The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 15, 2014

Garden Trails Garden Club encourages curb appeal this summer with contest

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Imagine yellow sunflowers dancing in a summer breeze alongside rows of red roses, a neatly trimmed lawn and beautiful front porch. That’s the type of plan the Garden Trails Garden Club hopes will take root throughout the city this summer.

The Garden Trails Garden Club will present its annual Garden of the Month awards, but with a few changes to the popular contest.

“We've decided to just judge front yards so the entire community can enjoy the yard,” said Cheryl Sheer, club member, who also chairs the contest committee. “We've had some beautiful gardens in the past, but most have been backyards, so to change it up a bit, we decided to go with curb appeal.”

Anyone with a garden in Ashtabula can enter. Nominations can include varieties of flower gardens, wildflowers, rose gardens, herb gardens, water features and all other growers’ creations, according to the club’s members.

“The new front yard rules will include landscaping in the front yard and porches, too,” Sheer said. “The judges will vote on visual appeal and creativity.”

The winner for each month, in addition to the publicity, gift card, certificate and  “Garden Club Winner” sign in their front yard, will be recognized at an Ashtabula City Council Meeting.

“The purpose, again this year, is to promote an interest in gardening, as well as encouraging neighborhood revitalization on a small scale,” Sheer said. “There will be three winners: June, July and August.”

The front yard gardens will be judged by four or five members of the Garden Trails Garden Club during the last week of every month for that particular month. For example, June's Garden of the Month will be judged the last week of June.