Franks awarded Yard of Week

Gardening in Edmond is certainly a challenge. Do we aim for color in a tree-less front yard while spending our children’s inheritance on water and soil amendment? Or do we work with native trees and search for plant species that still give us variety and interest in the shade?

This week’s Edmond Yard of the Week winner can be found in the Forest Oaks addition where home owners Otto and Edith Frank have opted for the later while creating a restful setting for their beautiful Queen Ann Victorian home located on acreage. Otto’s gardening experiences started in a practical way in Wyoming and grew with time in Washington state, Maryland and Indiana until he and Edith moved to Edmond in 1995. All the knowledge gained has been distilled to his philosophy of “having a garden that looks good.”

Abundant sunlight just by the street is utilized for a bed of roses to the right of a long curved driveway, while bright red crepe myrtles thrive to the left. Nature disguises a city utility box with honeysuckle, ivy and trumpet vine climbing happily up a tall trellis behind the brick mailbox.    

Native trees frame the delightful two-story red brick and sapphire blue house highlighted by white trim on the front porch railing and window frames. Beneath the canopy of the oaks, cedar, different species of maples and redbuds we are treated to a large variety of greens, textures and heights. The Oak Leaf hydrangea are scattered through the beds edging the driveway and enclosing the vivid green lawn of fescue. Their spikes of blooms have changed from pure white to ones tinged with pink, continuing through the summer heat. Laurels, rhododendrons, boxwood, golden euonymus, azalea, spirea, Rose of Sharon and shrub hydrangea add interest with their differing shades of green and leaf shapes. There also is the surprise of burgundy loropetalum popping here and there.

In the next level below the shrubs we can find hosta, hellebros, phlox, variegated and green liriope, wild ginger (Asurum splendens) and fallopian. In the spring this level is painted with the colors of daffodils and tulips. The lowest level is protected by mulch or covered by vinca minor, ivy and Emerald Gaiety euonymus. Color is added with some cheerful impatiens near the street.

Otto has found the perfect solution for high traffic, low light areas. Between stepping stones from the front door to the magical backyard he has planted dwarf mondo grass to give the appearance of a manicured lawn.

Throughout the extensive front garden there are many areas of interest with hardscape that bring back memories of other times in the Franks’ lives. A massive petrified wood log and a large variety of rocks and stones each have a story to tell. Otto’s talent for woodwork also decorates this delightful garden.

To show Edmond Beautiful’s and our sponsors’ appreciation to the Franks for their contribution to our city’s beauty they will receive a $50 gift card from TLC Garden Centers and a six-month subscription to The Edmond Sun.

If you know of another attractive garden within the city limits, please nominate it by calling the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce at 341-2808.