Terra Verde Garden Club announces 2017 winners

Some of the landscaping at Sacred Heart Church on Bach Street.

Bruce Johnson stands near one of his garden areas on Village Road.

Diane Cudney and a portion of her garden area on 400 South.

Paul Huber stands behind a portion of his garden on 250 North.

Photos and information provided

Terra Verde Garden Club has announced its Green Thumb 2017 Awards. These winners were among the more than 29 beautiful gardens that were recommended by citizens of the LaPorte community and members of the club. The purpose of these awards is to recognize outstanding gardeners who show appreciation for nature, beauty and creativity and to encourage the beautification of LaPorte and nearby areas.

Areas awarded may be done by a professional landscaper, but must be well maintained by the owner. Recipients may be a home, church, school, institution, business, factory, farm, or public area, but not a commercial landscaper or florist. The area could be a niche, a wall, or an interesting and unusual arrangement. The area must be visible from the street.

2017 Non-Residential Award: Sacred Heart Church

A gardening group started five years ago at the church at 201 Bach St. at Father Ian Williams’ request. Dick Schmitz and Dave Surma organized this all-volunteer group. Laurelle Miskowicz maintains the side entrance garden off the parking lot in Margot Wiltfong’s memory. Landscape Designer Christa Lazarz, also a member of the group, did the laying out and placing of stones and boulders. Schmitz gave these organizers credit but he felt the parishioners are the big help in maintaining the beautiful gardens and developing new ideas to be incorporated in the landscape design each year. The parishioner families of Sacred Heart donated to do this replacing of the landscape and new lawn two years ago. They volunteer on a month-to-month basis to care, water and weed, and they have a spring working day to clean and cut back bushes and evergreens. There are both sun-loving and shade-loving gardens with a big variety of color happening all through the growing season. These gardens are softly contoured around the building with a ground-level cement edging.

2017 Residential Awards (3): Bruce Johnson, Diane Cudney and Paul Huber

Against a backdrop of woods and his home at 2012 S. Village Rd., Bruce Johnson has sculpted his gardens for 37 years with annuals and perennials that provide constant gorgeous color and texture everywhere one looks. In fact, he won the 2004 Garden Walk Award and is now proudly showing off the Terra Verde Green Thumb Award in his front yard surrounded by a variety of hostas, begonias, Japanese painted ferns, Stargazer lilies, Snow on the Mountain, bee balm, and a huge rhododendron. A meandering pathway of patio blocks through the woods invites visitors to further enjoy this walk. Red impatiens, both edging the gardens and in hanging baskets, accentuate the gardens’ scalloped edging and draw the eye upwards. His beautifully landscaped and colorful gardens give him great enjoyment from inside his home and from a garden gazebo — and for that matter, enjoyment for everyone who drives by his home.

Diane Cudney, whose home is located at 0696 E. 400 South, has been gardening for 25 years and dreaming of winning a Terra Verde Award. She won the Tri Kappa 2005 Garden Walk Award. She has lots of sun and takes advantage of it all the way around her home and around a fenced back yard with a wide variety of gorgeous plants and bushes including hens and chicks, dianthus, hostas, Japanese  maples, a smoke bush, and beautiful lilies in vibrant colors. Her favorite is coral bells because of all the color varieties. And into this floral creativity, she has added a bit of fun by planting a pair of her husband’s work boots. She has used a wheelbarrow and window boxes to draw the eye to groupings of flowers and color. The Sum and Substance hostas’ bright chartreuse color and the vibrantly colored pots provide accent in her garden arrangements, along with metal and wood pieces of art.

The home of Paul Huber at 5365 W. 250 North sits at the end of a long driveway with lots of beautiful old trees and colorful gardens close to the house, as well as smaller individual garden islands in the neatly manicured yard. These are all filled with bright day lilies, ferns, a wide variety of coral bells, dianthus, coreopsis, tick seed, Lenten roses (Hellebores), cone flowers, and an interesting selection of grasses. The back yard is terraced and has also been planted with lots of color and variety. Each of the gardens are outlined by rocks that add to the natural beauty of their location and the arrangement of his gardens in the yard. In many of the smaller gardens, he has planted so that there is continuous blooming color. Paul’s wife, Mary, and granddaughter, Chloe Walden, help him create as well as maintain this wonderful yardscape as a family project.

3 Responses to “Terra Verde Garden Club announces 2017 winners”

  1. Becky

    Aug 01. 2017

    Congratulations to all of you! Diane, I always knew you were a green thumb! Good job!

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  2. Kathy T

    Aug 01. 2017

    Beautiful gardens! I know they represent a lot of hard work. I get to enjoy the Cudney gardens frequently as I drive by often.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Leigh and Marcia Morris

    Aug 03. 2017

    Beautiful gardens! Thanks to these and other gardeners who help to make our world more attractive and enjoyable.

    Reply to this comment

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