Green Thumb Award Winners 2018 - City of Edwardsville →
Green Thumb Award Winners 2018 - City of Edwardsville →
Stephanie Black 615 Hillsboro Ave. As was noted in the nomination, the 615 Hillsboro property is “very tasteful in its simplicity,” giving credit to the homeowner who purchased the property several years ago. The landscaping and several features of the home, compared in before and after photos, show what was accomplished by the planning, care and hard work that went into transforming the property into the beautifully landscaped front gardens seen today. On a busy street, a short distance to downtown Edwardsville, passersby are greeted with a garden overflowing with hostas, azaleas, evergreen shrubs, a lilac tree and purple blooming clematis, all outlined in the walkway onto the front porch. 615 Hillsboro is the perfect example of what the Green Thumb designation is awarded for…property making Edwardsville a more attractive place to live and work because of the care and hard work of residents taking pride in their homes and neighborhood. It is a pleasure to award the Green Thumb designation to Stephanie Black at 615 Hillsboro.
Chris and Walt Williams, 3851 Plymouth Drive All one has to do is visit the Williams Family garden to see how their Labor of Love transformed the blank slate of their newly completed home into the gardening masterpiece it is today. Beginning Spring of June 2016, and inspired by the Missouri Botanical Garden, areas were planted with bee balm, button bush, milkweeds, cardinal flower and false indigo, all bird and pollinator friendly. Several bird feeders, bird baths, and garden art were set in place to welcome the birds and pollinators. A sentry gingko, skyline locusts, regal prince oak, royal frost birch, coral bells, forest pansy and merlot redbuds center and surround the backyard landscape. Succulents and coral bells fill in spaces of the rock gardens outlining the landscape with walking paths leading from one area to the other. A dry creek bed was added with plans in the future to include a self- contained water bubbler. As gardeners know, gardening is never finished. There are always more perennials, shrubs, ornamental trees and garden art to find a place for in your garden. Surprises in the Williams Family garden will appear year after year as their Labor of Love continues to grow.
Dave and Kristen Lange, 302 Jefferson Street Traveling down Troy Road the past couple of years you could not help but notice the amazing transformation of a home on the corner of that road and Jefferson Street. This house was built in the 1890’s and is on the historic register. Homeowners, David and Kristen Lange, not only rehabbed the house, but have created a beautiful yard. Kristen says there was not one piece of landscaping and the yard was a disaster. David had to dig it out and level it all. Kristen compliments her husband’s green thumb, and with the landscape designs of Katie Piper, David went to work. Kristen contributed by designing the interior of their home, and planting the strategically placed containers full of annual color. The brick walking path, lined with ornamental grasses, hosta, coral bells, boxwood and coneflowers lead you around the right side of the home, through a gate to a stone and brick patio installed by David Lange. The recycled bricks used for the patio came from an old St Louis building and add to the historic charm. The main walkway is lined with liriope leading to foundation plantings of roses, iris and more boxwood. David and Kristen have created an oasis for their family, enhancing the new life the house renovation has made possible.
Eddie Sjursen, 242 S. Fillmore Street Welcoming you to Eddie's garden is a lighted white pergola over the front entryway. Eddie Sjursen says he doesn’t know much about gardening. However, you would never know it looking at his yard on the corner lot of S. Fillmore and E. Schwarz Street. It was hit and miss for a while with some plants not making it, but he didn’t give up and kept trying new plants. Eddie has transformed his home in Edwardsville from a house with just three trees and grass into a sanctuary of diversity for birds and butterflies. Neighbors and passers-by have definitely noticed the change with Eddie receiving well over 200 compliments. Raised bed planter boxes display Alberta Spruce, different varieties of Day Lilies, Canna Lilies, a Pink Dogwood Tree, Russian Sage, Purple Columbine, Yucca Plant and Iris. Day Lilies work especially well with the soil in his yard. He recently planted 20 new bulbs of Day Lilies. Moving with him from Brooklyn, New York City, a collection of potted Mother-in-law Tongue or Snake Plant thrives in the partial shade. Eddie tells us the Snake Plant will occasionally bloom a white flower when it has plenty of room in the pot but when it becomes crowded, it will quit blooming. Eddie honors our Men and Women of Law Enforcement with two flags flying proudly in the front of his home. The US Flag and the Thin Blue Line Flag fly in honor of the NYPD.
Linda Remiger Bruce, 307 Scott Street The charming home at 307 Scott Street reflects the warmth and tree-lined streets of one of our older neighborhoods. Per the homeowner, Linda Remiger Bruce, this is a 1904 Sears Roebuck catalog home which has been expanded. The foreman and workmen signed the outside of the house, which was discovered during a renovation. The landscaping compliment the style and period of this home. Linda says her love of gardening was inherited from her mother and maternal grandparents. The hosta and lilies, divisions from family, are intermingled with ferns, lily of the valley and shade- loving annuals which enhance the small but manicured backyard. Pots filled with overwintered oleander from her grandmother are placed on the patio and statues from her husband intersperse the beds. A statue of ‘The Bird Girl’, a gift from the St. Boniface church choir, has a place of honor in the bed also. Walking up the brick sidewalk, you admire petunia-filled pots hanging and sitting on the welcoming front porch. Bright petunias and lobelia in the window boxes and the lush, manicured lawn further enhance the public view. A young kousa dogwood, a foundation lined with roses and crape myrtle enhance the sunny street side of this home. Neighbors say this home is consistently lovely year after year.
Angela Pifer, 907 Chaderic Court Spying an old painted door leaning against the entryway, you immediately know an artist lives in this home. Angie Pifer is the artist and the creator of the lovely landscape that surrounds this home. The front landscape has many traditional foundation plantings of holly, winged euonymus, a Japanese maple, barberry, creeping phlox, and then you see a planter box of lettuce and a birdbath. Following the slope to the back yard you enter Angie’s “happy place”. She says her parents arrived one cold October morning to help her fulfill her childhood memory of “many hours spent swinging or just sitting there rocking back and forth with the kids, the birds, the trees.” Installation of the blue swing initiated the design of the home’s private area. With rocks and stone paths installed, beds took defined shapes. Angie said she wanted “birds and butterflies galore, so in went the coneflowers, daisies, milkweed and bird feeders.” Among the pathways you also see peonies, heuchera, sedum (many varieties), spiderwort, liriope, and annual- filled pots. The patio is complemented with multicolored Adirondack chairs encircling a fire pit. Angie has created an oasis which would make anyone smile.
John and Judy Biarkis, 8 St. Andrew’s Place Together John and Judy Biarkis have done plenty of remodeling to their home and gardens yet Judy says there is still a lot left to do. Numerous potted plants and perennial garden beds surround the charming home hand-painted by John. Variety and color is achieved on the front and back porch with a collection of annuals planted each year in colorful ceramic pots of cobalt blue and white. Quaint window boxes enhance their shed. Judy, originally from Canada, remembers her parents favorite plants were Chrysler Imperial Roses and Clematis. Unfortunately English tea roses do not do well in the climate of Southern Illinois. Judy chose colorful shades of pink knockout roses to lay a blanket of color along the entryway to the front porch of their home. She retrieved a “Lenten Rose” and a little angel from her mother-in-law’s garden in Glen Carbon. It blooms every spring faithfully in their shade garden. Dark purple Iris, variegated hosta, false indigo, and yellow-centered pink peonies splash color and texture to the sides of the home. Built in the 1880’s, it once housed a hairdressing salon and more recently a fraternity house for SIUE. Red, white and lilac-blue clematis adorn the front porch rails and accentuate the blue and mauve painted trim. Planters of tomatoes and herbs enjoy the early hot summer sun. John and Judy have worked hard the past 14 years establishing a colorful welcoming garden around their lovely home.
Jeanie and Scott Umbaugh, 413 Grandview Drive Gardening began as a hobby for Jeanie Umbaugh in 2002 but quickly went to the next level. Jeanie’s desire to give her neighbors a pleasing view of her yard led her to take courses in Botany and Ecology to learn more about plants and the environment. Residents of Grandview, the oldest subdivision in Edwardsville, can attest that Jeanie is dedicated to improving the picturesque natural setting of her yard. Jeanie has favorite plants in her yard that remind her of her childhood. Two years ago, a purple Iris was given to her by her mother, who lives in Louisiana. Her mother has grown this particular flower for many years. Watching that Iris return and bloom each spring connects Jeanie to her mother. The Crepe Myrtle tree (or bush) which often grows as large as 20 ft. in Louisiana, is Jeanie’s favorite flowering tree. The colorful pink perennial Four-o’clock bush, well suited to both sun and partial shade, is another favorite childhood flower. Four-o’clocks open late in the afternoon, close in the morning and attract birds, butterflies and hummingbirds. Varieties of these plants and trees can be found in her yard as a reminder of her Louisiana roots. As you walk through her back yard you will spot a designated pot full of assorted medium size rocks which Jeanie purchased for $5. Jeanie, with the help of her husband Scott, often hand select and transport these stones in her car from Market Basket to have them available to accentuate her well- loved plants.
District 7 Lincoln Gardeners and Goshen Market Foundation, 145 West Street- Civic Twelve members of the District 7 Lincoln School Gardeners Club decided to revitalize their school’s Courtyard into a garden plot for growing vegetables. Enthusiastic to learn about the healthy benefits of vegetable gardening, several of the students have gardens at home and enjoy bringing their garden knowledge to share with the club. With the help of Edwardsville resident “Farmer Joe,” their sponsor teachers, Paul Brazier and Tanya Holler and Principal Steve Stuart, the students are growing vegetables using Square Foot gardening techniques. Farmer Joe constructed eleven raised garden boxes with Market Basket donating the soil used in the boxes. Lincoln Gardeners worked hard filling the raised beds with dirt, planting seeds and transplanting vegetable plants. Vegetables planted are lettuce, radishes, onions, cabbages, tomato plants, leeks, butternut squash, cucumbers, yellow squash, and beets. The students plan to tend the garden, weed and give the vegetables plenty of water this summer. While school was in session club members harvested their spring vegetables and taste-tested a fresh picked salad of lettuce, green onions and radishes. This has become a great community supported program working with Goshen Market Foundation. As an active partner, the Foundation helped raise the funds and facilitated their sponsoring and cultivation. Watch for the District 7 Lincoln Gardeners to bring their produce to Goshen Market this summer.
Taqueria Z, Megan, Mike and Zach Zanger, 109 E. Park Street - Business Growing up in the woods, Megan saw Jack in the Pulpit, Mayflower and Black-eyed Susan all around her. Though she was interested, she didn’t really appreciate the beauty and purpose of native wildflowers at that young age. Megan wrote, “Many people considered wild flowers to be weeds back then. Wildflowers were common and most people didn’t think of them as anything special.” Megan says her real interest in gardening piqued with her mother-in-law Mimi. Mimi knew the names of most flowers and that amazed Megan. She and her family now live on 11 acres with many invasive plants which Megan says, “It will take the rest of my life trying to get rid of them.” All of these things formed her desire to utilize native plants as desired landscape material. With that goal in mind, Megan consulted with Tom Shirrell from Green Thumb Nursery. With Native Illinois Prairie Plants, Grasses and Wild Flowers being Tom’s specialty, he designed her garden plan for Taqueria Z. Tom recommended Foxglove, Beardstongue, Prairie Dropseed, Aromatic Aster, Little Bluestem, Purple Prairie Clover, Side Oat Gamma, Shooting Star and more for the garden. Megan’s husband Mike and her son Zach cleaned out and prepared the garden spot. Following Tom’s design plan, they planted the native wildfowers and grasses in front of Taqueria Z. It’s a beautiful sight to see for all their customers and people passing by. Plus the butterflies, birds and pollinators are getting their meal at Taqueria Z, as well.