From Staff Reports

Corsicana City Council members Tom Wilson, Ruby Williams, Stephen Andrews and Randy Dill have announced their selections for May Yard of the Month. They are supported by this endeavor by Corsicana Cleanup Committee and Better Gardens Club.

Precinct 1 — The yard of Sandy and Kay Jenkins was selected as the Yard of the Month for May. Their home is wrapped in the beauty of trees, shrubs, and flowers. The flower beds are planted so that when the flowers of one plant start to fade, the flowers of another plant are just beginning to bloom. At this time the pansies are providing a rainbow of color. When the soil has warmed sufficiently, they plan to add caladiums for color during summer.

The flower beds continue around both sides of the house to a very tranquil backyard. In the center of this setting is a large althea tree, which will be covered in pink blossoms. This tree is special because Sandy’s mother gave it to them shortly after they moved into their home 20 years ago.

Their interest for all kinds of plants is quite evident in the backyard, which is home to fruit trees, herbs, and plants that put joy in your heart by just looking at them and smelling of them. Sandy and Kay are fond of sitting out on their patio in the early evening enjoying the peacefulness of the yard and watching the lightning bugs and a solar gazing ball, which continually changes color.

A recent addition to their interest in gardening is a new greenhouse which enables them to protect special plants and start new ones. Presently, Kay is getting ready to start a small vegetable garden and deciding where she can put in a rose garden.

Precinct 2 — The Nolly family home at 1307 E. Sixth Ave. has been recognized as Yard of the Month for May.

Marcus Nolly, wife Virginia, and children Marqyala, Mattie, Cece, and Latavea moved in with his mother, Ruby, when his father passed away two years ago. Ruby and the late Robert designed and built the lovely brick home.

Everything in the Nolly garden is designed with the skill of an artist and the experience of a gardener. The eye is immediately drawn to a wheelbarrow packed with red and white dianthus. A tricycle planter and wagon are also loaded with blooms and are “Easy to move when I mow,” Marcus Nolly said. He has used his creativity in the edging of beds along the street. The visitor is treated to rock and timber surrounds on planters that contain begonias, Moses in a boat, vinca and snapdragons. Cannas are popping through the ground and will provide beautiful color later in the season. A large cactus has been growing in the yard for years and provides pleasing color and texture contrast to the blooming flowers.

The well-manicured foundation plantings include photinia, coleus, and a magnificent deep red rose bush. A very organized potting area is located in a shady nook at the side of the house.

Conveniently located next to the Community Garden, Nolly grows okra, cabbage and watermelons. He also helps maintain the vegetable garden.

Nolly buys all of his plants at East Side Plants only a few steps away. “Everything I get there grows,” he said.

Precinct 3 — The majestic post oak tree in the front yard of Jimmy and Linda Cross’ home at 401 N. 37th St. was a deciding factor when they purchased it in 1971.

Approaching the front of the house, there is a stone, curbside flower bed filled with sun-loving perennials: dianthus, cannas, foxgloves, lantana, coreopsis and a crepe myrtle. On either side of the front walk are United States flags, showing their support for the members of the armed forces, more real since their eldest granddaughter’s husband, Lt. John Wolf, is flying helicopters in Iraq. Azaleas are the backdrop for a curved bed of wood fern, caladiums and red begonias.

The natural look continues to the back, with an old water well waiting to be put into use again. Added to the original pecan and pear trees are corkscrew willow, yaupons, azaleas, coral, and lace vine. Pots of coleus, red geraniums, begonias, ferns and other plants, given to Linda by her friends, are on the split-level deck that she and Jimmy built. Four o’clocks and cape jessamine are special, coming from her mother’s Sulphur Springs garden. Also on the deck is an antique goat cart, purchased on an England trip. With plenty of food and water available, birds are busily building nests.

Linda, a teacher at Mildred Independent School District, and Jimmy, a retired airline captain who now works for the FAA, are contributing their part to keeping Corsicana green by practicing mostly organic gardening methods resulting in their being good stewards of their surroundings.

Precinct 4 — The home of Babbette Samuels was chosen as Yard of the Month. When she and her husband, Irwin, who is now deceased, married in 1951 in Port Arthur and drove to New Orleans on their honeymoon, he saw azaleas for the first time, and Babbette said, “He just fell in love with the beautiful plants.”

When the couple moved to their present home at 1011 Dobbins Road in 1963, he planted azaleas. Three big trees in the front yard are surrounded with pink and white azaleas, and azaleas are grown on each side of the yard.

In the early years, the back yard was left as an open space so the children could play. As the years passed, the gardenia bushes, which didn’t do too well, were replaced with azaleas. A sandbox was also replaced with azaleas. The holly in front was dug up for more azaleas.

The yard comes alive with color each spring with white, pink, red ruffles and purple Pride of Mobile. Since there is so much shade, Babbette plants impatiens, begonias, and lantana for the summer.

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