By Jean Henry, The Garden Club of Frankfort

Each year, The Garden Club of Frankfort presents awards for Community Beautification. This year, two awards were given to local businesses, two to homeowners for residential landscaping, one to a Garden Club member and one to a non-Garden Club member.

Local businesses awards

The RJ Thieneman Real Estate Company was one business recipient for landscaping the shopping area that includes Franklin Square and the neighboring Limestone Center where Ollie’s is currently located. Both properties have recently undergone significant work involving landscape improvement.

RJ Thieneman Real Estate Company won a Community Beautification award from The Garden Club of Frankfort for the landscaping improvements made at Franklin Square. (Photo submitted)

Thieneman Real Estate is a family-owned, Louisville based company existing for over 60 years through three generations. They advertise that they are “committed to creating and enhancing relationships between people and places.”

The awards committee was particularly impressed that, at Limestone Center, they removed the many specimens of two invasive species — Bradford Pears and Burning Bushes. These have been replaced with remarkable diversity of trees, shrubs and ornamental grasses. At Franklin Square, the company refreshed the plantings at the entrance off the Connector and established a very handsomely designed evergreen and hydrangea area at the entrance to the previous site of Rite-Aid.

Independence Bank also won a Community Beautification award for the landscaping improvements made at both locations in Frankfort. (Photo submitted)

The award was accepted by Stephanie Nurnberg, Sales Rep and Executive Assistant to the president at R.J. Thieneman.

A local business award also was given to Independence Bank. Independence Bank is a Kentucky-based bank with locations in 14 communities. Seven years ago, Independence Bank came to Frankfort, and they have added much to the beautification of the community by constructing two handsome buildings on the east and west sides of town, along our major thoroughfares of U.S.127 and Versailles Road.

Both locations have gone the extra mile in landscaping. In addition to the substantial plantings of Columnar Hornbeam trees and evergreens, such as hollies and spreading cypress there is an unusual collection of shrubs and native plants. They also have an impressive variety of ornamental grasses and various flowering perennials. And, to ensure summer color, the entrances are planted with annuals.

The award was accepted by Ashley Welsh, location manager at Independence Bank West.

Garden Club non-member winner

About seven years ago, a property in Thistleton Heights got new owners and a beautiful new look that is constantly evolving and fascinating to their garden loving neighbors. Award recipients Walt and Emily Whaley have created a front entrance that is welcoming and beautiful with flowering trees, shrubs and perennials. They have combined all of that with artfully placed yard art and handsome hand laid rock edges, and a retaining wall with amazing specimens of large decorative rock.

The Appalachian Red Redbud, an improved variety of the more common Eastern Redbud, starts the season of color with vibrant red blooms, followed by pink blooming weeping cherry trees. Some of the other plants adding beauty through the season include variegated azaleas, carpet roses, false Cyprus, dappled willow and purple smoke tree. Visitors, who travel to the backyard by way of a driveway lined with ornamental grasses, are greeted with a multitude of elegant containers blooming lushly with many varieties of annuals.

Walt and Emily Whaley also won a Community Beautification award. They created a front entrance that is welcoming and beautiful with flowering trees, shrubs and perennials. (Photo submitted)

Walt has created a large area with a variety of pavers and pea gravel artfully arranged. There is also a beautiful fountain, a potting shed with a trellis arbor and a collection of birdhouses that have been busy this year with a flock of tree swallows.

Garden Club member winner

Susan Coblin’s children are the fifth generation to enjoy the family house and gardens on Shelby Street. Award recipient Susan Coblin is also the second generation to be a member of the Garden Club. She has memories of her grandmother, Betty, working in the garden with a sweat band tied on her forehead, culottes, dirty nails, muddy shoes and a cart full of weeds. But, as Betty aged and coped with illness for several years, her garden fell into disrepair. Susan purchased the house in 2011 and there was much to be done.

Susan Coblin won a Community Beautification award from The Garden Club of Frankfort for the landscaping at her Shelby Street home. (Photo submitted)

The lot stretched deep into the backyard, but her priority was to restore the area nearest to the house. Her parents and aunts pitched in, and Susan hired a local landscaper to draw a plan that would incorporate the best of Betty’s plants and help Susan achieve the white and green garden that she had dreamed of. This was accomplished in 2013.

What remained to tackle had become, in her words, “the very awful, overgrown area in the farthest part of the backyard.” Again, her family pitched in. There was English ivy and euonymus climbing the trees and creeping along the ground and other invasives, such as bush honeysuckle. Four trees had to be removed, but lots of trees remained. Her father treated the best trees to keep them from disease. A landscaper was brought in to lay sod and now the entire garden is the shaded, restful haven it was meant to be.

Emily and Walt Whaley, Stephanie Nurnberg with RJ Thieneman Real Estate Company, Ashley Welsh with Independence Bank, and Susan Coblin received Community Beautification Awards from The Garden Club of Frankfort. (Photo submitted)