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By Ann Reynolds

Rick and Sherri Rios have been homeowners at Holly Lake for four years. What they never expected to experience in the piney woods of east Texas was an EF2 tornado. After much destruction and loss of many trees in 2016, Rick and Sherri decided to make lemonade out of lemons. They now could garden in full sun! Their charming cottage gardens and home show what can be accomplished with much hard work and thoughtful planning.

Sherri’s goal was to create a pollinator garden surrounding their turquoise and white cottage. She has “outlined” her flower beds with deer resistant plants and has many natives, perennials and herbs. This makes for stunning color surrounding their home in Section 8.

As you walk through the arbor on the dry river bed, you will notice Texas sage sitting high atop a berm. Terracing and a berm were built to redirect water run-off from the street. A lush green lawn sits in front of the house but the many blooming flowers and butterflies to the left are the highlights of the property. The location includes: Buddleia, Salvias (Guaranitica, Hot Lips, Bog), Cat Mint, Bea Balm, Rosemary, Lambs Ear, biennial Fox Gloves, Clematis, tropical Butterfly weed, Mexican Bush Sage, conical shaped Box Woods, Juniper, Lantana and much more.

If you look to the right, you can see that Rick and Sherri have prepared for future wicked weather with the installation of a storm shelter. Straight ahead is a beautiful pergola with seating for outdoor entertaining.

You will notice a big cart filled with Purple Coneflower. The cart, which belonged to Sherri’s mother, was the only thing to survive the storm. Sherri and her mother also share a love of Zinnias which dot the landscape throughout.

Holly Gardeners is proud to sponsor the “Yard of the Month” program for residents at Holly Lake Ranch. The Yard of the Month program has been established to promote goodwill and reward exemplary lawn and garden care in the community. The purpose of the program is to recognize neighbors who demonstrate above-average efforts in maintaining their property, thereby contributing to the overall appearance of the community at large.