Mistletoe Heights Yard of the Month

May 2015: 2300 Mistletoe Dr

Let’s take a step back in time: You may recall the rent house on the corner of Mistletoe and Forest Park boulevards.

Seven or eight years ago it looked like, well … a rent house! Then Kate Hunter moved in and things began to change.

Kate is a French teacher at South Hills High School and she obviously has a passion for gardening. She’s been at 2300 Mistletoe Blvd. for six years now and her hard work and eye for design has paid off. Almost all of her plant materials are natives.

Starting left to right as you look at the yard there is a small hedge of privet that was there when Kate got the house. The two crape myrtles framing the front porch steps, a little bit of liriope in one little place, and that hedge were pretty much the only plants on the property when she moved in. Now the beds have some nice edging and are full of interesting plant materials.

She installed three dwarf yaupons in the beds facing west and a standard yaupon in the center of the front bed to help eclipse the window area. Kate likes day lilies and she also put in Stella de Oro and early bird cardinal lilies. There is red oxalis in the front bed, along with winecups, miniature roses, autumn sage, nerve daisies, black-foot daisies, umbrella plant and two nice lorapetalum bushes. Good old Turk’s cap is there, too. (Turk’s cap is not only hardy, but its blooms attract hummingbirds!) There’s purple heart in the front beds as well. At the far right is a standard nandina that is nicely allowed to assume its natural shape. The small bed facing west is primarily viewable from the porch, but the above-mentioned plantings continue around there.

Kate came back from the First Monday event at Canton with a beautiful iron trellis that provides visual interest in that smaller bed. There’s a potted pencil plant on the porch that also is something to look at!

All in all, I can only reiterate what’s in the first paragraphs: For six years Kate has labored on her yard. She created beds and planted them and nurtures them. She knows a lot about plants, too! Her labor of love provides something lovely that we all can enjoy!

- Bruce Horn