Jul 14, 2016

Spotlight: Paul Nelson Quite a Gardener Quite a Man

I was introduced to this very interesting man with quite a sense of humor a few years ago on Facebook, through Leo Windham another friend. He said ,"Paul is quite a character and he starts his posts with the words "Hellfire"."   Paul in turn has introduced me to so many dear friends that I have yet to meet.  I feel as though I know them all and each is special.  He draws interesting people around him and shares with all.  It is amazing that one man can attract so many good people and share such love that we all know it!  He brightens each day for us!  Join me now as I showcase this special man, his family and his love of gardening!
I mentioned that Paul likes to make what he calls 'Country Hellfire Quotes'.  I will share some of them here today throughout this post.

Paul loves to grow tomatoes and from the pictures I've seen he is a mighty fine cooker of fried green tomatoes as well!  Paul grows his gardens Organically, and chooses Heirloom Varieties of tomatoes to grow from seeds!  

"Hellfire, just an old organic gardener and lover of Mother Nature....."
Look at these beauties
I can only imagine the time and work that has gone into growing them.

Little Tomato Growing Advice From Paul
"When you plant small new tomatoes always put Epsom Salt in da hole to help with da greenery and on both sides of your young plant put a toothpick about half way into da earth.  This keeps a cut worm from wrapping around da plant and killing it."
"I get up early to work da earth, I'm kind to Mother Nature and in turn she is kind to me....I use no pesticides".  "I hang with my hoe everyday keeping da garden weed free."

I know that Paul has a battle with the heirloom crops.  They are susceptible to many problems like with tomatoes something called Clemson Late Blight Disease.  Sadly it can wipe out an organic heirloom crop in no time.  GMO crops have been bred to withstand more and spraying with strong pesticides but that isn't what he and a lot of us want to grow.

"Hellfire, y'all know that sometimes you need a gentle reminder to be grateful for all da people that are your life....."
Here he is cooking Fried Green Tomatoes for friends

"Hellfire, Happy Saint Patricks Day y'all....I'm half Irish, my mom was a O'Hallahan.  My father was an Appalachian American Nelson, which is English....My mother's people came over from Ireland to settle in Boston and my father met her in Boston while in da navy...Whatever y'all heritage is get out and celebrate..."
Paul with his lovely wife Lana
I've come to know her from Facebook as well.
Such nice people.

"Hellfire everyone deserves a little bit of amazing sometimes in their life....."
Paul with his beautiful daughter Ryan
I mean look at this picture!  
Right away I knew they were a very interesting family!

Paul's tree stand 
He loves to deer hunt
His kingdom in the Pines

"Hellfire, y'all know that sometimes da best therapy can be just listening to da laughter of your grandchild
playing and being happy......"
He passes on his love of nature and gardening to precious little one and Finnie, his dog
"Papa Bear" has a beautiful family

Papa Bear loves his onions
This variety is Texas Sweet Onion
He says they produce very well
Look at those squash plants!

 Papa Bear's Facebook Country Hellfire Quotes

"Hellfire, Happy Birthday America....Going to grill up some baby back ribs and corn on da cob on da grill and roast up some okra and just relax and enjoy our Nations' Birthday and I salute my brothers and sisters who have served this great nation both da living and da dead....Y'all have a great day and God Bless America.....I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands.  One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

"Hellfire, In life and here on Facebook always be da reason someone has faith in other people again..."

"Hellfire, I tell my friends if you aren't happy with your life, come join us on Facebook.  We'll make you forget you ever had one......"

"Hellfire, y'all should never underestimate da power of a virtual hug here on Facebook...."

Yes, Papa Bear definitely has a green thumb
Just look at this zucchini!

"Hellfire, y'all know the real purpose of memory is not just to remember your past,
but to protect your future....."
Take a look at this fence!
I love the rough hewn look
Paul and Lana are very creative
The huge azaleas were so full of blooms

"Hellfire, I was wondering, when y'all read my words....Do you hear my voice....?"

Now you can hear his voice in video below!

Rob Fowler
WCBD News 2

A little bit of information about Paul Nelson

You already know Paul is an excellent gardener.  He Lives in the beautiful low country of South Carolina.  He is an Army Veteran. He once worked as Regional Sales Manager for Stewart Sandwiches. He held that position for ten years.  Paul then  went to MUSC took a course to get a license to remove asbestos and lead paint as an Environmental Engineer.

He walks with a cane but is so active that it isn't noticed.  He walks with a cane because of a horrific accident.  He tells the reason for this.  "A woman tried to commit suicide and hit me head on with her car while I was on da way to work".  He had four rod replacements and finally a bone graft to close a non union of his femur that he had for 3 years.
"She broke her ankle....."

'The morning of my head on collision I was meeting people about removing lead paint and asbestos from da old Charleston County Jail.....My working life ended that morning 24 years ago".

"I'm an alcoholic who has been clean and sober for 22 years...that's about it..retired living da good life on da farm....."

What an extraordinary person!
Thank you Paul for making our day much brighter, everyday on Facebook.
You are an inspiration to us all!

This is 'Rebecca' Paul's 400 year old Oak Tree!   What a peaceful garden setting

"The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars,
the trail of the sun,
the strength of fire,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.
And my heart soars,"
                 ~ Chief Dan George

If you'd like more gardening tips from Paul click here


  1. Enjoyed this meeting with Papa Bear.

    1. I'm glad you did, he is an interesting person. Thank you!

  2. I love the information about adding toothpicks! I had never head that before

    1. I know I had never heard of that one myself. Paul does have a green thumb.

  3. He'll fire! You did a great job higighting Paul.

    1. Hi Jane,
      I'll have to say I found it hard to narrow it down to fit a post. You know the man is a book anyway! I sat, read, and looked it came to me! He is special that's for sure, his entire family is I do believe! I'm so glad you and Leo introduced me to him.
      Thank you Jane.

  4. Love this story and look forward to Paul's facebook posts every day!

    1. Hi Ginny,
      I look forward to his posts as well. I think he makes a lot of people happy and feel loved, he is so genuine.
      Thank you!

  5. Hellfire, great tribute to our PapaBear. Thank you!

    1. He is quite the gardener and quite the man. Thank you Nancy!