Mistletoe Heights Yard of the Month

February 2015 Most Improved Yards: 1300 Buck and 2400 Harrison Ave

Both of the two most improved yards for February happen to be on Buck Avenue. Although the address of Flavious and Melanie Smith's house is 2400 Harrison Ave., the legal description of the rear of the property is a "projected front yard," around the corner on Buck.

The improvements they've recently made are nothing short of stunning. They had a fountain put in and redid their fence. Now, it is a combination of masonry and wrought iron that is a perfect complement to their Prairie Style home.

A large autumn glory maple has been planted in back along with a large crape myrtle.

Melanie told me that she's particularly excited about the viburnum (snowball bush) that was installed in the back. They moved a Japanese maple from the front to the back and also had a redbud put in the parkway. Altogether the combination of the plantings, the water feature and the gate to the new garage work together to make the yard truly a thing of beauty.

The other residence is that of Mike and Michelle Valerio at 1300 Buck. Immediately upon moving in, Mike went to work redoing the front yard. He removed the clump of yaupons (a clump like that belongs only in the Big Thicket) and created a very clean look with simply a well-kept lawn. He installed a foundation line planting of shrubs. I didn't want to take the chance of waking their son Colton, however, so I don't know what kind of shrubs they are!

Mike also redid the sidewalk. It had gone from the driveway to the porch and Mike removed it and put in a stepping-stone approach perpendicular to the porch. He and Michelle meticulously planted grass between the stepping stones, and that adds to the charm of it. The Valerios' hard work has really paid off!

The improvements to both these homes refl ect their owners' love of their properties and add to the beauty of our neighborhood.

Thanks to all of you, Smiths and Valerios!

- Bruce Horn