La PORTE — Terra Verde Garden Club’s Green Thumb awards for the 2019 season have been selected. The purpose of this award is to recognize gardeners who show appreciation for nature, beauty and creativity and to encourage the beautification of La Porte and nearby areas.

Recipients may be homes, churches, schools, institutions, business and factories, farm or public areas. The area may be a niche, a wall or interesting and unusual arrangement. The area must be visible from the street.

The commercial award was given to WK Hair Studio, 717 Monroe St., Voytek Kubas, owner.

Voytek has been at the Monroe Street location for 2 1/2 years. He and his parents moved here from Poland. In Europe most of the businesses have landscape around their entrance and Voytek wanted to do the same here. He originally wanted to pursue a degree in Landscape Design but went into hair design following in his mother’s footsteps. His love of landscaping and horticulture come from his grandparents and parents.

Originally there were just two planters in front of the shop as the city had a bench installed on the sidewalk. Voytek was able to get the city to remove the bench making room for additional planters. The wall hangings came later. Since there was little room to expand on the sidewalk, he decided to go vertically. It turned out beautiful. In fact, a mother Dove decided one of the pots was an excellent nesting area — not once but twice already this year.

WK Hair Studio is a full service salon, specializing in color. They have a Facebook page for more information. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. -7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. You can contact them at (219) 369-6268.

The three 2019 Residential Awards were given to the following:

Jeannette Arndt, 285 Johnson Road, La Porte

Jeannette has enjoyed her garden for 30 plus years. However, as a retired empty nester she spends a great deal more time developing, planting and caring for her gardens. Her garden companion, Cole, follows her closely as she is weeding and watering.

Jeannette’s garden has a focal point of three large white hydrangea bushes, very nicely placed grasses, hostas, day lilies, coneflowers, phlox and many other perennials. Her favorites are the day lilies and coneflowers. She has given her gardens a base structure of interesting stone flowing from the left side to the right side of her front garden. She did express great appreciation for her son-in-law, Bob Bornell. He assisted with the rock and is always willing to help when a heavy foot is needed on the shovel.

Cathy and William Boklund, 110 First St., La Porte

Cathy and William have shared an interest in gardening for 30 plus years and it definitely shows at their home.

Cathy has created and nurtured beautiful hanging baskets and potted plants making a show piece of their lovely wrap around porch across the front and down one side of their home. Cathy chooses her colors and individual plants creating her own floral baskets. Her secret to such large, overflowing baskets of flowers is watering two times per day with collected rain water and constant dead heading. William’s focus is more on their private side gardens with a beautiful water garden, decorative trees and a miniature Maple tree he grew from seed.

The Boklunds were quick to say Dave Collins, a former student of William's, gave them help with some of the bigger projects and definitely watering when they are away for an extended time.

Maria Jimenez and family, 206 Washington St., La Porte

Maria Jimenez started planting perennials immediately after buying their home in 2006. Many different perennials have been chosen with roses included. Maria pointed out one rose that had been looking sickly. Maria said she dug up the rose only to find the roots were looking good, so she replanted and told the rose how pretty it could become. That rose is now very beautiful.

The family has planted apple, peach, cherry trees and blueberry bushes. These gardens are truly a family project: Leo, Haydee, Salomon, Christopher, Ana, Anita, Emiliano and Maria all have a hand in and a responsibility to assist with the watering and care. Plus it is so obvious each family member enjoys the beauty of their gardens. The rock sculptures they have created in front also have meaning for the family members: rock symbolizes a strong foundation and a point of balance.

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