Yard of the Month: Landscaping improvements complement Mosier home

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By Sherry Archie

Janice Smith knows a winner when she sees one.And that’s just what JoAnn and Jimmy Mosier have created at 2352 Country Club Drive.The Mosier home has been selected by the Lancaster Council of Garden Clubs as the Yard of the Month for June. Smith is chairwoman of the selection committee. “Colorful landscaping that complements the Mosier home in size and proportion really played a deciding factor when selecting this Yard of the Month,” said Smith.The Yard of the Month didn’t happen overnight, either.

The Mosiers have worked diligently for the last 35 years to create the lawn they enjoy today. As their neighborhood grew, so did their green thumbs.“When we first moved here, there were only five or six houses between our house and Airport Road,” Jimmy said. “Now the road is full of homes.” Back then, their landscaping consisted of three large oak trees planted in Carolina red clay. JoAnn said while the towering trees shaded the yard, they prevented anything else from growing.As Jimmy tired of raking leaves, they decided it was time to remove the trees and begin their landscaping design project. “We took out the trees and brought in loads of dirt,” he said. “Soon we had a good stand of centipede and bermuda grasses.” The Mosiers did their homework, too.They visited Laney Hill nursery in Waxhaw, N.C., with photos of their yard in hand. Laney Hill used the photos to create a basic landscape design.The Mosiers followed that basic landscape blueprint, but tweaked it slightly to suit their own tastes.Mounds of lantana surround a tulip tree at the entrance of the front sidewalk. Sprigs of variegated liriope and tiny, blue “volunteer” violas edge the walkway. Dianthus – with flowers that seemingly float above the greenery – serves as a ground cover that is beginning to spread throughout the bed. Drought-tolerant Indian hawthorn surrounds the porch foundation.Trellises on either side of the porch provide beautiful bases for bright blue flowering clematis to twist and wind.To the left of the sidewalk, a mass of purple verbena covers much of the ground. Knock-out roses filled with pink blooms surround a birdhouse (complete with a new little family inside). Carissa hollies with evergreen foliage are planted along the foundation. Colorful, tall-stemmed perennials called blanket flowers – a gift from JoAnn’s sister, Helen Helms – bloom all summer. JoAnn said the variety comes highly recommended for Lancaster’s climate.“These flowers are great,” she said, smiling. “They bloom all summer long and need little maintenance and the best part is they are beautiful.” Not only does JoAnn enjoy giving plants away, she loves to get them, too. Her sister, Wanda Pegram, recently shared an unusual, white butterfly ginger lily with her. Although it’s not blooming yet, JoAnn said it won’t be long until the stalks will be topped with long clusters of fragrant, white flowers.Another of JoAnn’s favorite plants came from John Taylor, former Lancaster County School District superintendent.JoAnn, a school district employee for 30 years, has served as administrative assistant to the superintendent since 1998.“I started out in the cafeteria at McDonald Green Elementary School,” she said.Taylor’s gift – a cleome or spider flower – has spidery-like flowers with long seedpods on top of tall, strong, leafy stems. This plant is drought-resistant and can take the heat, too.The Mosiers will receive a $25 gift certificate, compliments of Ace Lawn and Garden Center of Lancaster, for creating such a welcoming yard.“Working in the yard is something I’ve just always enjoyed doing,” JoAnn said. “We were very surprised to be selected.”– To nominate a Yard of the Month, call Janice Smith at 285-4191.