Holly Tabler, vice-president and head of the award committee, says they found a surprising variety of beautiful, colorful, and innovative gardens that had defied weather -- and sometimes site and animal challenges.
The garden locations this year ranged from high on Island mountains overlooking Table Rock Lake to flat lots close to the Holiday Island entrance. All showed the care and hard work that goes into maintaining an outstanding garden.
The criteria for nomination include color, variety, texture, structure, curb appeal/access, and cleanliness. Gardens may be installed or planned with professional help, but must be maintained by the homeowners.
This year its star occupant is a huge hydrangea plant with blue and pink blooms. A trellis of clematis vines, plantings of pink guara, begonias, Shasta daisies, Stella d'Oro lilies, rosemary and other flowers and herbs fill the well-mulched bed and provide fragrance and a variety of colors. Red begonias in large pots flank the driveway.
On the other side of the house, a white picket fence with an arbor provides a backdrop for roses and geraniums. Butterflies visit the buddleia bushes and a Star Magnolia tree. Jan says it isn't easy to protect this haven from deer and other animals, but his secret is motion lights, a sensored water sprinkler system, Liquid Fence, and a mesh covering thrown over some plants every night. He and Linda hope you will drive by or stop and chat about their prize-winning garden.
Here are the five gardens that received Honorable Mention in this year's Holiday Island Garden Club Awards:
"Neat" describes the garden, also on Rocky Top Circle, tended by Boyce and Phyllis Williams, 14 Rocky Top Circle -- nominated by Kay Wayman. Nandina lines the front driveway and a side driveway is planted with terraced hanging juniper bushes. A circular bed in the front is filled with tightly trimmed boxwood and evergreens, a dwarf crimson maple and impatiens. A small magnolia tree near the front entrance draws you toward the statue of a tiny angel holding a gazing globe. Despite the immaculate quality of the garden and lawn, the Williams' front porch holds a rock that bears the inscription "Martha Stewart Doesn't Live Here!"
A little further down the mountain is the whimsical and creative garden of Bob and Karole Anastasi, 95 Beaver Drive -- nominated by Vicky Lemme. The Anastasis turned a steeply downward-sloped front yard into a rocky adventure path filled with lifelike statues of a boy and girl climbing on rocks, an Indian girl with a butterfly, and other tiny creatures interspersed with roses, petunias, pansies, snapdragons, benches, globes, and a small waterfall. The site of the house required the removal of some large trees, but most of were spared and provide a dappled shade. If you venture further down to the backyard, you'll find a zebra and St. Francis of Assisi in a bed of lush greenery! A pond contains a sea creature! A bear patrols the wall near the garage! A chipmunk teeters on the mailbox! A truly magical garden.
Back on flat land, you'll find the garden of Joe and Ann Hays, 1D Fairway Drive - nominated by Mary Leavell. The first word that comes to mind when you see this small but color-blazed yard is "WOW!" Lovingly-tended red knockout rose bushes, purple flowers and a variety of grasses and globes fill a front flower bed. Margarita vines on a trellis near the front door add interest. A larger trellis of flowering vines frames a fountain overflowing with multi-colored petunias. Small pinoaks in the front yard accent the lush lawn. Located near the sixth green of the 9-hole golf course, the Hayses put in a raised semi-circular bed full of waist-high ornamental grasses and several white crepe myrtles just beyond their backyard deck. (Incidentally, the house is for sale, if you would like to be the proud owner of this distinctive garden!)
You might need a map to find the next destination off of Table Rock Drive. It is the garden of Brad and Sam Maxedon, 28 Hickory Lane -- nominated by Trish Russell and Liz Caldwell. Rustic and wooded, this little piece of heaven is the proud accomplishment of four years of work by the Maxedons (think carrying rocks to convert a culvert into a stream and pond, planting and protecting flowers from a multitude of critters, and installing your own sprinkler system). Potted geraniums, marigolds, impatiens, gladioli, snapdragons and little sculptures blend into the groundcover in front of a white Victorian screened porch. Deep shade and the sound of water blend with the flash of goldfish. A trellis of moonflowers gives even more privacy. Perfect? Yes, but Sam says she is also going to clear some land and put in a fenced vegetable garden next year!
Last stop is the garden of John and Janice Murphy, 7 Hillcrest Drive -- nominated by Paulette Adams. Backing up to the fourth fairway of the 18-hole golf course, the Murphys planned a few surprises. Their front yard is an example of simplicity with salvia, guara, cannas and large bushes of mums in stone-rimmed beds that make for a nice view from the rocker on their front porch. The beds on each side of the house give a better idea of what is in store if you view the back from the golf course. Wooded and shady, more stone-rimmed beds hold ornamental grasses, heuchera, hostas, hydrangeas, duck and bear statues, bird baths and feeders. John and Janice can truly enjoy all this from their large deck!
For more photos of the various gardens, go to our home page and click on the photo gallery.