For November, we selected the home of Betty Allen at 2338 Brookmere for “yard of the month.” Betty has lived at this address since 1990 but because of foundation problems with the original house, she and her former husband decided to tear down the house and divide the property into two lots. The new house was completed in 2002 and Betty moved into it 2003. This year she added a double garage and above the garage she added a huge quilt room where she will keep all her quilting machines and supplies and where she make quilts. In the photograph, the new addition is everything to the left of the porch.
The old driveway was a single lane and the new driveway is double. The new driveway required that a large oak tree be taken down. The tree was already dying in places and when they cut it down they discovered that the tree was hollow so Betty feels lucky they cut it down before it fell down. Betty had the old tree ground into mulch which she uses on her flower beds.
After the new addition, Betty asked the man who takes care of her irrigation system to supervise the installation of some new landscaping. She already had salmon/pink Encore Azaleas across the front. They are blooming now and Betty says she has some azalea blooms almost all year long. A new sidewalk from the front step to the driveway is very nicely curved and gets wider as it gets near the step. Betty selected some flagstone for the border around some new beds. She wanted the edge of the beds to be neat yet she wanted them to have a casual appearance. In the beds she selected some Crotons for color and she also added purple fountain grass, variegated Lirope and some Foxtail fern. There are pink and red Pentas in the bed in front of the sidewalk. In the large front bed a very large moss rock about five feet long is placed in front of the Azaleas. The rock divides the color are. On one side Betty planted snapdragons and on the other side she planted purple Fountain Grass. She now has three Milkweed plants which the Monarch caterpillars love to eat.
Just last week Betty found a 12 – 15 foot tall Shumard Oak tree on sale at Home Depot. The Shumard Oak tree is one of the largest southern red oak trees. It grows moderately fast and is a handsome shade tree and is deciduous. Shumard Oak trees have shiny, dark green leaves, and the bark is gray and smooth. Shumard Oak trees tolerate poor soil and drought conditions, especially after they are established. The outstanding deep crimson-red fall color produced by the Shumard Oak is an excellent reason to plant this species. The new Shumard Oak is planted near the center of the front yard. Off to the right, an older Hickory tree is producing Hickory nuts – more than the squirrels can eat for the first time.