December 2018 Decorated Yard of the Month: 600 Winchester Drive

December 2018 Decorated Yard of the Month: 600 Winchester Drive
December 2018 Decorated Yard of the Month: 600 Winchester Drive

The December 2018 Decorated Yard of the Month belongs to Gabriel and Melissa (Renner) Williamson. Here is what Melissa had to say about their yard:

Thank you so much for the honor of Decorated Yard of the Month. We are delighted!

Our Christmas display has grown over the years, as we typically scour the clearance aisles to pick out one or two new items after Christmas — something we can add to the display the following year. 

We like the white lights on the house, but we also like a lot of color, so the colorful path lights are my favorite. Gabriel custom-made the tree that is on our flagpole, and this year it has presents underneath and ornaments hanging within. Our Nutcracker keeps watch from the west arbor. But who are we kidding? We know the addition of the FLYING PIG on our east deck is what put us over the top.

I gently suggested we should have a theme, but Gabriel said our theme is anything that lights up. That works! And we are overjoyed when we see people stop and take pictures with the flying pig or candy cane-munching dinosaur. Our own small children love it all, too.  

We love our old house, big trees, great neighbors and pretty, joyful neighborhood. Thank you for recognizing us. We hope our yard makes you smile. Happy Holidays!

Gabriel and Melissa (Renner) Williamson
Blake, Lexy and Lainey
600 Winchester Drive

December 2018 Decorated Yard of the Month: 600 Winchester Drive
December 2018 Decorated Yard of the Month: 600 Winchester Drive

November 2018 Yard of the Month: 619 Greenleaf Drive

November 2018 Yard of the Month: 619 Greenleaf Drive

November 2018 Yard of the Month: 619 Greenleaf Drive

The November 2018 Yard of the Month belongs to Steven DePuy and Chris Michero. Here is what they had to say about their yard:

As you know, fall is our favorite time of the year and we love being able to spend cool afternoons outdoors in the garden. We’re so excited to be this year’s Yard of the Month for November. Our front garden is continuing to develop and is always evolving with new types of plants and different placements, so we are so honored to be recognized by the neighborhood with this accolade.

Cheers to the holiday season!

Steven & Chris
619 Greenleaf Drive

October 2018 Yard of the Month: 622 Lockwood Drive

Photo of 622 Lockwood Drive

October 2018 Yard of the Month: 622 Lockwood Drive

The October 2018 Yard of the Month belongs to Susan Hurst at 622 Lockwood Drive. Here is what she had to say about her yard:

What an honor and surprise to be selected by the Heights Park Neighborhood Association as Yard of the Month.

I purchased this home in the 1990s and it has always held a special place in my heart. We have been through several remodels and yard renovations during that time. Life changes, but the charm of these homes, captivating landscapes, and of course the love of our neighbors, are everlasting.

We are fortunate to still have four of the original trees, two of which are native pecan. The shade from these wonderful trees is really a blessing during those hot summers. I am very passionate about flowers or bushes with color. Red Texas sage, lantana, cone flowers, purple shamrocks and spider lilies are just a few of my favorite perennials. I love walking the neighborhood and seeing everyone’s take on their favorite decorative and inspirational touches.

We have been blessed throughout our time here and look forward to seeing what the future brings. Thanks again for the wonderful recognition. I appreciate not only my Heights Park neighbors, but also the great neighbors throughout our city.

Susan Hurst
622 Lockwood Drive

August 2018 Yard of the Month: 722 Newberry Drive

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

June 2018 Yard of the Month: 534 Winchester Drive

June 2018 Yard of the Month: 534 Winchester Drive

June 2018 Yard of the Month: 534 Winchester Drive

The June 2018 Yard of the Month belongs to Melissa and Theo at 534 Winchester Drive. Here is what they had to say about their yard:

We are honored to be selected as yard of the month in a neighborhood with so many yards worthy of the award!

We moved here in fall 2016 and felt welcomed by the neighborhood from the first day. Practically without fail, greetings from neighbors shifted to conversation about our home’s original owner — Mr. Freck Matthews, a true fixture of Heights Park. In addition to the consensus that he was an all-around great neighbor, many conveyed stories of how well he maintained his yard, such as how he pulled weeds by hand in the heat of summer. We wanted to carry his dedication forward as best we could.

The goal for the landscaping was to reduce the amount of turf grass by adding a low-water, low-maintenance flowerbed. We also wanted to attract beneficial insects and wildlife; we are already seeing bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies enjoying the flowers. Unfortunately, the flowerbed is not as low-maintenance as we’d hoped thus far. Lesson learned: don’t underestimate the persistence of nutsedge and bermuda grass! Weed-blocking fabric did not stop them; layers of cardboard, mulch and good old-fashioned weed pulling by hand seem to be more effective. We are novice gardeners, figuring everything out through trial and lots of error. It’s a work in progress!

We selected mostly native perennial plants that can handle the full and direct sun in our south-facing yard. A lot of inspiration came from taking the city of Richardson WaterWise home landscape tours in 2016 and 2017. Nearly all of our plants regrew from the winter, and some are already re-seeding themselves. This spring, several white iris plants a neighbor gave us from her garden bloomed, and we look forward to seeing them multiply in future years. The Chinese pistachio tree was planted about a year ago, and will provide some much-needed shade to the front yard as it grows.

Thank you again!

Melissa and Theo
534 Winchester Drive

December 2017 Decorated Yard of the Month: 609 Newberry Drive

December 2017 Decorated Yard of the Month: 609 Newberry Drive

December 2017 Decorated Yard of the Month: 609 Newberry Drive

About Yard of the Month

Is your yard a source a pride? A work of art? A labor of love? It’s time to receive some formal recognition for all those hours of hard work.
The HPNA Yard of the Month contest is for all residents of Heights Park neighborhood. View the Contest Rules.

Nominate a Yard

Fill out the form on the Yard of the Month page.

The December 2017 Decorated Yard of the Month belongs to Jan Kassen at 609 Newberry Drive. Here is what she had to say about her yard:

How exciting to learn that I won yard of the month for December! Christmas has always been a favorite holiday for me, and this year my yard has special meaning. The Nativity was handmade and painted by my mother over 40 years ago. Last year they decided it was too much for them to continue to put up each year and I knew it could not leave our family. As a kid, I remember neighbors driving by our house just to see the Nativity. This year, it has been truly heartwarming to see the same happen here along with families stopping by with their little ones while on walks to take a closer look.

I have called Richardson home for over 12 years and could not think of living anywhere else. I live here with my sweet Goldendoodle, Boomer. You can often spot him looking out my front window. When I moved here, it was really about location and charm of the homes. Little did I know that I would fall in love with this community. I am blessed with amazing neighbors that have become lifelong friends.

I hope this little gem brings some holiday spirit to anyone who passes by and puts a smile on your face.

Happy Holidays!
Jan Kassen and Boomer
609 Newberry Drive

October 2017 Decorated Yard of the Month: 714 Westwood Drive

October Decorated Yard of the Month: 714 Westwood Drive

October Decorated Yard of the Month: 714 Westwood Drive

About Yard of the Month

Is your yard a source a pride? A work of art? A labor of love? It’s time to receive some formal recognition for all those hours of hard work.
The HPNA Yard of the Month contest is for all residents of Heights Park neighborhood. View the Contest Rules.

Nominate a Yard

Fill out the form on the Yard of the Month page.

The October 2017 Decorated Yard of the Month belongs to Margaret Ann and Frank Schooler at 714 Westwood Drive. Here is what they had to say about their yard:

We moved into 714 Westwood on June 11, 1978 — Margaret Ann’s 33rd birthday. We’ve lived here 39 years. We purchased our home in Heights Park largely due to the trees and the love of cottage-style homes.

When we bought the home, the front yard had a large sweet gum tree and an overgrown jasmine bush by the front porch (which is now enclosed as a sunroom). Over the years, we have gradually expanded flower beds and continued to add perennials and varied annuals according to the season.

During our second year here, Frank planted a cedar elm on the parkway, where the red bench sits. He planted a live oak where the swing now hangs and three yaupon holly trees in front. A few years later, we hesitantly removed the sweet gum to have more visibility at the front of the house.

We are not Master Gardeners. Rather, we plant and replant and see what thrives. We have planted azaleas, yaupon holly bushes and boxwoods in front of the sunroom. None thrived. Five years ago we planted pittosporum in the spot and they have thrived. Finally!! Over the last 10 years, we have added brick paths, a large brick area by the driveway — partially because of the shade and partially because we had no success with grass.

The wicker swing has provided a way for us to meet walkers and offer adults and children a swing and visit and sometimes ice cream or a brownie. As we tell our young neighbors that we meet while they are walking by, our gardens have been a process. A 39-year process.

Our back gardens are lush under an elderly pecan tree that provides shade for ferns and more brick paths.

We love to share our gardens, so please don’t hesitate to stop by.

Margaret Ann and Frank Schooler

September 2017 Yard of the Month: 603 Greenleaf Drive

September 2017 Yard of the Month: 603 Greenleaf Drive

September 2017 Yard of the Month: 603 Greenleaf Drive

The September 2017 Yard of the Month belongs to Forrest Blaney at 603 Greenleaf Drive. Here is what he had to say about his yard:

My wife, Suzanne, and I signed a contract to buy this house in 1976. It was at night, in the rain, on the hood of a car. We had inspected the house for about 20 minutes before we bought it. It was to be our starter home, and we had expected to be here about two years. However, we found the neighborhood very pleasant, the schools excellent, and the location generally convenient for our needs. Over the years, we rebuilt almost everything and modernized the 1954 house.

The landscape is a “choir of orphans” that have come together over the years. The red oak and the crepe myrtle were both “swimming pool rescues” as they were dug up and moved only a few hours before being tractor loaded and hauled away.  The cedar tree was planted by the birds, and my wife protected from me; I who would have removed it. Now it is part of the choir.

The stone porch and benches were built largely from leftover stones from many projects. The brick joints and borders were also leftover materials from a large project. People ask about the offset design of the stone bench. It was offset to respect the property line and to add interest to the side.

The shrubs are: Esperanza (yellow), red roses, purple oxalis (great plant) and red salvia (a great perennial).

The secret: Treat the yellow esperanza as an annual. Plant some every year in the sun. In early November, plant pansies in the sun for winter color.

The grass: I cut my grass high and with a sharp blade. The lawn seems quite happy.

I am very happy to be part of this beautiful neighborhood.

Forrest Blaney