July Yard of the Month named

Published 5:55 pm Friday, July 14, 2023

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Spruce Up Austin’s Yard of The Month for July was presented by SUA members Kathy Bjorge and Don Smith to the proud homeowners Sara Shaw and Dave Stahl at 503 20th Street SW.  They have lived in the home for six years.  

In the nomination, it was stated: “… and you should see the backyard!”

Despite Austin’s drought conditions, the entire yard is immaculate and well-nourished. It is obvious the recipients spend a lot of time and attention to the numerous plantings in the front and back yard.   Master gardener, Don, shows Sara how to prune her three Gingko trees to get them on the right growth track. 

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Two Norway spruce trees in the front appear healthy, are low maintenance and withstand tough conditions.

You will notice a lot of metal and wood art in a corner of the backyard in what Sara calls “Shanty town.”

 A fig tree has a good start and will produce edible fruit in late summer.  A wide variety of perennials will be found in the front and back yard; various hydrangeas, Russian sage, blanketflower also known as gaillardia, hollyhock, ferns, hostas, and annuals such as zinnias and even a vegetable garden.  

Have you ever heard of smoke tree, Joe-pye weed and Mexican hat flower?  Well, they are all there!  Notice the cow under a real live stanchion!  Nearby is a hanging creature named Fraidy Cat made from grapevines. 

The large, beautiful and sturdy deck was built by Dave. A delightful circular patio area is surrounded by wild growing Wisteria (blooms in spring) but requires constant pruning. Sara also shows off the beautiful fused glass art piece made by Spruce Up Austin member Deb D’Souza.  She also received a gift card donated by The Hardy Geranium. 

“It was about eight years ago that I was part of the garden tour with my other house on 10th Street SW, Sarah said. “Bonnie Mogen convinced me to do it as she was on Spruce Up.  I want to thank all of you and Mary Ann (Wolesky) for the nomination and selecting me as Yard of The Month. In my years of being a homeowner I have been fortunate to have had a couple of great mentors that taught me much on keeping up your yard and home. Thank you Jack Rosenberg, best critic and competitor, and Bill Carroll, great helper and advisor.  Such dear friends and neighbors.”

Don and Kathy sure enjoyed visiting the July Yard of The Month.  Congratulations Sara and Dave!