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Hydrangea Plant


ARCHIVe of past winners

The SAHD Yard of the Month Award recognizes the outstanding effort our residents devote to creating and maintaining the beauty of our Historic District.  We are indebted to members of the Dallas County Master Gardeners Association for the generous donation of their time and expertise in determining the monthly selections. Additionally, our neighbor, Elizabeth Mast, owner of Tallulah & HESS, has graciously donated a $100 gift certificate to each month’s winner.

DCMGA Mission statement 

The Dallas County Master Gardener Association's program is designed to increase the availability of horticultural information and extend horticultural projects throughout the county.

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5736 swiss avenue

The Master Gardeners have selected 5736 Swiss Avenue as this month’s Yard of the Month. Dr. Jeff Cattorini and Allen Sullivan have been working on the yard since June of 1999. The curving hedge around the front of the house is the only feature that was in place when they purchased the residence. Along the front walk, the assorted topiaries are cared for by Lloyd, the house manager who also tends to the seasonal displays of pansies and tulips in the front beds and containers. The holiday, lighted manger scene is a regular feature every December. 


The judging committee noted this: The vegetation is well maintained and has a 3D effect with the taller landscape at the back and the rest of the vegetation stairsteps down to the street. The overall impression is a clean, groomed and balanced lawn with green vegetation. From the street view the house is nicely framed by two large trees, which reinforces the symmetry of the home’s architecture both day and night.  The holiday decoration is simple and classic. The District thanks Elizabeth Mast for the $100 gift certificate to Tallulah & HESS which is also included with the monthly award.

Pictured: Dr. Jeff Cattorini


6159 La Vista

Our Yard Of The Month for January is the home of The Schulz Family at 6159 La Vista. The Schulzes moved to Dallas from Washington D.C., and have been in the District since 2012. 


One of the reasons they decided to purchase the house was because of the lovely landscaping, which was already in place and they have decided to keep the plantings just as they were. The colorful plantings are similar each Fall and Spring. Pansies and cabbage provide a striking Winter palette around the beds.


Vince Landscaping professionally maintains the yard, the flowerbeds and the planters. 

The family, pictured from left to right are: 

Joe, Max, Peter. Dominic, and Sandy.

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5902 Swiss Avenue

The SAHD Yard of the Month for December has been awarded to Steve and Rachel Goniwiecha at 5902 Swiss Avenue. Their wildly inventive and spooky landscape is a reminder of the pre-COVID Halloween displays the district has been famous for. Rachel is in charge of the design, and Steve does all the physical decorating. This is the third Halloween for the Goniwiechas on Swiss.


They plan on starting on their Christmas display the day after Thanksgiving, so be sure to check it out. After they moved in, they used Burton Knight to assist with the front planters.

Our Master Gardener judges had this to say about the landscape: · The whimsical display of Halloween skeletons fully realized across the entire façade of the house was a well-balanced and creative display. The fun eye-catching, seasonal décor with great balance was a good contrast against the color of the brick. It shows a lot of effort to lighten a holiday when Swiss Avenue is usually highly visited but is going dark for the first time in many years.

Pictured: Steve & Rachel Goniwiecha



November's award goes to Wayne Noble and Barry Jones for their residence at 6243 LaVista. Both Wayne and Barry tend to the landscaping, taking advantage of the plants that were already in place, and adding to them. They are continually looking to add color and are especially fond or crepe myrtles. Plans are in place to redo the corner beds with seasonal colors, and they are aware of the various areas which get greater and lesser amounts of light and shade and use planting accordingly. Wayne enjoys mowing the lawn, and alternates with a profes- sional service every other mowing. Barry is the pruner. Mums are placed in planters to offset the hues of the crepe myrtles for a little extra pop.

Of particular note in this yard are the very large, mature crape myrtles which are in full bloom and are very colorful. The low hedge along the street separates the yard from the street effectively and unifies the landscape. All in all, the mature landscaping at this property enhances the magnificent architecture of this landmark house.

Pictured: Barry Jones (L) & Wayne Noble (R)

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6326 Bryan PKWY

The October winner of the Yard of the Month is Wesley Powell at 6326 Bryan Parkway. Wesley has been a resident of the SAHD for the last 14 years. When he purchased the residence there was no landscaping to speak of and he arranged for the planters to be professionally designed and planted. Wesley installed an irrigation system, although this low maintenance design doesn’t need a lot of attention. This simple, clean and well-kept yard captured the attention of the judges this month.

The variety of foliage shapes and textures, plus different shades of green in this small landscape demonstrate that seasonal color from flowers, highly manicured bushes, or planters are not a requirement for a successful garden design. The arrangement of the plants is masterful and the well-trimmed hedges flow nicely with the home. The visual appeal can be slightly improved by lowering the bushes in the front to expose the bottom of the three-bay window and the middle gable to showcase the facade of the house. The use of natives and adaptive plants to create a beautiful, dimensional, and low maintenance landscape made this house our choice for the September 2020 Yard of the Month.

Pictured: Wesley Powell



Our September winner is 5804 Swiss Avenue, the residence of Chris and Katie Kelsey and their daughter Alma Lou. Chris and Alma Lou do all the physical landscaping and only use professionals to mow the front yard. Chris has indicated this task will be taken over by Alma Lou next year, for a totally resident-designed and maintained landscape. Katie is involved in the design and plant selection.

The elephant ears in the pots, Colocasia gigantea, are purchased from and last about 3 years before they get too big and need to be replaced. They are surrounded by dragon-wing begonias,” said Chris, who likes these because they get so large, bloom all summer, and can deal with the heat so well. Both Katie and Chris are fans of big solid areas of color, so there are masses of pentas and the yellow black-eyed susans in the front bed and more dragon-wing begonias with ivy in the pots by the second-floor balcony. The beds are flanked by purple crepe myrtles.


Chris grew up working on a farm in Kansas and in the eight years the couple has been on Swiss, they have worked to bring a fresh, exciting look to their neighborhood home.

Pictured: Chris Kelsey

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