When Debbie Palmer was a little girl, she used to sneak across the yard to her neighbor’s flower beds and cut the woman’s fresh flowers, so she could make bouquets for her own family’s dinner table. Her mom didn’t think it was very funny, though, and neither did the neighbor. Debbie often got in trouble. The following week, however, she would do it all again.
“I just couldn’t help myself,” she said in a recent interview. “I would daydream about the beautiful arrangements I could make.” Even at an early age, she felt like an artist whose palette was all of nature’s bounty.
Debbie’s talents didn’t just grow in gardens, either. When she was in junior high, her parents, Bill and Mildred Prater, asked her to pick out all of the family’s furniture. Debbie had an eye for antiques, beauty and detail. She also enjoyed experimenting with paint colors, fabrics and textiles.
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