Highland News Leader

A garden of memories claims the Yard of the Month for August

Take a walk through the August Yard of the Month

Marylin and Jerry McDevitt have claimed the August Yard of the Month for their garden located at 2104 Salmon Drive in Highland. The honor is awarded during each month of summer by the Highland Garden Club and the Highland Chamber of Commerce.
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Marylin and Jerry McDevitt have claimed the August Yard of the Month for their garden located at 2104 Salmon Drive in Highland. The honor is awarded during each month of summer by the Highland Garden Club and the Highland Chamber of Commerce.

The August Yard of the Month takes a walk down memory lane.

The award this month goes to Marylin and Jerry McDevitt for their garden arrangement at 2104 Salmon Drive.

“We’re so excited. We love working in the yard and we are glad that people enjoy when they walk by or drive by,” Marylin said.

As you pull into the driveway of the McDevitt home small town America comes to mind. The porch is graced with a white picket fence, an American flag flies nearby and a pot of red geraniums greet you near the front door.

Throughout the yard, viewers will see a variety of statues, plants, and lawn ornaments, and each one marks a different memory or story from over the 50-years the couple has worked to bring the garden to life.

“There’s so many things that I was able to put in the garden that were gifts from friends or plants from friends,” Marylin said.

The house is shaded by a large pin oak tree, and a Japanese maple adds color and provides a backdrop for the dry creek bed that runs through the front yard. Both trees were planted about 50 years ago, and the homemade dry creek bed was a creative solution to grass not growing where it should be, according to the McDevitts. Jerry also constructed a small waterfall out of a five-gallon bucket.

“So I can hear the waterfall as I am working out here, and sit here and listen to the birds and just enjoy the view,” Marylin said.

More memories surround the dry creek bed garden in the front landscape.

Lilac bushes started from plants of Marylin’s grandmother and mother are scattered throughout their yard. These bushes are a special touch as Marylin credits her green thumb to her grandmother and mother, both were avid gardeners.

A dogwood tree in the center of the front yard was a gift for their 25th wedding anniversary. A sign, a gift from Marylin’s daughter and granddaughter welcomes you to the garden. An iron fish sculpture, another gift, sits in the dry creek stream and appears like it is swimming in the stream. A small, wooden bench and a piece of pottery came from friends. Many of the nearby plants were gifts or starts of plants from friends and family.

Visible from the street and around the corner of their home is a deck that Jerry built. A small garden along the edge of the deck is a work in progress. Pots with colorful annuals sit along the deck railing.

Continuing the journey through this yard, onlookers come to a flower bed in the back landscape with a trellis Jerry constructed for the clematis that climbs up the structure. Inside the flower bed sits a bird bath fountain, a 40th anniversary gift from their family and another memory. Marylin says the bird bath attracts all types of birds - they have seen cardinals, blue jays, sparrows, finches, wrens, doves and woodpeckers.

Many more plants add to the beauty of their gardens—Hosta, impatiens, oakleaf hydrangea, coral bells, coreopsis, peonies, roses, crape myrtle, liriope, lilies, sedum, coneflower—too many to mention.

Yard of the Month nominations can be submitted by calling the Highland Chamber of Commerce at 618-654-3721, emailing Penny Korte at the chamber office at penny@highlandillinois.com, or contacting any Highland Garden Club member. ards must have visual attractiveness, creativity, originality, beautification of home and overall neighborhood and be well maintained. Recognition includes “Yard of the Month” sign displayed in your yard for the month, certificate signed by the mayor, a $25 gift certificate from the Highland Chamber of Commerce, a garden stone from the Highland Garden Club.

September will be our last Yard of the Month. Nominations for September are due by August 15.

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