August 2018 Yard of the Month: 722 Newberry Drive

The August 2018 Yard of the Month belongs to Jenny and Kurtis Luckinbill at 722 Newberry Drive. Here is what they had to say about their yard:

It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Four years ago, we were faced with the typical Heights Park front yard that had been suffocated with four years of drought, fungus invasions and the ever expanding shade of a 60-year-old Red Oak and 22-year-old Magnolia tree. We tried multiple St. Augustine sodding programs, but each suffered the same sad fate. We had clearly fallen victim to the definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. It was time to reinvent both yard and purpose.

We designed a three-year plan that would convert the heavily shaded part of the yard to stone patios, sidewalks and plant beds, while reducing the grass portion to become both an accent and manageable in times of drought. The area of grass would be designed to get full sun and yet be fully maintained by hand watering. My aged sprinkler system had become water wasteful and unreliable in coverage.

The patio layout was designed to create an inner sanctum under the arching limbs of the Red Oak. The detail of both design and garden was intended to be appreciated from within, yet appealing from the outside. Further color and accent was to be provided by Jenny’s passion for container gardening. This would allow for plant rotation and the green-housing of typically hardy zone 8-9 plants.

Tuned wind chimes and solar charged “hobbit” lights gave the final touches for the times of evening meditation. Bark and river rock were used to provide a variation of texture, while bird baths and feeders attract mockingbirds and cardinals.

It was designed and built for a purpose, but it has not been without failures. Experimentation with bedding plants is ongoing. The shade still reduces our options in flowers and shrubs, and attracting butterflies and hummingbirds remains a challenge. This summer’s early and endless heat has tested our yard’s design, and yet, we are Yard of the Month in August That has to say something.

Thank you,

Jenny and Kurtis Luckinbill
722 Newberry Drive

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