Submitted Story: May Yard of the month — Davis earns Yard of the Month honor (5/13/23)

Shown from left are Nadine Davis, Eric Conner, Elaine Lannom, Bonnie Coy-Swenson, Anne Foust. and Nick Thole. Davis earned Ramblewood Garden Club’s Yard of the Month award for May.

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Submitted by Nancy Bahn

Ramblewood Garden Club has awarded the May Yard of the Month to one of its own outstanding garden club members, Nadine Davis, who has been gardening in her country garden since 1968.

The Davis’s built their home on a hill overlooking a field pasture where they raised horses for their daughters to ride.

Barry Davis was instrumental in assisting the Missouri Conservation Department in reestablishing the turkey population in this southeast Missouri area.

The tree-lined lane to the house is edged by a line of trees consisting of pink blooming saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana), Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), a cluster of white blooming native dogwood (Cornus florida), Eastern redbud (Cercis Canadensis), red maple (Acer rubrum), cedar (Cedrus), and Eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra), which blooms white in the spring.

Adjacent to the driveway is a large evergreen hemlock tree (Tsuga) surrounded by a perennial garden filled with variegated green and white leafed Hostas, purple blooming Ajuga, also known as bugleweed, yellow daffodils (Narcissus), sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis), and pink and purple Phlox. Other plants include yellow blossomed Coreopsis, purple Siberian iris (Iris sibirica), double white flowering Clematis ‘Duchess of Edinburgh,’ common orange day-lily (Hemerocallis fulva), and Pulmonaria, known as lungworts trees around the driveway include white flowering native dogwood (Cornus florida), crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), threadleaf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), weeping beech (Fagus sylvatica), ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple, deciduous Possumhaw holly (Ilex deciduas), purple flowered butterfly bush (Buddleja) and a red blooming ‘Prairie’ crabapple tree, which provides a food source for cardinals, cedar waxwings, and robins.

In the front of the house, a planted bed showcases native orange and purple columbine (Aquilegia), a favorite of hummingbirds, ‘Hershey Red’ azaleas (Rhododendron), Browns yew (Taxus x media Brownii), pink Phlox, Soloman’s seal (Polygonatum), Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), white blooming evergreen hellebore (Helleborus), blue blooming Scilla and variegated Hosta grow providing a colorful palette for spring blooms.

A potted purple flowering Rhododendron, Hicks yew (Taxus x media Hicksii), and varieties of potted Hostas decorate the driveway’s edge.

Two large ‘Hershey Red’ azaleas (Rhododendron), conical shaped English yews (Taxus baccata), and a ‘Nikko Blue’ Hydrangea are specimen plants in Nadine’s yard. The azaleas and hydrangea were started from cuttings given by family members.

The back patio displays potted varieties of coral bells (Heuchera), Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum), and Japanese holly (Ilex crenata). Bird feeders filled with black oil sunflower seed, are viewed from the kitchen window and provide a continuing show of the many birds enjoying snacks, including woodpeckers, cardinals, nuthatch, finches, juncos, and chickadees.

Backyard plantings feature native columbine, tree peonies, deciduous orange Exbury azaleas ‘Gibraltar,’ ginger (Zingiber officinale), daffodils (Narcissus), ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), Lamium, and variegated butterbur (Petasites japonicas) grow together in a brick edged bed.

All of these plantings combine to make a garden that provides cover and food sources for area wildlife.

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