Gardening is not as easy as it looks, as Gardendale residents Judy and Larry Paul can tell you. Their work in gardening earned them an award recently from the Gardendale Beautification Commission.
The Pauls admit they didn’t see it coming, as members of the beautification commission generally go out and search for homes that have well-kept gardens and yards, unlike a competition where people sign up and hope to win. In other words, they didn’t find their award; instead, the award found them.
“We were thrilled to death,” said Judy Paul. “They [the commission] had been out here before and looked at it, but it was still a work in progress and we just hadn’t thought about it until we got the card. Larry’s been working so hard out here, trimming and planting.”
The Pauls take care of several types of plants that grown in their backyard, including roses, monkey grass, hydrangeas, junipers, camilla bushes and others. There are several trees, one being a Japanese maple that bears crimson-colored leaves.
Among the trees that reside in the Pauls’ front yard is what Judy Paul calls “Cousin It,” a tree that has leaves drooping downward, giving it the appearance of something with a leafy robe. In the springtime, red flowers bloom on it.
They also have two swings that Larry Paul designed and built. They installed a pond that runs behind the back porch and is powered by a water pump. The pond has attracted frogs over time.
Judy Paul said that her aunt who passed away recently was the inspiration for some of the garden designs. They plan to plant another garden that will rest between three trees as a tribute to Judy’s aunt.
The retired couple has been working on the aesthetic of their front and back yard for what they said was, “a 17-year progress.” It’s a daily task for them as they keep a constant regimen of watering and de-weeding their plants.
“It never stops, but if it does it doesn’t stop for long,” joked Larry Paul on the trials and tribulations of caring for their yard. “But it’s good exercise.”
Gardendale Beautification Awards
• Wildflower garden: Linda Brock
• Creative design: Phillip and Mary Blaney
• Pool: Stan and Susan Hogeland
• Pond: Jerry and Charlotte Ramey
• Fountain: Dimitri Marinakis
• Rose garden: Beverly Brooks
• Shade garden: James and Sue White
• Cottage garden: Frank and Sue Quick
• Container garden: Joe and Jean Hicks
• Vegetable garden: Frank and Judy Malone
• Woodland garden: John and Rose Brigham
• Hillside garden: Bob and Margie Hindman
• Perennial garden: Robbin and Jennifer Phillips
• New gardener: John Wells
• Appreciation award: Dewey and Gail Barber
• Beautification board members: Rick and Rosemary Smith
Division Award Winners
• Business landscape: Cracker Barrel
• Municipal landscape: Gardendale Civic Center
• Subdivision landscape: Carrington Downs
• Church landscape: Gardendale First Baptist Church
• School landscape: Snow Rogers Elementary School
• Medical facility landscape: Gardendale Medical Clinic
• Residence award: Larry and Judy Paul