The Garden Club of Frankfort has chosen the home of Karen and Roy Nance as Frankfort’s House of the Month. Homes are chosen based on outstanding landscape design.
Karen and Roy have lived in their beautiful home in the Thistleton subdivision since 2009. When they decided to move from their three-story house on Leawood drive to a one-story house, they wanted to remain in the Thistleton subdivision because their neighbors take such pride in their homes and gardens.
Only one lot was available and it was part of a two lot plot that included a house for sale, so they purchased the entire property and lived in the house next door while their new house was built to their exact specifications.
As an active member of The Garden Club of Frankfort since 1997, and its current president, Karen knew exactly what she wanted for her landscape design. With a clean slate available to them she and Roy went to work. Their primary goal in designing the space was low maintenance. They wanted to be able to finish yard work chores in less than an hour.
A winding walk leads to the front door and the entrance reminds one of an English garden. The walk is lined with flowering plants, including such favorites as peonies and alliums. The berm in the front has something in bloom during every season. A beloved feature in the berm is a fairy garden that surprises and delights visiting children. This fall Karen and Roy planted 150 daffodil bulbs in the berm that will be a welcome harbinger of spring.
The backyard has one spectacular bed 12 feet from front to back, stretching from boundary to boundary and overflowing with perennials. As in the front yard, care was taken to have something blooming throughout the growing season. At the end of the bed sits a small vegetable garden that provides just enough fresh vegetables for them to enjoy all summer long.
The garden has much sentimental value because of plants shared from family and friends. A pink and white bleeding heart reminds Karen of her grandmother. She says her grandmother’s bleeding heart bloomed gloriously every spring and Karen can picture, in her mind’s eye, her grandmother out in the backyard of her humble home tending her garden.
The 100-year-old lilac was moved from the Averill House on Washington Street. A lovely lady by the name of Rebecca Averill lived in the home and was a dear friend to Karen and to their church. The backyard of the house on Washington Street was always in bloom and Rebecca would give bouquets of lilacs to Karen to take home. Karen was director of childcare at the time and these bouquets gave her a much-needed boost on difficult days.
The 11-year-old schefflera was a housewarming gift and has survived a freeze and continues to flourish. Karen also cherishes her collection of Jon Carloftis birdhouses.
One of the special hardscape features in their garden is a water fountain that was moved from their home on Leawood Drive. It was purchased in 2002 as a celebration for successfully completing chemotherapy and radiation following breast cancer surgery and, therefore, has a special place in the couple’s hearts.
The Nances have 12 members in their immediate family and enjoy entertaining friends. The back of the house features French doors leading to a screen porch where guests can sit and enjoy the view. The door from the porch beckons visitors to wander out and enjoy the beauty of the garden. Many parties and fundraisers have been held in the backyard.
The welcoming landscape they have created is a wonderful place for their six grandchildren to play. Their greatest pleasure comes from watching the children play ball, hunt Easter eggs, do chalk art drawings and learn the joys of gardening by working with them in the fairy and vegetable gardens.