FLORAL LAURELS: Four local lawns win top honors from Greenfield in Bloom

A Champion Yard sign graces the yard of McCartney, who was recognized for the colorful display of flowers outside his home in the 1300 block of Lavender Drive. McCartney spends about 90 minutes a day watering, pruning and fertilizing the flowers to help beautify his neighborhood. Submitted

GREENFIELD — As director of Greenfield in Bloom, Bobbi Anderson said she knows what it feels like to be Ed McMahon.

She gets to knock on strangers’ doors to share the good news that they’ve won big. At least florally speaking.

Bobbi Anderson, director of Greenfield in Bloom, plants a Champion Yard sign in front of a home to recognize its vibrant floral display. Submitted
Bobbi Anderson, director of Greenfield in Bloom, plants a Champion Yard sign in front of a home to recognize its vibrant floral display. Submitted

Each year, the nonprofit posts “Champion Yard” signs in four different yards within the Greenfield city limits, honoring those who have gone the extra mile to spruce up their space with colorful flowers.

“People get so excited, you’d think we’re with Publishers’ Clearing House,” Anderson said.

This year’s champion yard award winners were Michael and Rhonda Banks; James and Debra Bell; Harry McFarland; and James and Patricia Vogel.

Their yards were chosen as the cream of the crop among the 150 homes recognized by Greenfield in Bloom this year, in the form of door hangers thanking them for their front-yard floral displays.

“We’re not looking for just a well-manicured landscape and nice bushes. We are all about the color and flowers,” said Anderson, adding that recipients are typically thrilled to have someone recognize their hard work.

Such was the case for Harry McFarland, who has been planting a wide assortment of colorful flowers in his yard on Lavender Drive since he moved there nearly 20 years ago.

“I just love flowers and the serenity they provide,” he said. “If more people spent time tending to flowers, I think less people would get themselves into trouble. It’s very peaceful and calming.”

His floral display includes 21 hanging baskets around his deck, as well as flowers around his mailbox and in front of a utility box in his front yard.

McFarland said he does it to help beautify his neighborhood in the Hampton Place subdivision.

He’s had numerous people stop to ask him how he gets his flowers to grow so healthy and big.

“It takes more than just watering them every day. You’ve got to get them on a vitamin regimen,” he said.

McFarland alternates between two types of plant food each week, which he says gives his plants a much-needed boost you can’t get just from frequent watering. He also tinkers with the soil he uses, making sure to use products that are nutrient-rich.

He spends at least 90 minutes tending to his flowers each day, from mid-May through sometime in October.

His yard boasts an assortment of begonias, petunias, lilies and more in a variety of colors. McFarland likes to mix things up and focus on different accent colors each year. His current floral display features violet, pink and white.

Anderson said the weather has been kind to flowers this year, thanks to alternating sunshine and rain. “It didn’t get real real hot so things grew really well. We were blown away by how many really good yards there were this year,” she said.

As administrative assistant for the Greenfield Parks Department, which sponsors Greenfield in Bloom, Anderson gets a lot of feedback from people calling to thank the parks department for the door hangers.

“We get so many emails and phone calls saying, ‘I found this hanger on my door. Thank you so much for recognizing our hard work.’ They’re just so tickled to get one,” she said.

There’s even more excitement when people learn their yard has been named a “Champion Yard” of the year.

“One winner even moved their sign closer to the road so people could see it better,” said Anderson, who thinks that well-kept floral displays can motivate neighbors to plant some colorful flowers of their own, even if it’s just a flower pot or two.

Every little bit helps to make the community more beautiful, she said.

“When you take care of your yard, it really encourages the neighbors around you to do the same. It creates kind of a domino effect,” Anderson said.

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Greenfield in Bloom is a local nonprofit focused on beautifying the community through colorful flowers.

Each year, the organization awards door hangers to homeowners who have shown an abundance of work on their yards’ floral displays.

This year’s Champion Yard winners include:

Michael and Rhonda Banks, 300 block of School Street

James and Debra Bell, 500 block of North East Street

Harry McFarland, 1300 block of Lavender Drive

James and Patricia Vogel, 2100 block of West Liberty Lane

For more information on Greenfield in Bloom, or to donate or volunteer, contact Bobbi Anderson at 317-477-4340 or [email protected].