Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Well, it looks as though the horses are out of the gate in this summer's Mulford Street Yard Competition. George and Melissa Patton next door are quick starters with the softest and most well-watered green grass in the front, some nice annuals around back, and a surprising collection of tall perennials around the telephone pole. But that lawn won't last long if the Rienstra kids use it as their summer soccer goal. The Kuhns next to them have made a remarkable recovery from some early gardening missteps from a couple years ago. When they moved in they plowed under everything from the wild english garden look in the front which the previous owner had left. But they forgot about spring bulbs. Their beautiful new lawn appeared in April dotted with scrawny but persistent tulips. It's much better this year, and the newly planted paw-paw trees are a unique and lovely feature. Across the street the Goodmans and Fischers have made huge strides in recent seasons, but large front-yard trees keep grass from growing well under them, and the wood-chip/hosta solution is SO late-90's suburban-chic. They'll need something fresh to get the judge's attention. Meanwhile, the Bakers still haven't found the solution to a dry front lawn (Psst - H20. Look into it.), but the paint job in the front of the house is a good first step. At the front of the pack, in this reporter's estimation, are the Hawkins, whose persistent organic puttering is really paying off. Avoiding the overplanned look, the luscious beds of flowers keep extending their territory - eventually there'll be no more lawn to mow! The Rienstras, a usual contender for the gardening championship, are really not in the same league with these others. The boys living in their place this past year really let things go; And the usual occupants only this weekend trimmed the overgrown shrubbery in the front, and mowed the collection of crabgrass, clover, and spurge that passes for a lawn. While their cherry tree produced a pie's worth of fruit (we notice it was harvested on Saturday) The best they can hope for this year is the "most improved" award: a bag of "Good" Meijer weed & feed.