Yard-of-the-Month: 3540 Pineridge / by Michael Graves

Our September Yard of the Month has seen many changes over the 38 years its owners Tim Calk and Leigh Owen have lived there. When purchased in 1981, it had one front flower bed of cannas and two hackberry trees in back surrounded by weeds three feet tall. Since those days the owners have seen trees come and go. They discovered after a few years the silver maple and weeping willow they planted didn't prosper, but a 35-year-old magnolia and three-story red oak anchor the front yard.

The current plantings reflect their love of green foliage and colorful flowers, but are showing the effects of summer and will be transitioned to fall when cooler temperatures arrive. Today's plantings in the front and back yards and along the drive include:

  • loropetalum

  • sago palms

  • boxwood

  • crossandra orange marmalade (a favorite!)

  • variegated hostas (another favorite)

  • sedum

  • golden creeping jenny

  • verbena

  • lantana

  • firebush (hummingbird bush, Hamelia patens)

  • vitex

  • sweet olive

  • banana trees

  • elephant ear

  • ficus pumila

  • magnolia

  • red oak

And while these plantings are all fine and lovely, it's really about the tomato.
This special tribute to Leigh's hometown occupies the curb at the driveway. Surrounded by a low ground cover of golden creeping jenny, their tomato weighs in at an impressive 660-lbs of solid concrete! A surprise gift from Leigh's sister and brother-in-law, it has more than 300 "twins" occupying sidewalks and lawns in Jacksonville, Texas, the one-time "Tomato Capital of the World."

"We love the Heights and how near we were to the Gulf Publishing Company building on Allen Parkway where we both worked together for more than 25 years," said Tim Calk.
And there are more stories! The tomato may have been what made me stop at first, but if you pause there for a picture and find Tim or Leigh on their porch, ask about the decoration on their door!

Thank you, Leigh and Tim, for sharing the tomato story and your yard.
- Stephanie Riceman, WHCA Director of Beautification