franklin.
“He assisted me do the practical (gardening) stuff as opposed to the book learning (required to become a Master Gardener). I might talk about things I had learned and get his input,” Franklin stated.
Their shared interest in gardening translated into an enduring relationship. Franklin said he and Hutchison just a couple of weeks ago did a joint discussion about gardening to an audience at Senior citizen Providers, and they were preparing to follow up with more such occasions, dubbing themselves the “Ed and Ben Show.”
“I do not think I would have been as enthustiastic about gardening if it had not been for Ed who lit that fire,” Franklin stated. “Ed was the one who influenced me to end up being the garden enthusiast I am today.”
In addition to his columns, Hutchison likewise had his own site, edsgarden.com, where he provided tips on gardening.
Former Daily News Accent Editor and Handling Editor Lori Qualls echoed Franklin’s ideas about Hutchison’s enthusiasm, and also noted his humility and curiosity.
“He let the reader understand he was constantly learning, learning together with them, and he was always trying something new,” Qualls said. “He was simply an enjoyable, pleasant person. I can hear his voice in my head right now and our phone conversation. It always just a cheerful voice, a happy voice, an excited voice all set to share his love of gardening and flowers.”