August 2017 Yard of the Month: 714 Northill Drive

August 2017 Yard of the Month: 714 Northill Drive

August 2017 Yard of the Month: 714 Northill Drive

The August 2017 Yard of the Month belongs to the Clatts at 714 Northill Drive. Here is what they had to say about their yard:

What a blessing and honor it is to be chosen as Yard of the Month by the Heights Neighborhood Association!

We’ve lived in our home for 21 years. What a journey of improvements we’ve dreamed and then slowly put into place and are still putting in place! Two years ago we lost one of our large trees between our sidewalk and street. This completely changed the way we design and maintain the bed closest to the street. What was once a shady bed, became a somewhat sunny one. Even though this presented a challenge, it became an opportunity to try out new plants. It’s now a work in progress as we discover what works best. We are trying sunny perennial plants – phlox, echinacea, daylily, indian blanket and purple button, to name a few – in addition to some annuals – zinnia, marigold,and basil.

I (Cindy) am an Epiphany Church community organic veggie gardener and have enjoyed bringing home organic knowledge to my yard. One of my favorite organic methods is a solution of seaweed and dish detergent as a great fertilizer and bug preventative.

We are thrilled neighbors have enjoyed our yard! It’s fun and humbling to see someone slow their walk to take in God’s blessing of nature’s colors, textures and heights in our little piece of heaven.

Thank you again for your generosity in nominating us. We love living in this warm, caring neighborhood, and value your friendship and encouragement.

Warmly,

Bob and Cindy Clatt

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Simple Ways to Conserve Water Longterm and Maintain a Beautiful Yard

The DuPlants (530 Twilight Trail) encourage neighbors to enjoy their flowers, a lovely tribute to Nanci DuPlant's father and mother, David and Jeanette Kaplan -- who allowed their neighbors to pick their flowers, too.

The DuPlants (530 Twilight Trail) encourage neighbors to enjoy their flowers, a lovely tribute to Nanci DuPlant’s father and mother, David and Jeanette Kaplan— who allowed their neighbors to pick their flowers, too.

Editor’s note: The following blog post is by Heights Park resident Clara Beaufort. If you are interested in writing for HeightsPark.com, email contact@heightspark.com.

By Clara Beaufort
GardenerGigs.com

We’ve all heard the statistic that roughly 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water. That seems like plenty right? Wrong! Consider these percentages: 96 percent of the total water on Earth is saline, 68 percent is frozen in glaciers and ice caps, 30 percent of freshwater is underground, and one percent of the total water is fit for use.

Water is used for millions of purposes including drinking, washing, and watering plants/yards. In addition, it is used to put out fires and has manufacturing applications. In short, water is important, and with the growing population and the fact that freshwater runoff is only expected to increase by 10 percent in the next 30 years, conserving water is vital for the environment and protection of drinking supplies. Now that the facts have opened your eyes, here are a few simple ways you can conserve water in the comfort of your backyard.

Harvest Rainwater

Wouldn’t it be nice if water grew on trees? While this isn’t the case. We receive free water regularly in the form of rain. With the right system in place, you can harvest rainwater for watering flowers, gardens and yards. Before you begin, consult the City of Richardson’s ordinance on rainwater harvesting to avoid violations. Once you’ve received the go-ahead, it’s as simple as buying or building a rain barrel. In fact, you may already have some of the supplies to build your own, such as a clean garbage can. Regardless of what type of barrel or catchment system you use, make sure it is placed under a downspout and away from utility services and septic tanks, and place a screen on top to filter out debris.

Use Drip Irrigation

If you prefer automatic irrigation as opposed to self-watering or collecting rainwater, consider using drip irrigation to maximize the water conservation effort. Home Advisor defines drip irrigation as a “low pressure irrigation system in which nozzles are placed at the base of plants and water is applied very slowly.” The biggest advantage to drip irrigation is that the tiny holes or nozzles enable water to trickle slowly into the soil, watering plants and flowers at their roots. Regular sprinkler systems often waste water, as the droplets of water are lost to evaporation in the air.

Drip irrigation delivers smaller amounts of water over a longer period of time, using up to 50 percent less water than conventional watering systems and extending watering times to cut down on soil erosion and nutrient runoff. There are various drip irrigation options, including soaker hoses, sprinkler hoses, and snap-together systems. The only work required on your end is to measure the distance required for each length of hose to reach the area you wish to water.

Composting

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Make Your Own Compost

We probably all know at least one person who has a compost pile. In fact, they may have asked you to save certain materials you would usually throw away so they can use them for their compost pile. Unfortunately, compost doesn’t get the recognition it deserves in regards to its water conservation benefits. A thin layer of compost added to soil creates a barrier against evaporation, and reduces water needs by holding in water and moisture.

To start composting, place your compost bin in an area close to your home and near a water source. Layer green and brown materials including dead leaves, branches, plant remnants, fruit and vegetable scraps, and coffee grounds, with each layer 2 to 4 inches thick. The following are all items you can place in your compost bin, and some may surprise you: eggshells, tea bags, yard trimmings, wood chips, hair, fur, dryer and vacuum cleaner lint, coffee filters, cardboard rolls, and shredded newspaper, to name a few. Steer clear of meat products, pet feces, fats, and grease. Make sure your compost stays moisturized to foster the decomposition process, and turn the pile at least once a week.

Conserving water is a lot easier than you think. Minimal effort equates to big water savings, reduced water bills, and more water for everyone to enjoy. What are you waiting for? Start collecting free rainwater, use drip irrigation to maximize watering, and use your daily waste to create nutrient-rich compost.

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Biannual General Meeting to Feature ’50s, ’60s Flair

Who needs '50s or '60s costume inspiration for our next general meeting? The best-dressed man and woman will receive $25 gift cards!

Who needs ’50s or ’60s costume inspiration for our next general meeting? The best-dressed man and woman will receive $25 gift cards!

Neighbors are invited to learn more about Heights Park and Richardson’s history and celebrate the culture of the era at the biannual general meeting — Richardson Retro. The meeting starts at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 27, First United Methodist Church Richardson, Ogden Hall.

Guest Speaker

Stacey Davis with Richardson Public Library is returning to share fascinating facts, archive photos and more about Heights Park (you won’t believe how much our homes cost in the 1950s and 1960s) and the city of Richardson.

Donate School Supplies for Heights Elementary Teachers

We are collecting school supply donations for teachers at Heights Elementary School.  The teachers are requesting: Expo markers, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, pencils and erasers, and Kleenex. Bring your donations to the meeting.

Costume Contest

To honor the neighborhood’s history, please join your neighbors in dressing in 1950s and 1960s fashion. The best-dressed man and woman will receive $25 gift cards! Some stores to consider for finding costumes or vintage clothes — Party City in the Heights Shopping Center, Thrift City in Richardson, Dallas Vintage Shop in Plano, Lula B’s in Dallas, Dolly Python in Dallas, and The Groovy Coop in McKinney.

Bring Photos

Do you have some awesome photos of your house and the neighborhood from back in the day? Show up with them at the meeting a little early so we can display them for others to see. Be sure to put your name and contact info on the back. Stacey Davis might want to make copies for the library’s archives.

Food from the ’50s & ’60s  

Snack food is always fun, especially themed snack food! Email publications chair Bonnie Kudlicki to sign up to volunteer to bring any of the following items:

  • Onion dip and potato chips
  • Grape jelly meatballs
  • Mini cocktail wieners in blanket
  • Bacon wrapped Li’l Smokies
  • Stuffed celery with cream cheese and pimento or cherry tomato
  • Stuffed mushroom caps
  • Cheese Ball and Ritz crackers
  • Melon balls
  • Jello salad
  • Pound cake
  • Spritz cookies
  • Sprite fruit punch
  • Hi-C
  • Hawaiian Punch

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July 2017 Yard of the Month: 1000 N. Lindale Lane

July 2017 Yard of the Month: 1000 N. Lindale Lane

July 2017 Yard of the Month: 1000 N. Lindale Lane

The July 2017 Yard of the Month belongs to the Murillo Family at 1000 N. Lindale Lane. Here is what they had to say about their yard:

“We have lived in this home since 2004. Slowly, we have been working on the inside and outside areas. About three years ago, we painted the brick exterior and replaced the windows and shutters. That made a big difference in the curb appeal of the home. That change inspired us to continue working in the yard — both front and back. Each summer since, we have been experimenting with caladium bulbs — usually buying them in bulk from North Haven Gardens. This year, we planted 200 Aaron jumbo caladium bulbs in late April. They seem to be doing the best of all the caladiums we have planted over the years.

“We have also planted elaeagnus shrubs along the south side of the house, which have filled in nicely, and seem to like the soil. On the north side of the house, we have planted a border of Indian hawthorn. We have also created a small garden of Indian hawthorn plants in the front.
On the front patio, we have different begonias, most of which we winter in the garage.

“Our home is a wonderful gathering spot for our family and friends, and many times we gather in our back yard garden, where we have planted a border of Savannah holly.

“We enjoy the neighborhood very much, and are grateful for our wonderful neighbors. Thank you very much for the honor of choosing our home for Yard of the Month for July 2017.”

— The Murillo Family

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June 2017 Yard of the Month: 823 Westwood Drive

June 2017 Yard of the Month: 823 Westwood Drive

Our June 2017 Yard of the Month belongs to Nancy and Scott Worrell at 823 Westwood Drive. Here is what they have to say about their beautiful xeriscape yard:

“We are extremely honored to be chosen as Yard Of The Month for June by the Heights Park Neighborhood Association.

“We have lived in our house for almost 16 years. Our yard has evolved over time. What started as a lawn of grass and a few boxwoods has become our own little arboretum. The design and concept was my own creation. My husband thought I was crazy when I told him I was going to remove all the grass from the front yard. 😉 It has taken a few years to slowly accomplish this.

“My goal was to create a xeriscape that would be beneficial to the wildlife and preserve our natural resources. We are an extremely Earth friendly family. We maintain a fully Organic garden. No pesticides or chemicals are used. We have planted host plants as well as nectar plants to promote our butterfly population. The monarchs are amazing when they are in flight. I maintain two bee hives that pollinate our yard and neighborhood. We have focused on planting Texas native plants. We relying mostly on our five rain barrels, instead of city water. Some of the many benefits of planting Texas natives is they are drought tolerant and will survive our hot summers. They will reseed and propagate each year as well.

“We love that our neighbors enjoy walking by and stopping to watch all the goings on at any given time. We want our yard to not only be enjoyed by us but everyone that comes in contact with it. Feel free to come by and enjoy it as well. I love to talk natives and organic gardening.”

— Nancy and Scottie Worrell

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