To celebrate National Garden Week on June 6-12, the Franklin-Simpson Garden Club is showcasing two incredible gardens for their first Yard of the Month winners.

The first is a residential garden at the home of Jan and Jerry Ausbrooks on West Cedar Street. Their 1919 home is surrounded by beautiful cottage garden beds. Although they have lived here for 27 years, it was only after retirement that they expanded their gardens. Like many gardeners, one project let to another. First, an old tree stump outside their kitchen window was planted to enhance their view. They planted flowers around their patio, dug up old, damaged shrubs, and removed a tree line when one fell on their neighbor’s house. Of course, that meant starting a new garden bed! It all expanded from there until today they have so many gorgeous flower beds that your eyes are drawn from one to another as a feast for the senses.

Jan recently took a class on native plants and continues to add more to their landscape. Butterflies flock to the milkweed, coneflowers, beebalm, and native dogwoods.

The Ausbrooks love to show off their gardens and will be proud to show you around. We are proud to place our first “Yard of the Month” sign in their front yard.

Our second winner is in the Public Garden Category. The Chinese Garden behind the Beasley House, the Center for Community and International Education on College Street may be small but highlights many Chinese horticulture designs. This garden was installed because the Beasley House is the residence for students from China who are teaching Chinese in our schools.

As a plaque at the entrance to the garden states, “A Chinese garden is not meant to be seen all at once.” This garden has several themes, with different themes emphasized in each.

Immediately to the left after entering through the Moongate is a pond with water, fish, plants, and a fountain. “Water is a nurturing yin, the life blood and living pulse of the earth,” states the plaque in this section. Water lilies, ferns and other plants are found in this section.

Just beyond that is a small meditative garden. Camelias, Bloodgoods, Mouse Ears and Irises are planted in this section.

Stone, which is used throughout the garden, represents “the strength and stability than balances the flowing yin of water in the rocky gorges and in structures such as bridges, courtyards and pathways.

In Chinese Gardens, architecture should be a major focus. Normally, pagodas, teahouses, and arbors are featured. Structures are minimal in this Chinese Garden due to space, but a beautiful metal Moongate is a focus entry point. A bridge over the dry creekbed leads you to the more private area of the garden. And the koi pond is also a major feature of this garden.

Other plants used in this garden are peonies, the symbol of opulence and the most celebrated flower in the garden; chrysanthemums, the symbol of permanence; lotus, the symbol of purity; evergreens, the symbol of endurance, and bamboo, which represents an honorable man, as it bends in the wind, but does not break.

This garden is maintained by Robin Hollingsworth, the director of Community Education whose office is in the Beasley House. Since this is a public garden, visitors are always welcome.

To nominate a residential, public, or vegetable garden, visit the Franklin-Simpson Yard of the Month Facebook page and complete the entry form. Or you may contact Debbie Wyatt at 270 223-7831 and she can mail you an entry form. Self-nominations are welcomed. Entries for July are due by June 20.

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