Archive for Wednesday, May 31, 2000

Ruonas selected for ‘Yard of the Week’

May 31, 2000

To find the latest edition of the "Yard of the Week" will take a trip to west Baldwin and knowing where to go. Lew and Jo Ruona's home at 1114 Chapel features a beautiful lawn and garden areas that accentuate the house.

"This home is off the beaten path of Baldwin City, tucked into the far corner of Chapel Street," said Becky McMillen, who along with her husband Danny choose the "Yard of the Week" for the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce. "Their family's name is on an attractive painted wooden sign in front.

"Two planters of 'wave' petunias are on each side of the garage," said McMillen. "The front porch with a swing and chairs welcome visitors and is lined with various seasonal flowers. The daises have been beautiful, but are now through blooming. Jo was deadheading them when we stopped to see their yard."

McMillen also pointed out the blue salvia, moonbeam daises and others are beginning to bloom, with pansies bordering the flower bed. She said another planter or two and a birdhouse sit by the front steps. But, there's more.

"There are also several plants of Stella De Oro lilies in full bloom," said McMillen. "A hanging basket of mixed flowers hangs from the porch and a whimsical wreath with flowerpots and raffia grace the door entry. The side yard is a bird sanctuary and shade garden.

"The back yard has several planters of flowers on the patio and an iris bed (which is through blooming, another deadheading job!). The toolshed in the back has a flower bed and there are clematis newly started to grow up the new trellis Lew built for Jo last fall," she said.

Other McMillen favorites include a hedge of verbenum bordering the front yard which leads into the woodsy area on the west side of the home. The Ruonas enjoy the birds and a nightly visit of a small red fox that comes from the woodsy setting, she said.

"This is almost like country living, but with the convenience of a small town," said Lew Ruona.

He also credited his wife with all the flower work and the many specialty areas. He said he mows the lawn and does the necessary heavy work. The McMillens also noted that despite the yard's beauty, it doesn't take a great deal of time to maintain.

"We picked this yard because it is attractive and yet easy to maintain," said McMillen. "Jo and Lew both work outside of Baldwin City and are busy with their children's many sporting activities. There is bright color, a variety of textures and a general well-groomed appearance.

"This home says 'welcome to Baldwin City' when one drives by," she said.

The "Yard of the Week" program is part of the chamber's "Beautify Baldwin" project. Winners will be announced each week through the fall and the program will be continued next year. The McMillens encourage residents to alert them to yards and even parts of yards that are special.

"Call in your nominations or send us an e-mail," McMillen said. "We appreciate the helpful suggestions. We have a list started and many of the nominations will be future 'Yard of the Week' choices. Some of the yards we are waiting on for their 'perfect' time according to what has been planted.

"Some times we like two in one block and we tend to pick the one best groomed (dead-heading of flowers, yard mowed, bushes trimmed, no extra clutter in the yard, no vehicles parked that aren't in use, etc.)," she said. "Be sure and call if you have something unusual for us to look at such as waterfalls, butterfly gardens, etc."

The McMillens can be reached at 594-3959 or by e-mail at

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