These yards of the week were recently highlighted in the city of Dunkirk.
Joe and Carol Portman of Lake Shore Drive East receive the honor of yard of the week for the First Ward. This landscape is what a functional yard for a young and upwardly mobile family is all about: great use of low and slow growing shrubs. Yellows, blues and greens show color all year. Low maintenance is an added bonus to the selection of shrubs here. Along the driveway are perennials, roses, and hosta, and a white butterfly bush anchors the side of the garage with a garden of hostas and other perennials. Red maples and other trees fill the backyard. This is an example of a well-planned landscape.
Honorable mention goes to Paul and Tina Butryn of 49 N. Roberts Road. Flags for all events and seasons are enhanced in a walled garden in the front of the house. Presently American, British, and Olympic flags are flying. The garden has beautiful red roses in front of the flag poles and emerald green arborvitae in back. Annuals surround the house and perennials line the front walk.
The home at 152 Maple Ave., Dunkirk, was spotlighted for its “pretty” display.
Enhancements to the landscaping at 29 West Fourth St., home of Mary Beth and Ed Schober, bring the beautiful historic house and gardens into focus as yard of the week for Ward Two. The corner is anchored by a handsome rock which is set amid lacy hydrangeas, daisies, green cone flowers and tall grasses. A beautiful weeping willow graces the front yard sheltering an inviting hammock. Gardens continue along the side edge of the house and feature a vintage black urn with cascading peach impatiens and a nice mix of flowers and ground cover including nasturtiums. The fenced back yard offers a lovely private retreat. What a tribute to urban living in Dunkirk and contribution to preservation of the historic district!
Nominee Rose Sanden's garden at 4550 W. Lake Road is found on the far boundary of the city tucked into a long drive not visible from the road. This cottage garden features a small pond surrounded with cone flowers, black-eyed Susan, sedum, and assorted lilies and lower ground covering plants.
The home of Cindy Tuning at 706 Park Ave. is yard of the week for Third Ward. The English cottage garden with a French accent has been on the garden walk the past two years. Pink roses bloom in concert with catmint, lavender, blue and purple hydrangeas and Casablanca lilies in front of a white picket fence. The brick patio is the foundation for urns brimming with annuals, foxglove, and herbs. An iron Eiffel Tower replica sits beside a flowering crabapple tree. Add some French music and a cup of tea and you'll be transported to another time and place.
Nick Russo and Courtney Holly have an impeccable presentation at 11 Fairview Ave. for honorable mention. Hydrangeas, petunias, sedum and a Japanese maple tree sit proudly upon a beautiful flagstone wall made by the homeowner. The neatly manicured lawn leads to a spacious back yard with shade trees, lavender, and hosta. Matching pots sit on either side of the front entry.
First pick for Fourth Ward is a home belonging to Gisep Garcia of 152 Maple Ave. The home has many colorful annuals throughout the front yard and side of home, garden decorations, a bird bath, a wheel barrel with annuals, window basket with annuals, and many potted flowers and hanging baskets in the front. Very pretty!
Honors also go to Joe and Marie Skubis of 209 Nevins St. They have a beautiful manicured frontage and back yard. The home has many potted plants in all different sizes. Some are as large as 50 inches in diameter and show off daisies, marigolds and different annuals. A hanging plant off the porch adds a lovely touch.
Joe and Marie started every plant from seed in the winter and they work all spring until summer transplanting to larger pots and love doing it. Their hard work really shows.
Sam's tip of the week: be kind to hummingbirds. They pollinate many red, pink, and orange flowers. Typical flowers hummingbirds feast on are bee balm, rose of Sharon, trumpet vine, impatiens, fuchsia, and honeysuckle; however they will take nectar from almost any flower. By being kind to them, I mean be careful what and how you prepare the food you feed them. A common recipe for their food is one cup of regular granulated sugar to four cups of water. Boil the mixture and let it cool. Never use red food coloring. Studies show that it may be harmful to the birds. All hummingbird feeders have enough red to attract the birds and then all they care about is the sugar solution. Never use honey as a sweetener. Solutions made with honey can ferment and spoil making the small birds very sick. Once you get them to your feeder they will not leave and they can get very territorial, actually fighting off other birds.