By Parichard Hassett -
Congratulation to Marc Schwettmann for grabbing our November TMNA Yard of the Month honors. Last July, Marc, Eddie Zomper and their two English Springer Spaniels, Willow and Victoria, moved into their newly built home at 1015 Prince.
At first glance, one wouldn’t guess that they moved in just barely four months ago. Although still looking younger than the surrounding greens, the trees and shrubberies in their front yard are well established and beautifully groomed. When I contacted them for this article, Eddie quickly directed all due credits to Marc! So, if this article shines more focus on Marc, you know why.
Marc and Eddie are native Houstonians. Marc is a home builder for the company called City Cottage Builder and Eddie works as a paralegal for a law firm off US 59. Many of us probably are familiar with the company name as we often see City Cottage signs in front of numerous new construction sites in our neighborhood. Marc has decades of experience in home building business. Along the years, he also gained the know-how of landscaping. Marc does the landscape design for most of the houses he builds.
Marc and Eddie are staunch dog lovers. When their beloved 14 year-old dog died, they sought to fill the empty space she left by traveling to Alabama to pick up two puppies. Willow and Victoria grew up to be energetic 2 year-olds, too big for the space in their Montrose home. Marc and Eddie needed a new home with a yard for their “girls.” Marc told me he was always fond of the charms of bungalows and Eddie likes the “inside-the-loop” convenience. Naturally, our Timbergrove is just the perfect fit for all.
For his new home, Marc wanted a low-maintenance yard that provides season-long color without the bother of switching out colorful annuals. He calls it a “wash-n-wear” kind of yard! Usually these criteria are a tall order to achieve but Marc has the benefit of drawing design on a blank slate; he had his lot cleared out when he built their new house.
To put back what had been taken out, Marc felt it was only right to replant the yard with mature trees and shrubs. For the front yard, Marc framed the view with two relatively tall and leafy 12 year-old Live Oak trees, planted on each side of the house.
At the center, Marc created the vista of a meandering “stream” with a gently curving path leading up to the front door. The walkway is trimmed with the same bricks used for the house, adding color and unity to the overall look. On both sides of the path are beds of Drift® roses, a cross between full-size groundcover roses and miniature roses from the Knock Out® rose family. Drift® roses are repeat-bloomers that are tough, disease resistant, winter hardy and virtually maintenance-free.
At the path’s end, on either side of the entryway, are two square, dark-brown pots of Dianella. These variegated flax lilies have handsome strappy green leaves with contrasting yellow stripes that render colorful accents year-round.
Wrapped around the house on both ends are beds of showy and colorful Loropetalum shrubs that create year-round color of green and burgundy leaves. Pink tone flowers also emerge throughout the year.
To add more eye-catching interest, Marc made use of fabulous containers of varying plants and placed them in strategic spots for extra punch. By the front window is a bushy pot of Foxtail Fern; nestled in the front flower beds are pots of bougainvillea which will add more vibrant color when summer returns.
This is Marc’s secret to a season-long colorful yard. Thank you for sharing this knowledge with us.
Marc purposely kept the back yard free of in ground plants because many plants can be poisonous to dogs. Instead he used containers as focal points creating an atmosphere of outdoor room; a recreation sanctuary for all members in the household: Jacuzzi tub, swimming pool and dog running track!