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June 2021 - 5223 Willis Avenue

Evan Brody chose Vickery Place for his home as he loved the neighborhood’s walkability and nice yards. He purchased 5223 Willis Avenue in 2008 and his wife, Aggie followed soon after. They have since grown their family to include their precious daughter Emilia along with their sweet old Great Dane, Maya.



Their 1923 original home went through an extensive renovation in 2016 to add more space and an upstairs. As part of the updates, they completed a full yard renovation, adding zoysia grass, sturdy metal edging and a blend of succulents and other perennials to the lone crepe myrtle on the west side of the front lawn. Aggie gathered more great ideas that she saw around the neighborhood and mapping it all out in Excel before visiting local garden stores in the area for supplies. Her favorites are North Haven Gardens, Ruibal’s Dallas Farmer’s Market, and Home Depot.


The west side of the front yard is more sun-filled side and is currently abloom with loads of colorful flowers, daisies, dramatic yuccas, and gorgeous Whale’s Tongue Agave. The Brody’s planted a ‘Chinese Snowball’ on the east side of the front yard for privacy and shade over their home office window and filled in underneath with ferns, coral bells and a beautiful hosta.


Their picturesque back yard is home to a massive pecan tree that provides just the right amount of shade for a pathway lined by hostas and a Japanese maple that greets you as you enter through the back gate. Aggie and Evan enjoy growing their own vegetables in their back yard too, particularly those that might be harder to find at the grocery store; veggies like okra (the flowers are edible too), shishito peppers, artichokes, and garlic chives to name a few. Multiple raised garden beds are situated in front of heavily pruned Vitex trees planted following the initial garden renovation. Pecan shell mulch in the beds really looks great against their luscious zoysia grass. Along their western sun-facing fence line, the Brody’s installed a large trellis and grow the most delicious blackberries (we tasted them!). A Desert Willow tree also enjoys the full-sun placement and adds a unique texture to the space.


Some Great Tips From the Brodys:

  • When selecting plants and placement, be sure to read and pay attention to hardiness codes, sun requirements, and expected size of the mature plant to avoid overcrowding in a couple years.

  • Check the clearance section of your garden center. You never know what might be available for less that you can nurture into a beautiful plant.

  • Select specific flowers that bloom at different times to enjoy a full season of color.

  • Pecan shell mulch is a beautiful choice that doesn’t float away in the rain. Buy it by the yard (vs by the bag) to save money on total cost.

  • The Brody’s blackberry vines grow along metal panels designed for livestock that they mounted directly to the wood fence slats.

  • Look around you and keep your eyes open for great design and plant ideas that you can use in your own yard. Aggie was inspired to select a beautiful Desert Willow tree by the nearby Trader Joe’s landscaping.


We want to congratulate the Brody family on their Vickery Place Yard of The Month win for June 2021. We also want to thank Northaven Gardens for their sponsorship and the $50 gift card award that will be awarded to Evan and Aggie.


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