Garden Photo of the Day

Noteworthy Yard

By Alexandra Dittrich

Congratulations to Vikki Barnette for creating such a noteworthy garden.

"As an avid fan of fine Gardening I would like to share with my fellow fine Gardening friends the recent selection of my garden as the most noteworthy for my section of the city of Chesapeake, VA. Below is a quote from the Facebook page of the Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council as well as photographs taken of my garden on July 9, 2016 when I was presented with the award:

"Join us in congratulating the winners of this year's Chesapeake Notable Yards Contest. Each day this week, starting Monday, we will announce the the most notable yard in each of our city's seven high school districts. These winners, first nominated by their neighbors, were selected based on multiple factors including site appeal and appearance, management of natural resources, and utilization of environmental best practices to make our communities both a beautiful and a healthy place to live.

"Our first Notable Yard winner is from the Hickory district. The front yard is well planted and fits the neighborhood, and as this corner lot home has multiple views from the public right of way, and all views were great. Beautiful mixed perennial flower beds with shrubs, trees, 4 seasons of color and interest, straw bale gardening, compost, structures for people, low water use, organic fertilizers, bird feeding areas, correct pruning, vegetable gardens, and great use of bed layouts to break up the turf, etc. The garden views make you want to visit the homeowners and stroll through their gardens, or just peek in to see what’s blooming this time of the year!"

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View Comments


  1. frankgreenhalgh 08/01/2016

    Hi Vikki - Congratulations on your award, and on posting a pic. of yourself. Nice open garden layout, and recognition for your efforts. I especially like the gate feature.

    A noteworthy garden indeed! In fact, I would go as far as to call it a 'rip-snorter'. Cheers, Frank

    1. VikkiVA 08/01/2016

      Thank you Frank. The gate came about as the result of my purchase of the decorative piece of wrought iron without a plan to display it. It finally dawned on me that it would make a nice gate for that area of the flower bed. My husband got the posts and the hinges and put it together. It's been in the garden for 9 years and has held up well.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 08/01/2016

        I too have a fascination with gates, Vikki.

        1. User avater
          meander_michaele 08/02/2016

          Your colorful feathered friends make for some pretty amazing tree ornaments.

          1. frankgreenhalgh 08/02/2016

            Thanks Michaele - if there is enough interest I will feature more of our unique and colourful birdlife in future posts.

  2. user-3565112 08/01/2016

    Vikki, The C.E.I.C. statement perfectly describes your gardening achievements. Congratulations , & good luck, Joe.

    1. VikkiVA 08/01/2016

      Thank you Joe.

  3. NCYarden 08/01/2016

    Vikki, what a great honor to receive such recognition and thus an award. It appears it is well deserved. Digging those dahlias! Nice to see you too in your garden.

    1. VikkiVA 08/01/2016

      Thank you! I've only recently planted Dahlias. They are quickly becoming a favorite.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/01/2016

    Congrats, Vikki, on a well earned award. I'm sure you do your gardening for the love of the activity itself but a pat on the back is always nice positive reinforcement. The ninth picture down certainly showcases a lovely composition. I'm thinking the deep burgundy foliage might be from a smokebush(?) and is set off beautifully by the dark stemmed neighbor and the rich pink flowers of the 3rd plant (an achillea?)
    Do you have lots of beautiful spring flowering azaleas? I lived in Virginia Beach for a stretch and the show of azaleas in people's yards was amazing.

    1. VikkiVA 08/01/2016

      The burgundy foliage is a small Loropetalum with Yarrow (achillea) and Gaura 'Sparkle White.' I grew Azaleas at another home but do not have any here. When I need a blooming Azalea fix I go to the Norfolk Botanical Garden, aka: Azalea Gardens where they put on a spectacular display. Thank you for your sweet comments.

  5. user-4691082 08/01/2016

    Congrats Vikki! To be recognized for correct pruning is an achievement in itself!

    1. VikkiVA 08/01/2016

      I tend to be a bit heavy handed with the pruners. Guess the judges came to view my yard at the "right" time. LOL

  6. annek 08/01/2016

    Kudos to you vikki for the well deserved recognition. You've planted a lovely garden that I imagine passers-by go out of their way to see. Beautiful!

    1. VikkiVA 08/01/2016

      Thank you Annek

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/01/2016

    Congratulations Vikki on your well-deserved recognition. Having neighbors enjoying your garden is such a big part of having a beautiful neighborhood. I love the pops of burgundy/purple foliage. I think the purple-leaved shrub to which Michaele (Meander1) refers is Loropetalum? If so, I am quite envious that those are hardy for you. Cheers!

    1. VikkiVA 08/01/2016

      You are correct Tim, that is Loropetalum. Thank you for your kind words.

    2. User avater
      meander_michaele 08/01/2016

      I had a lovely grouping of loropetalum but they got surprisingly large. I decided to go with the flow and laboriously pruned them so that they were open and airy like a grove of ornamental trees. I will confess to having been quite pleased with the results. However, 2 years later after that time consuming effort, a cruel late frost killed them off and they pretty much went kapooie. Oh, I think each one had a pathetic flower or two and some straggly leaves. I kept hoping it was only temporary but, sigh, their demise was permanent.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/01/2016

        Oh, that makes me sad! I especially love the dark-leaved cultivars and their open habits. Early this year when we were making a quick visit to N. Carolina, Loropetalum seemed to be everywhere. Most of them were trimmed into tight, small, boxy hedges and were completely atrocious. It did not compute......

        1. User avater
          meander_michaele 08/01/2016

          Well, as with many of us here on gpod, I did the lemonade out of lemons things and that's where I planted 3 of those dark leafed 'Coral Magic' (or 'Plum Magic...must find a tag and see which they are) crepe myrtles. The leaves are not as dramatically dark and showy as the Black Magic series but they do pop a bit.

  8. Sunshine111 08/01/2016

    Good for you! How lovely to be recognized by your peers and neighbors!

    1. VikkiVA 08/01/2016

      Thank you Lily

  9. sheila_schultz 08/01/2016

    What a wonderful honor, Vikki. You must have been overjoyed when you heard the great news! I think most of us tend to our gardens because we love the process and it makes us happy, but to have your hard work noticed by neighbors and nominated as a notable yard...
    now that's definitely icing on the cake! Well deserved!

    1. VikkiVA 08/01/2016

      I do love the process Shelia, Thanks.

  10. GrannyCC 08/01/2016

    Congratulations Vikki on your award. Your garden beds are beautiful. Is that a clematis on the bamboo poles? The top leaves are huge. Love the gate.

  11. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 08/01/2016

    Vikki, congratulations on being recognized for your garden achievements. Like Sheila said, it's not why we do it but it sure doesn't hurt to know that someone notices. I love the photo with the purple ( Loropetulum, thanks, Tim, I also thought that it was Cotinus) and pink mixture. Please send more photos in during other seasons as with your attention to detail I'm guessing that you have a great spring display as well.

  12. Meelianthus 08/01/2016

    Vikki, the garden judges were certainly correct when saying the gardens enticed one to want to "stroll through". Your flowers are so lush, abundant, and very inviting for a view. You have done a beautiful job and indeed beautified your community. I love all of your flower choices, the purples are all exquisite. Congratulations on being recognized for all of your hard work.

  13. Cenepk10 08/01/2016

    Notable, indeed !!!! Looks like a lover of beautiful flowers & orderly placement of them resides here. I love your garden !!!!

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