Memorial Northwest Community Center
MNW Ladybugs Garden Club

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If anyone is interested in becoming a member of the Ladybugs and learning more about gardening and supporting our community, please call our Membership Chairperson, Valerie Hollingshead.

Herb of the Month:
Click here for fascinating information about herbs.

The Big Tree in the Front Yard versus the Grass

The Ladybugs donated a gift basket for the raffle at the Texas Garden Clubs District Spring Convention

What Does it Take to Get Yard of the Month?

For over thirty years now, the Memorial Northwest Ladybugs Garden Club has been consistently judging Yard of the Month for several strong reasons. The award promotes excellent landscaping, colorful gardening, and the subdivision's remarkable curb appeal. The promotion of the award has remained as steady as the purposes have remained. Often, the Ladybugs publish in the Memorial Northwest Newsletter the special criteria for earning the Yard of the Month award. You will find those careful, longstanding guidelines listed below along with their point values.

1.General appearance: grass mowed & edged, weed free, green with no brown spots20pts
2.Beds cleaned & edged10pts
3.Walks, driveways & curbs edged & swept10pts
4.Shrubs neatly pruned10pts
5.Color contrast10pts
6.General neatness: garbage cans, toys and bikes out of sight, hoses rolled up, air conditioners hidden by shrubs, etc.20pts
7.Overall landscape design in keeping with architecture of the house10pts
8.Front lawn has discernible, intentionally balanced landscape design10pts

Reminders: A yard cannot win more than once per year. A house with a "For Sale" sign is not eligible to win. A house cannot win with a boat or R.V. in the driveway. (This is a deed restriction. Those items have to be hidden behind a fence.)

Each judge uses this list every time she takes her turn in judging. With about 25 women in the Garden club, you can see why each member has to take two turns in the judging of over 2000 homes in our neighborhood. This year the Ladybugs have decided to judge the months of September, October, and November, and then the months of March, April, and May of next year. December is in a class by itself because the club does not use these same criteria for judging the Christmas award. As you know, the neighborhood yards are too dimly lighted to judge the grass and flower beds, so the judges for the Christmas Award are primarily looking at lights and theme decorations that the judges can see from their cars.

Each month of the September to May Garden Club year, the members sign up for the months that they can serve as YOM judges. This judging system insures that the same people will not do the judging every month. The system also spreads the responsibility for choices around to help eliminate any biases that could possibly exist. The subdivision is always divided into three separate sections for judging YOM, so that no team has to judge all 2000 homes in one day. The two-member teams have five days to do the judging, starting on the first day of each month going to the fifth day, giving the ladies flexibility with their personal schedules. On judging day, the Ladybugs teams drive down each and every street of their assigned section first selecting the strongest competitors and writing those addresses down.

Then, the judges make a second sweep, comparing those three or four strong contenders more carefully. At this time, when the selected houses are so impressive, the judges take a harder look to see if any one of the limited selections is a clear winner. Really, when all the criteria have been met by all of the potential "winners," the subject of "color" usually comes up. Most often, the addition or "color" to the already excellent yards will decide the final YOM winner.

Remember, this same judging system is being used in all three sections so that each month three first-place awards are actually given, and three equally stunning yards are photographed for our MNW Newsletter. Most of the time, the competition is severe because there are so many high quality landscaped yards in our neighborhood. When you win this coveted award, your household is not eligible to win until one year later. This "fairness" rule has been a longstanding one in the club. The reason for it is that we want to pass the praises out to as many different homes as possible to accomplish our mission of encouragement. The whole point of Yard of the Month awarding is to compliment you for maintaining such wonderfully groomed front yards. When you win this award, you will receive a $25.00 gift card from Plants for All Seasons on Louetta. You will also stand as a shining example to every house on your street. By looking at your award winning yard, your neighbors will see clearly for themselves what it take to win Yard of the Month in Memorial Northwest.


Judging Criteria for Yard of the Month:


Memorial Northwest is divided into 3 Areas for judging:

Area 1 is east of Theiss Mail Route to Stuebner-Airline and south to Louetta.  This area is a difficult one for us, as there are both the older homes with more established landscaping, along with the newest of our homes with totally different architecture and landscaping.

Area 2 covers both sides of Champion Forest from Pine Thistle Lane south to Louetta.  This encompasses all the streets that go to Hidden Trail, with Pine Thistle Lane being the first major east/west street. Shadow Valley to Hidden Trail and Northbridge to Hidden Trail; east to Theiss Mail Route and west to Dry Gully.

Area 3 covers both sides of Champions Forest including Hidden Trail north to the last streets behind the commercial development along Spring Cypress.  The west boundary is Dry Gully with the east being Theiss Mail Route and the area next to the Doerre School.  Remember that there is a large area along Theiss Mail Route that is not a part of Memorial Northwest subdivision that is across from the school and to south of the sharp turn on Theiss Mail going south.  

We hope this helps in understanding our Judging Yard of the Month.  We hope to have homeowners this year who have never won!  Please be one!

The Ladybugs Garden Club

Kaye Neiss, Chairperson


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