Blueprint for a landscaping transformation

By Sydney Ashby

Hector Martinez and Stephen Osborn at 1844 Young Avenue have poured blood, sweat, and tears into their yard and it shows. When they first moved into the house in December 2007, the entire yard was an eye sore. However, instead of starting from scratch, they decided to begin their makeover by salvaging what they could, rearranging, and transplanting. For example, two Japanese maples (the Twins as they are called) were moved to the front from the back and are thriving. An arborvitae, which was in the front yard and taking over the walkway, was moved to the back yard. It was the largest thing they had ever transplanted. For months they went out everyday and watered it, nursed it, and told it, “We hope you don’t die!” It didn’t, and that shrub is now affectionately named Hope.
Hector and Stephen have made it a habit to name many of their plants, shrubs, and trees. Plus, they enjoy planting new items to commemorate special occasions and special friends. There is a persimmon in the back yard called Elvis and a new red bud on the west side of the house named Annie, which they planted on their fifth anniversary. The three azaleas in the front yard were given as a parting gift from three good friends, Kristina, Dimitri, and Chance, when they moved to California. So of course, those are now the azaleas’ names.
The yard blooms hyacinth, crocuses, daffodils, and tulips in the spring and amaryllis in the early summer. And don’t be surprised if you see Hector and Stephen gardening their miniature crepe myrtles, hydrangeas, gardenias, and nadia in the late evening, as they refer to themselves as “the Midnight Gardeners”. On a Saturday afternoon during the course of rehabbing the yard, Stephen accidentally killed all the grass in an attempt to rid the yard of only crabgrass. Not wanting a yard full of dead grass, they managed to convince Home Depot to deliver sod that evening and then stayed up until 4am tilling, planting, and watering. Please stop by, admire their yard, and thank them for such dedication! You may find them on their front porch, which has many potted plants, enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or a beer in the afternoon.