Melanie Mitchell

Melanie Mitchell grew up loving flowers in Kosciusko, Mississippi where her family owned and operated Love’s Greenhouses for 30 years.
“On about seven acres of glass houses, we grew thousands of potted flowers like chrysanthemums, poinsettias, Easter lilies, hydrangeas and tulips,” said Melanie. “We wholesaled around the state to retail florists. That was before you could buy flowers everywhere.”
In 1975, Melanie married Hardy Mitchell, and they worked in Love’s Greenhouses until it was sold years later. But Melanie never forgot her love for flowers.
“Because we grew flowers, I could just go get flowers and take them home, so I always had flowers,” she said. “My mother was a florist, too.”
To Melanie, however, it was not about growing flowers; it was about cutting and displaying them in her house.
“I love flowers because of my family background, but I’m not a gardener.” The truth is, Melanie, added, “I really don’t like a lot of yard work.”
Another truth is that Melanie and Hardy’s businesses in Starkville leave little time for yard work. In 2002, the couple moved from their Mississippi Delta home so Melanie could become co-owner and principle broker of the real estate firm, Prudential Starkville Properties, now Starkville Properties. She and Hardy also own Shipley’s Donuts, which Hardy runs.
This was not the first time Hardy and Melanie lived in Starkville. Hardy attended Mississippi State University and worked at the Athletic Department before they moved to the Delta where they remained die-hard MSU Bulldog fans. Now, Melanie loves living in Starkville because it’s a college town and has great energy.
“It’s growing and booming, and the people are wonderful,” said Melanie. “When you are a realtor, you work with the public moving into Starkville, so it’s not about selling a house. They are joining our community.”
As business owners, Melanie and Hardy believe in giving back to the community that supports them. In fact, Melanie received the Ambassador of the Year Award, a program that Melanie helped the Greater Starkville Development Partnership (GSDP) get started. In 2006, Melanie was named Realtor of the Year for Mississippi.
“That was my biggest honor as far as professional.”
Her role as a progressive entrepreneur in Starkville has been one thing, but becoming a grandparent has been quite another. When Melanie found out her grandchild was arriving in September 2015, she began planning her backyard project in the spring. Her gardens were designed specifically as a space for her coming grandchild to play and swing. Because Melanie lives in a patio home, there wasn’t much yard, and most of the area was patio and porch. So Melanie hired Matt Pea of SGK Landscapes Design to construct raised flowerbeds and install the special lighting and irrigation system.
“It’s all about the colors and happy flowers with me,” said Melanie, whose favorite flower is the gerbera daisy, the happiest of all flowers. An avid collector of McCarty Pottery, Melanie displays her flowers of every color and various textured greenery in her pottery vases.
The yard’s very low maintenance design allows Melanie time to do something really important to herβ€”swing with her grandson, Quillie Moss Murray. Plus, after a long day at work, she and Hardy can relax on their porch or patio and enjoy their intimately lighted gardens long after the sun goes down.
To the people around her, Melanie’s flower gardens must be the perfect representation of who she is: happy, colorful and all about making her home and community the best they can be.