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August Winners for Holland In Bloom Bloomin’ Beautiful Best Front Yard Contest Announced! | Community Spirit

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August Winners for Holland In Bloom Bloomin’ Beautiful Best Front Yard Contest Announced!
August Winners for Holland In Bloom Bloomin’ Beautiful Best Front Yard Contest Announced!
August 2, 2011. Holland, Michigan.  Holland in Bloom (HIB) congratulates Bloomin’ Beautiful Best Front Yard Contest first place winner Sara Leeland (photo attached). Her award-winning garden is located at 836 Bertsch on the site of an old apple orchard. Sara's gardening legacy comes from her maternal grandmother who had a market garden for summer visitors in Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula. Inspired by her grandmother, who encouraged flowers, fruits and vegetables to mingle in her flower beds, Sara has created perennial garden beds that delight her visitors with a wide variety of blooms, colorful foliage and year round color. Sara describes her garden as a community garden, where her sister's sedum from her Ann Arbor garden and her realtor's gifts of lily of the valley and rhododendron provide a show of spring color. Neighbors have helped her plant shrubs and admire her golden cypress through the winter. A neighbor from the past planted oak and maple saplings in the neighborhood and today Sara and her friends enjoy the beauty and shade of a large maple tree in her sitting garden. Another gift from the past is the rich and deep topsoil from the Bertsch Apple Orchard that once grew on this site. A peace pole, inscribed with the message "may peace prevail on earth" in four languages is the focus of a second sitting area. Sara, a retired college philosophy professor with a focus on environmental ethics, describes herself as an organic gardener. Concerned with water quality and conservation, Sara utilizes deep mulch to hold the moisture in the soil and grows plants that are hardy to the Michigan climate. She has studied the effects of pollution on Lake Macatawa and the Great Lakes, and advocates for the preservation of water. Sara's garden story is really three stories, her grandmother's legacy, her gifts from family and community, and her contribution to preserve the environment. The Bloomin’ Beautiful second place winner is Betsy Morton's watercolor garden in Holland's Historic District. Betsy and Vincent Morton's 1897 Victorian home at 197 W. 12th Street is the setting for a delightful old fashioned perennial garden that preserves and enhances the architectural style of their home. Betsy, a watercolor artist and teacher has created a landscape surrounding her home that includes several varieties of hydrangea, astilbe, ladies mantle, and sweet woodruff. Betsy considers her front garden a gift to her neighbors who enjoy sharing plants and stories about their historic homes. Third place Bloomin’ Beautiful winner is a garden tribute to Chile and the gift of life created by Maggie and Gabe Rubio, located at 86 W 18th Street. Maggie Rubio designed her new front garden this winter while recovering from a kidney transplant. Grateful for her gift of life and gifts other people have given her family through the years she sketched a garden design that would honor her family's Chilean heritage and their American home. Maggie and Gabe Rubio's translating business has helped many people. Some customers unable to pay in dollars, paid in plants. Maggie remembers and treasures each of these gifts and has found special places for them in her garden.

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