by Suzanne Driskill -
September’s yard of the month honors go to Cindy and Bob Fiertag of 927 Prince Street. Cindy moved to the neighborhood in 1992, and in 2012, she and Bob were married. At that time, they had to make a choice between 2 houses. Although Cindy’s house was the smaller of the two homes, they opted to stay in Timbergrove because of the great neighbors and location. So, concurrent with preparing for their wedding, they embarked on a remodeling project to update the kitchen and existing bath, while also adding a new bath and a utility room. It’s been a busy few years, but the fruits of their labor are evident – their beautiful home is perfectly complimented by beautiful landscaping in both the front and back yards.
I have the good fortune to enjoy the view of the Fiertag’s yard from my home across the street. While many of us have lost some of the larger trees in our landscapes due to Hurricane Ike as well as recent droughts, the white oak and pine trees in Cindy and Bob’s yard continue to provide a canopy of foliage that is reminiscent of what many of our homes enjoyed just a few short years ago. The remainder of the landscaping that complements these trees was installed in 2002 when Cindy hired a landscape company to come up with a master plan for the front and backyards. The bed to the left of the front door has Japanese Yew, agapanthus, lantana and aztec grass. To the right of the entry, a planting bed contains a large sago palm surrounded by ruellia, along with another Japanese yew, Texas sage, more agapanthus, and a crape myrtle. On the south side of the house, a bed of bottlebrush and variegated shrubbery lines the driveway. The 2 tall pine trees in the center of the yard are surrounded by Asian jasmine, and the pine at the north end of the yard is surrounded by butterfly iris. Although they’ve lost some plants over the years, they hope to do an update in the near future after painting the house.
In the backyard, the northwest corner has a curvilinear bed wrapping the fence that is anchored by 2 large crape myrtles and accented with Indian hawthorne, Texas sage, lorapetalum, nandina, agapanthas, oleander and society garlic. This bed also contains daylilies transplanted from Cindy’s parents’ home before it was sold, as well as a Crown of Thorns, an exotic thorny flowering plant native to Madasgascar. The Crown of Thorns was a gift from the family of a friend who they lost to cancer. He loved to garden, and after moving to Texas 25 years ago, this was the first plant he bought. After all these years, it continues to thrive.
During their renovation, the driveway and paver patio were replaced with new concrete that runs the length of the house and complements the curves of the bed in the northwest corner of the yard. It is furnished with a firepit, a swing and Adirondack chairs that Bob built. Bob’s handiwork didn’t stop with the outdoor seating. He repurposed some of the brick pavers from the old patio by laying them in the northeast corner of the yard behind the fence and on the side of the house. This was an area that was seldom used or accessed, but is now home to a grill and a nice potting bench that he built. He installed lighting and planted stakes for lanterns which lend a tropical feel at night. And to round out his handiwork, Bob also constructed a planter wall from cinder blocks and filled it with succulents for whimsy.
And if being handy wasn’t enough, Bob also enjoys gardening, while Cindy enjoys cooking with the fruits of his labor. They had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year, as well as lettuce, broccoli, peppers and herbs including sage, chives, parsley, rosemary and basil. In previous years, a great deal of frustration was experienced with the critters getting to the veggies and tomatoes. Bob solved the problem by installing hanging and tree mounted bird and squirrel feeders all over the backyard. Each morning and evening he goes out to feed the critters, and in turn, they leave the garden alone. They also provide hours of entertainment as they jockey about on the feeders!
Cindy and Bob enjoy spending time in their newly remodeled home with family, including 2 year old granddaughter Addy who will become a big sister in January! Thanks for giving us a peek into your outdoor living spaces, and thanks for all that you do to make Timbergrove a more neighborly and beautiful place to live!