The Highland Yard of the Month award for August goes to Lenny and Mary Jane Landmann at 1905 Zschokke.
“We love the flowers,” Lenny said. “We love to play in the yard. That’s my favorite hobby is playing in the yard.”
The couple has lived in their house for 55 years, and in that time, they have accumulated a garden where each plant has a different story. Each one represents a small part of their family, as many of them were gifts from their children and in-laws.
Mary Jane said Lenny, who was raised on the farm, is normally up with the rising sun. He religiously prunes and weeds the shrubs and bushes lining their many paths and keeps the flowers blooming bright.
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“You can take the farm boy off of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy,” Lenny said.
The jewel of the Landmann’s garden is Lenny’s patio. One day, Lenny noticed the rocks starting to crumble, so he picked up each one and remade the patio. He laid the multi-colored bricks down in a unique square pattern and ran Euonymus over a railing to create a makeshift hedge.
“He turned it around,” Mary Jane said.
Upon entering their quiet neighborhood, the passerby will notice the ancient hackberry tree that reaches to both the front and back yards. The tree is accompanied by a large river birch and chestnut tree that helps to outline the house. Purple flowering clematis climbs up their lamp post at the end of their driveway.
After passing through a lush path to the front door, visors are greeted by Hans, a dog statue and a neighborhood celebrity. Hans is surrounded by various potted plants and an inviting bright yellow wicker rocker.
The side of the house is filled will countless varieties of plants, hostas, groundcovers, a dwarf Alberta spruce, a miniature grapevine, flowering annuals and a birdbath planted with blooming impatiens.
The back yard offers more to explore. Inside Lenny’s paver patio is an October Glory maple, considered the showcase of the backyard. There are also trimmed privet hedges, a fig tree and a potted variegated hibiscus add to the interesting foliage surrounding the patio.
A Rudbeckia-lined the sidewalk next to the garage leads back to grandpa’s summer vegetable garden. Crape myrtle, hibiscus, butterfly bush and many annuals continue the fence hiding the alley, and on top of a post covered with sweet autumn clematis sits a wren house providing shelter for a family of wrens.
Mary Jane said that gardening keeps Lenny full of energy.
“My grandma used to always say ‘What keeps you healthy is your fingers in the earth’ and I think he has proved that,” Mary Jane said.
Highland Garden Club Yard of the Month chair Barbara Stallard contributed to this article.
How to nominate a yard
- All residences, including houses, apartments, townhouses, villas and condominiums within Helvetia and Saline townships are eligible.
- Yard of the Month winners may win the contest only one time in a two-year period.
- Residents may nominate their own yard or any yard for Yard of the Month.
- Entries must be received by the 15th of the month. One entry per household will suffice for the season.
- Nominations may be submitted by calling the Chamber of Commerce, 654-3721, emailing Penny Korte at the chamber office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contacting any Highland Garden Club Member with the name, address and phone number of the nominee.
- Visual Attractiveness: The yard being judged must be visible from a public street, alley, path or sidewalk and must display general curb appeal.
- Creativity: Personal touches such as yard art, bird baths and feeders, etc. are encouraged.
- Originality: Unique while maintaining cohesiveness with the neighborhood.
- Beautification: Yard must improve the look of the home and overall neighborhood.
- Overall Maintenance: Well-maintained grass, trimmed hedges, flowerbeds, etc.