The garden of Susan and Brian Gotchy at 448 Azurene Lane, Verona 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 to create an inviting space at the front entry.

Susan said she and Brian had no master plan and that their landscaping has evolved through the 18 years they have lived there, starting with red geraniums and gradually expanding.

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

While Susan maintains the flowers, Brian does the shrubs, including a pair of rose mallow plants along the sidewalk going to the front door. One has green foliage and the other, purplish foliage that will stand out 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 in their partially shaded backyard. One of those 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 also has an area in her backyard 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