Simpsons gain ‘Yard of the Week’ honor
Danny and I knew we'd really be challenged this week looking for a home with landscaping that had hot Kansas summers in mind. During the cold winter months, we often plan wonderful gardens of flowers that will look lovely in the springtime. But when July rolls around, the plants simply give up. We then end up with not many flowers around town until fall.
We drove down 11th Street and as we came to the corner of Grove, we saw a home that had recently been landscaped. I remembered that the residents of Tauy Creek had suggested looking at this yard. Jeff and Lisa Simpson, 1101 Grove, and their 3-year old daughter, Emily, moved here from Eudora to manage the local grocery store. The Tauy Creek residents really appreciate their grocery delivery service.
When we stopped to visit, Emily was outside helping her daddy, Jeff. Lisa wasn't home yet but Jeff told us about their yard until Lisa returned. Emily proudly showed me the correct way to pull weeds. She looked up at me with the bluest eyes I've ever seen and soberly informed me, "You have to reach way down to the bottom and pull to get all of it." She reached down in the rocks and pulled out a piece of grass, and with a big grin, held it up to show me her weed. Her bright auburn hair was sassily swinging from side to side as she went running to find another one.
This winter the Simpsons had large-sized Colorado cobblestone brought in and spread in an artistic manner around their home. An assortment of day lilies was planted on the east corner of the house, along with several amur maple trees. There is a ledge here. This is where the sump pump comes out of the basement. Below this are large cobblestones, as this is an area where lots of water sometimes flows. Along the side of the house are plantings of yew bushes and pigmy crimson barberry bushes. There is a Red Prince weigela and several hypericum, called Sunburst, with nice blue-green foliage for an interesting variety of textures.
The front rocked area has goldfinger potentilla bushes with cheery bright yellow flowers blooming. These durable little bushes grow in arid Colorado and bloom most of the summer. The leaves are an attractive silvery-green. In this area there is a rock with a K-State symbol, a birthday gift to Jeff. A shepherd's crook hangs in the alcove with hanging baskets of impatiens and vinca. Another one at the corner of the house also has impatiens' baskets. Within the front curved area of cobblestone there are larger accent stones that create a raised platform area showcasing a handsome globe blue spruce.
A front entry area says welcome in many ways to guests. It is also a personal expression of a family's lifestyle and interests.
The entry to the Simpson's home has an iron miniature wagon filled with hot pink geraniums blooming brightly by the front door. Another iron miniature of a tricycle has impatiens. A hanging basket of an unusual large leafed ivy hangs near the front door. In the corner there is an antique milk can painted cranberry to match their front door. A large wreath with silk flowers hangs on the door. Lisa found the milk can on a shopping trip to Weston, Mo., along with the interesting rusted iron heart with ribbon sculpture along the east side of the house.
There is a wooden painted welcome sign on each side of the entry. A birdhouse with trailing ivy sits opposite the milk can in the corner. There is a welcome mat printed with colorful birdhouses and wind chimes blow gently in the wind. A colonial 13 star flag hanging from the front post adds charm to their entry.
Two dwarf Alberta spruce, a suncatcher, another showcase area of lilies and an amur maple continue along the front corner of the house leading to more pigmy barberry and spreading Blue Chip junipers for additional color. There are two Bradford pear trees planted on each side of the driveway. These plantings all have an automatic watering system. There is attractive night lighting that follows the curve of the sidewalk. This yard was designed with a plan for very low maintenance. It suits the lifestyle of a busy young couple who need family time and yet enjoy the beauty of a yard to compliment their home.
The backyard is fenced-in for Emily's play area. The side fencing is lower than the back which still allows a view of their yard and the yards on down the street. This creates an open feeling. Emily has a swing set with mulch underneath. She showed us how she could swing all by herself and she made one flying trip down the slide. This busy toddler needs lots of room to play so the Simpsons have only planted some healthy looking tomato plants now loaded with tomatoes in this back area. They want to extend their deck at a later time and may then add more landscaping.
We hope the new grocery store will have some of this same pretty landscaping. It would be a welcome sight to have some additional beauty along the highway as an entrance to Baldwin City. A well landscaped building attracts business in a positive way to our community.
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A business on High Street that deserves praise for adding beauty to the community is the post office and its flower barrels. Post Master Sarah Wilson and her staff have done an outstanding job this year with the blue salvia and wave petunias. These flowers have been a bright touch of color all summer long for passers by to enjoy. Thank you!
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"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly. "One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." Hans Christian Anderson.