Rallings' revamp catches eyes

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Yard of the month

By Sherry Archie

About five years ago, Mark and Sharon Rallings decided to overhaul the landscaping in their 30-year-old yard at 2124 Robert H Kirk Road. 


They added a front porch large enough to accommodate rocking chairs and a bench, re-established their flower beds, reshaped their sidewalk and revamped their patio where a gold fish pond once existed. 

Sara Phillips with the Leaf & Petal Garden Club has admired the Rallings’ yard for a while. Phillips said their yard is welcoming with lighted columns at the driveway entrance, the copper-topped birdhouses are attractive and the landscaping is always well-maintained. 

She selected the Rallings to receive the November Yard of the Month designation sponsored by the Lancaster Council of Garden Clubs. he Rallings will receive a $25 gift certificate complements of The Home Depot.

Sharon Rallings says she wishes they had made the changes a long time ago. The additions have brought back treasured childhood memories.

“Growing up, I remember my grandmother enjoyed sitting on her front porch swing during a thunderstorm. She loved listening to the rain and watching the lightning and I learned to enjoy it too. It was calming. Now we have a place where we can continue that tradition,” Rallings said.  

Now the serpentine- shaped sidewalk anchored by a welcoming bench beside a lamp post leads guests along the front of the house to the porch. Indian hawthorn bushes are kept rounded in mounds alongside the dark maroon foliage of lorapetalum bushes. Crepe myrtles, vibrant fuchsia when in bloom, flank the porch while a dogwood slowly shedding its autumn leaves adds color to the right corner of the house. Holly bushes alongside the house are kept neat and trimmed in a cone shaped, Christmas tree fashion.  

Lighted brick columns with small picket fencing stand along the corners of the driveway create a welcoming entrance. Crepe myrtles bring height and color here as well.

In the backyard, a patio offers a place to relax and enjoy the sound of trickling water from a fountain located in a raised flower bed. This bed is filled with ornamental grasses, daisies, mandevilla and wandering dew along with an angel garden statue and a gazing ball that catches the sunlight.

An old windmill stands tall in a grouping of butterfly bushes, day lilies alongside a small well house planter and a water pump the Rallings’ found in the mountains.

The vines of a clematis wind around the lattice work of a trellis alongside their carport. Here, cone- shaped hollies line the edge of the carport.  Fluffy pine straw keeps the ground moist and relatively free from weeds.

Future plans are to add a pergola to cover the patio.  She advises other gardeners to tackle their yard with one project at a time. Every summer they pick a project to focus on. Things can easily get overwhelming if you don’t and you won’t get anything done.

If you would like to nominate a yard for Yard of the Month, please contact Jeri Sullivan at 285-3369.