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Homeplace for the holidays

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Natural greenery enhances Plylers' Victorian hom

By Sherry Archie

Christmastime is always special at 618 Morris Road.  

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It’s the time of year when Harris and Marcene Plyler bring their Victorian-style home to life with boughs of holly and berries. 

These natural decorations enhance both the Plyler home and yard. 

Beth Craig of the Leaf and Petal Garden Club passes by the Plyler home often and especially enjoys seeing it during the Christmas holidays.

“They always decorate their home so beautifully to accent the Victorian style,” said Craig, who selected the Plylers as the Lancaster Council of Garden Clubs’ Yard of the Month recipients.

“The natural decorations in the yard that’s filled with original perennials and trees help to honor the history there,” Craig said.

The fresh greenery and berries suit the time period of the original house that once stood on these grounds.  

Marcene grew up here, as did her father and her grandfather.  

Tall trees dating back more than a century still remain, shading the Plylers just as they did the two previous generations of her family.    

Her father, W.J. Morris, died at the age of 52, leaving her mother, Levia, the task of caring for the house and the children.  

Marcene said her mother planted the forsythia, spirea, redbuds, rose of Sharon and dogwoods that continue to thrive there.

Sixteen years ago, the Plylers planned to restore the original home and move into it.  

However, they soon learned Hurricane Hugo had left the homeplace in too dire a shape to remodel. Marcene said they were advised to tear it down and just rebuild.   

They decided to build a new home in the style of the original homeplace and chose a Victorian design. 

The front entrance to the house features tall steps flanked by urns filled with pine, holly and berries, creating natural beauty.   

The front door, draped with lighted garland, holds a large wreath welcoming the Christmas season. The wraparound porch is filled with rocking chairs and illuminated by a bright Moravian star.  

Through the windows, the soft glow of 10 Christmas trees (five large and five small ones), makes their house look warm and festive.

“I love Christmas trees and enjoy them all through the house,” Marcene said.  “One year, we had 17 trees in all. It was so pretty.”

Outside, groupings of globes with candles are accented with bright red bows. A birdbath filled with fresh greenery glows with tiny white lights mixed in.  

The black wrought iron gates of the driveway hold green wreaths with bows.

The beauty of the season truly does bring out the best in the Plyler home filling it with the warm glow of the holidays.

The Plylers received a complimentary $25 gift certificate from The Home Depot for being selected as the December Yard of the Month.

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