Mistletoe Heights Yard of the Month

February 2012: 2242 Mistletoe Blvd.

Certainly, we all admire stunning gardens created by seasoned, professional landscapers. But some gardens are born from rescued and passed-along plantings, a keen eye for abandoned homesteads, and a quick scissors hand. Local artist Melissa Kohout’s native and adapted garden at 2242 Mistletoe Blvd. is one such garden. 

For the last 14 years, the Mistletoe Boulevard hillside has slowly filled with native and adapted plants that are standing the rigorous test of drought, wind and car exhaust, not to mention an ice storm or two.

You might see Melissa driving around the less swank parts of Fort Worth after the wrecking ball hits. She keeps handy a shovel, a bucket and a trowel to unearth forgotten plants that have survived years of total neglect.

“Hey, if a plant can survive on the side of a boarded-up homestead for 60 years with no watering, no fertilizer, no pruning, well, hey, that’s my kind of plant,” Melissa said, before starting out on a recent bulb rescue on an abandoned lot near the railroad tracks. “If nobody wants you, I’m coming to dig you up.”

This 100 percent organic garden uses crumpled leaves as mulch, and rainwater instead of city water whenever possible.

Melissa made and installed her own 300-gallon rain barrel system from used Coca-Cola barrels and has recently created a cactus garden to further reduce the garden’s need for water.

Original rail ties from the trolley that once ran along Mistletoe Boulevard were salvaged from recent roadwork on the street, and now are part of Melissa’s native border.

Melissa’s plants:

The cactus garden left of the drive: red hot poker, devil’s head cactus, barrel cactus, pear cactus, Turk’s cap and yucca.

On the top of the hillside: Texas sage, Mexican petunia, iris, Turk’s cap and an antique rose.

On the hillside and hell strip: firebush, butter and eggs, lantana, salvia, blackfoot daisy, coreopsis, evening primrose, poppies, lavender, Russian sage, Mexican hat, purple verbena, purple coneflowers, cannas, yarrow, columbine, bluebonnets, Indian blanket, larkspur, butterfly bush, black-eyed susans and various specimens of iris.

Melissa now has her eye on adopting an abandoned antique rose close to the railroad tracks. 

Thanks, Melissa, for creating an environmentally friendly garden. Melissa will receive a  $50 gift certificate from Calloway’s Nursery this month. Thanks, Calloway’s, for your generous monthly donation to our neighborhood!