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August Yard of the Month

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Year-round color; Jewetts find their ideal home, yard

By Sherry Archie

Ten years ago, Mike and Jennifer Jewett moved to Lancaster from Missouri.   

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As Jennifer home-shopped, she kept in mind the type of yard that must accompany it. 

When she saw the home at 805 Crescent Drive, she was sold.

“I actually picked this house out because I thought it had the kind of yard that Mike would like,” Jennifer said. “In one word, it had trees.”   

Jennifer said most lots in the Midwest are gray stubble in winter with no trees. But the Crescent Drive yard was filled with about 40 hardwoods.  

Mike agreed this was the perfect house to call home. Plus, the yard had potential. That potential led the Jewetts to be selected as the August Yard of the Month by the Lancaster Council of Garden Clubs.

Camille Dunlap, a member of Green Gardeners Garden Club, said the  selection and arrangement of the plants, along with a variety that provides blooming colors year round, make the Jewett s yard “a delight to see.”  

Dunlap was also impressed with Mike’s green-thumb enthusiasm.

“He loves his garden and totally dedicates himself to doing all the work himself,” she said. “He has an extensive knowledge about each flower and their blooming season.”

Mike said at first, he tried to fill the yard with annuals and perennials that grew well in the “Show Me State.” However, he quickly learned many of those plants  don’t adapt well to sweltering hot Carolina summers. He also found the soil needed enrichment.  

“On the top surface, we have this gray ashen soil with bull tallow underneath,” he said. “By digging down about 10 inches, I was able to remove the top soil and mix the remainder with peat moss, compost and potting soil.”

Once the soil was ready, Mike started adding plots of perennials blended with a few annuals to provide the year-round color scheme.

Right now, stalks of pale lavender cleome are stealing the show, alongside butterfly bushes, Tropicana canna lilies and gloriosa daisies.  

These daisies grow all through the yard and fill the plots with brilliant yellows flowers with brownish-red centers. The Tropicana canna lilies, with their 5-foot-tall stalks add color with their leaves striped in hues of green, yellow, orange and deep reds.

According to the Jewetts, their yard looks best in late spring when it is filled with an estimated 250 daffodil blooms, crocus, sweet-smelling hyacinths and tulips.  

The dogwoods and azaleas are usually in full bloom around that time as well.

Another peak season for their yard is September, when the wild ageratum bloom.  

“They come up all through our yard and are filled with soft blue blooms in September,” Mike said. “We never planted them; they are just volunteers.”

The Jewetts have added 15 Japanese maples throughout the yard.  

This slow-growing variety adds color in the spring as new growth develops,  and again in the fall as cooler weather sets in.

To nominate someone for  Yard of the Month, call Patty Noll at 285-6232.