The garden of Susan and Brian Gotchy, at 448 Azurene Lane, has been selected by the Sugar River Gardeners for their 17th annual Civic Beautification Award.

Susan and Brian are Badger fans, which is why red and white was chosen to accentuate the front of their house. The red and white fuchsias and thick green ferns in hanging baskets on the front porch contrast with each other, creating an inviting space at the front entry.

Susan said she and Brian had no master plan, and their landscaping has evolved through the 18 years they have lived in the house. It started with red geraniums and gradually expanded.

As you approach the house, you first see lovely pink hollyhocks and yellow day lilies gracing the rural style mailbox. Where the garage joins the front porch, there is a very large lime light hydrangea that will soon have pink and white blossoms. Pots of red petunias, yellow million bells, lantana and white geraniums complete the color scheme.

Susan said she does the flowers and Brian does the shrubs, which include two very nice rose mallow plants along the sidewalk going to the front door. One rose mallow plant has attractive green foliage and the other has purplish foliage that will stand out nicely when the plants are in bloom.

Brian and Susan lived in Seattle before moving back to Verona and have managed to successfully grow some of their favorite West Coast plants here. In their partially shaded back yard, one is a rhododendron and the other is a very large daphne. Around the border are lilacs, bridal wreath spirea and a small vegetable patch.

Susan has an area in her backyard that she uses for experimentation. She buys the most unusual seeds she can find just to see what comes up. This year it is a yellow cucumber. This property will continue to flourish and be enjoyed under Susan and Brian’s tender loving care.

– Submitted by Bonnie Grosnick