Ready for October Fun
By Judy Britt -
In past articles that I have written for the Yard of the Month, I have said that the VERY BEST PART of being involved with the Community Enhancement Team is the opportunity to meet new neighbors that you don’t already know. That is always the case with me and this month is no exception. Jaime Guarino and Cheryl McCallum of 1106 Grovewood are the October recipients of Yard of the Month. They not only have a very unique yard, they are ready for Halloween. Don’t let the big bats scare you! BOO!
Jaime and Cheryl moved to Timbergrove in July of 1998. After living in the Montrose area, Jamie and Cheryl picked Timbergrove because they loved the area and it was within a 5 mile radius of family members that lived in the Lindale area. Jaime works for a Norwegian Offshore Research Company which has provided her with many visits to Norway over the last 10 years. Cheryl has been the Director of Education at The Children’s Museum for the last 21 years. They love to go camping in their spare time.
After their house flooded during Tropical Storm Allison, the opportunity to make many changes inside their house was their first priority before starting on the outside. As soon as they finished the inside, a deck was added to the front of the house over the existing concrete porch. On that deck sits 2 very bright orange Adirondack chairs just waiting for someone to stop by for a visit. Keep your eye on them as they will be replaced with red chairs the closer it gets to Christmas. A flourishing volunteer squash plant has invaded the porch but has not produced any fruits yet.
Keeping her yard in mind, Jaime spied a new landscaping job going on at her work place. She inquired as to what would happen with the existing stones. Of course, they were going to be discarded so Jaime borrowed a truck and trailer and salvaged the gray rectangular stones that make up the terraced beds in front of her house and along her driveway. There were a few things that she wanted to accomplish in the design of the yard: 1) didn’t want to have to water all the time, 2) hated that everything just sat on the ground, 3) wanted to see grasses flowing in the wind when she looked outside and 4) wanted a clean natural look. So with that in mind, the design came to fruition. Since there are no gutters on the house, she created areas filled with rock to help with the splash from the roof and to aid in drainage. Jaime terraced bed in the front on both sides of the walkway creating raised beds and a step up from the driveway. In the beds, there are large rocks that have green and gray mosses growing on them. The Mexican feather grasses are sporadically placed throughout the bed giving a very soft effect to the front of the house. Incorporated throughout the beds are both plants and herbs. Curly rosemary, oregano, bay leave, mint and curry are mixed in with blue daze, Texas primrose, yellow coreopsis, salvia, potato vine, Russian sage and a variety of small compact grasses. A bottle bush tree and a Japanese maple are nestled in among the plants to add interest. The St. Augustine grass in the yard was replaced with Bermuda grass and a live oak and a lacy oak tree were planted in the yard. Another addition to the landscape are the rain barrels to catch the rain water. Pots are scattered around the yard in various place with a variety of some of the same plants and herbs.
The backyard is still a project in the works but is still both beautiful and interesting. A new deck is in the plans to replace the concrete patio. There are several lush fruit trees planted in both flowerbeds and clay pots. There are Navel oranges and Satsuma Mandarin oranges planted in beds with other oranges in decorative clay pots. An olive tree is also planted in a pot on the patio with other potted herbs surrounding it. Jaime said she loves when the dogs run through the beds of lemon verbena, mint, oregano, and rosemary because it makes them smell so good. Cheryl loves coming out and cutting the chives and rosemary use in her cooking. The beds are curvy creating a “little river” affect that Jaime just loves. Purple sage, orange trees, rosemary, iris, purple salvia and a rock border create that river with a very mature lavender crepe myrtle anchors the corner of the yard. Three raised beds are just waiting to have vegetables planted in them next season.
I plan on visiting with my friends again to see how their plans are progressing. Maybe I will get an orange or two when they are ready to be picked. In the meantime, I congratulate Jaime and Cheryl on getting Yard of the Month for October and helping make Timbergrove a beautiful place to live.