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June 2022: 5445 Richard Ave

The act of beautifying our yards and gardens is a labor of love for us and our neighbors in Vickery Place. When folks are also professional artists, their yard can easily become a work of art itself. Gordon Young’s home at 5445 Richard is a perfect example of landscape design begetting more beauty than just a selection and location of plants. As a matter of fact, in a local example of life imitating art, Gordon has displayed digital prints of his very own backyard in a gallery at North Haven Gardens.

A previous YOTM winner, Gordon knows how to keep his yard unique, healthful, and appreciated by all who pass by. He invests in low toxicity pest treatments (both indoors and out) and selects annual plantings that bring bold color while in bloom yet leave beautiful greenery in between. Gordon’s father was an agronomist at the University of Nebraska and taught him how to hybridize his own flowers. Though we did not learn this scientific technique during our visit, Gordon did share with us that he too has been a teacher during his life, including a teacher of art at Richland College for over 40 years.

Gordon bought his home on Richard Ave. in 1995 where he soon built an art studio in the back. We loved seeing what he calls his “plague paintings”, created during the recent pandemic. But, in the space between his house and studio is where the real magic comes to life. Full of beautiful Japanese Maples, mock orange trees, tomatoes, 4 o’clocks, sunflowers, bearded irises, herbs, and hydrangeas, Gordon’s backyard is a palette styled by nature and an appreciation for authentic beauty.

Among the flowers, trees, and herbs are wooden bird houses and a ceramic bird bath. Birds are present as well. Some are singing in the trees while others are silent sculptures. A sandpiper, flamingo and 2 geese create a welcoming space and paying honor to all that enjoyed Gordon’s beautiful yard.

Though we learned a great deal from Gordon, our biggest lesson was to enjoy what we plant, love our yards appreciate the care and support of good neighbors, and create a space that you and everyone you invite into it will enjoy.

Congratulations to Gordon and Hillary (his beautiful cat) of 5445 Richard Ave. for winning June 2022’s Vickery Place Neighborhood Association Yard of the Month!

We also want to send a big thank you to North Haven Gardens for their sponsorship and for the $50 gift card they generously award our winners!

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