by Ann Caffey
WALSENBURG- The main objective of the Beautify Walsenburg Contest was to give the local ‘Burgers an incentive to spruce up our little town, one yard at a time.
Originally, the idea was to award 1st, 2nd & 3rd to the “most improved” yard. As summer progressed, it became evident that the parameters were a little too specific. Some contestants had something to improve on, others had nothing to begin with, and still others had to deconstruct before they could construct.
So in the end we came up with three winners and two honorable mentions, with the winners receiving $300 each and honorable mentions $50 each, plus a subscription to a home improvement/gardening magazine.
And without further ado, here are the winners:
Patty Corsentino, 314 Pine St.
Patty already had a great yard, but a couple of canine companions were making a disaster out of the front fence line. Not only had they beaten the lawn into an early demise, but they churned it into a muddy mess that was being tracked everywhere.
So Patty and her family brought in a skid steer, tore out the fence, scraped everything clean and laid rock. She then reassembled the fence, replanted along the fence and resodded the grass. Now the poochies can visit with the passersby while running on rock and no more mess! Patty also has beautiful planters that are in full bloom with late summer flowers. Her lawn looks lush and very well manicured and no one would ever know she had capering canines and had let a skid steer loose on it in early summer. Great job, Patty!
Kathy Doolittle, 204 E 5th St.
Kathy’s corner lot is a profusion of color. With every blink, something else will catch your eye. Kathy has been working on her yard tirelessly for quite some time, as many of us will remember what it looked like not so many years ago. This year Kathy re-stuccoed the back shed, added more fruit trees and her husband Doug built “Stonehenge: the Home Edition,” which is rock walls filled with soil and planted to make raised beds.
Every week throughout the season brought something else to look at: blossoming fruit trees, purple clematis, tiger lilies, four o’clocks, cosmos, sunflowers and the list goes on and on. Look closer and you might see Henrietta and her minions patrolling the perimeter or Squeezy Softcat washing himself on the windowsill. Bailey the Jack Russell Terrorist prefers a nap in the sun. Kathy’s yard is a wonder and definitely a Walsenburg showpiece. Way to go Kathy!
Ralph Candelario, 302 W. 3rd St.
Ralph bought his property last spring, after it had been empty for many years. The poplars in the front and along the side had died out and the slope of the yard made grass difficult to maintain and grow. There were weeds everywhere. Ralph has taken out several of the dead poplars and cleared the yard of weeds. It has been such a joy to see a beautiful property getting spruced up again.
Ralph has huge plans for the property, from new trees and sod, to antique streetlamps and rock work. Considering all the interior projects he has had to do to make the house livable, it is indeed amazing the amount of work he has accomplished outside. Many of Ralph’s new neighbors have expressed their hopes for the property and many have started sprucing up their own homes, some with Ralph’s help. He tells me he has a long way to go, but we think he has done a great job already. Keep it up, Ralph!
Ken Martinez, Darkwood Studio, 518 Main St.
received an honorable mention. Originally, we were thinking only homes, but then we thought we’d add businesses. We also intended this contest to be for “street visible” properties, but after seeing Ken’s little oasis behind his studio, we had to relent. Oh my goodness – cute, cute, cute! He has painted the brick in different colors; each brick, mind you. He has a bench with the back made from an old door. There is an antique pedestal sink filled with flowers. There are objects d’art and a hot tub. I wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon there. Ken, you’re my new best friend!
Carmen Collins & family, 815 N Albert St. Carmen has spent the summer working on the hardscapes. She has added a 6 ft cedar fence around the back yard and a beautiful split rail in the front. She has also painted the entire outside of the house. She has plans for adding trees and more landscaping after she gets rid of her pesky gopher problem. Her husky is doing his part trying to dig them all up. Great start on what sounds like a big, beautiful project on the north side of town. Kudos to you, Carmen!
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s contest. A beautiful Walsenburg does good things for all of us. This endeavor isn’t really about competition; it’s more about having pride in our homes. Maybe if our porches are more inviting, we’ll spend more time on them and greet our neighbors as they pass by. Maybe the bazillion people who pass through our town every summer will think we’re quaint and want to stop and spend their money and make it ours. We are good hard working people and it shows in our homes.
So break out those catalogs and landscaping magazines and check out those paint samples people ‘cuz Memorial Day is closer than you think. Next year’s contest is just around the corner.