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Fall Flavors

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Bracketts update landscaping in stages

By Sherry Archie

Heirloom pumpkins, mums, autumn wreaths, flags and pillows add special touches that greet the season at the home of Frank and Corinne Brackett, located at 714 Plantation Road.  

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These special touches and the natural beauty of the landscaping prompted the Lancaster Council of Garden Clubs to choose the Bracketts for the October Yard of the Month. Selected by Betsy Folks and Sheila Roberts of The Lancaster Garden Club, the Brackett yard is loaded with perfect fall flavors.

“Even though the Bracketts have lived in this home for many years, they’re always making improvements to the yard, Folks said.

“They recently updated side yard and the seasonal touches they add really make the entire yard beautiful,” Roberts said.

Corinne said she enjoys especially enjoys dressing up her yard this time of year.  

“I get ideas from magazines and bring them to life in my yard even though sometimes, it’s hard to find the right decorating items,” she said.

For example, the bittersweetberry vine is difficult to find here, but a church trip to the mountains proved fruitful.

With help from church friends, Corinne Brackett found plenty of the vine and intertwined it around groupings of pumpkins and gourds. She also used heirloom pumpkins because of their unique color. These weren’t as hard to find, as local stores have them on hand.

By working together and through thoughtful planning, the Bracketts implemented improvements to the yard of their 34-year- old home in four stages.  

The first stage included landscaping along the Myers Circle side of the house.  After the death of Corinne’s father, Brown Wylie, in 2006, she planned this area as a memorial garden in his honor. Here, evergreen Otto Luyken laurel bushes, with their waxy green leaves, are filled with tiny white sweet summer blooms.  

The second stage, along the back of the house, was started after the death of her mother in 2008. To achieve the look they were after, the Bracketts added more Otto Luyken laurels and blended the bushes with Lenten roses. In a fitting tribute, three ornamental jugs that once belonged to her mother are grouped here as well.

During stage three, the Bracketts constructed a curved sidewalk of stepping stones. Bordered by stacked landscaping stones, the sidewalk leads from the driveway to the back rounded steps. On the steps, a grouping of cabbage plants, ornamental grasses, pumpkins and seasonal flowers provide autumn flair and fun.

Stage four resulted in the addition of a courtyard with a seating area. Zoysia grass and a raised natural area edged by landscaping stones was installed on one side and bordered by custom black fencing on the remaining sides.  Azaleas fill the natural area, which also features a stepping-stone path lead to the front gate. 

Corinne decorates the swings, benches and chairs throughout the yard with pillows in seasonal shades. 

“Adding splotches of color by way of pillows or cushions just freshens up an area,” Corinne said. “Seasonal garden flags, wreaths and statues carry on my thematic style.”

Moss-lined window boxes are filled with draping ivy and lantana, plus a few seasonal surprises such as gourds, tiny pumpkins and pepper plants.  Corinne advocates using potted plants to add seasonal color because they can be easily moved from place to place. 

Working as a team, Frank plants, mows and makes sure the plants are watered and thriving. Corinne keeps the yard neat-looking as she plans out the next landscaping phase.

In the  future, they hope to add a large natural area in the front yard and a new sitting area in the backyard. 

The Bracketts received a $25 gift certificate complements of The Home Depot in Lancaster.

If you would like to nominate a yard for Yard of the Month, please call Patty Noll at (803) 285-6232.