Shapely backyard captures serene feel on busy street

The August Yard of the Month boasts well-cared-for perennials tucked among major features, including a wooden fence line, a bridge spanning a creek bed, an ever-changing fish pond, and a large deck and patio.

The August Yard of the Month boasts well-cared-for perennials tucked among major features, including a wooden fence line, a bridge spanning a creek bed, an ever-changing fish pond, and a large deck and patio. Photo by Michelle Brooks.

The Rehagens take volunteers — plants that is.

Their August Yard of the Month at 1415 Stadium Blvd. in Jefferson City is scattered with dogwoods, Japanese maple, rose of Sharon, gooseberries and hydrangeas, many of which came up in the wooded area behind their creek and were transplanted to permanent, formal beds.

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Mary and Dave Rehagen have been working on their double lot, landscaping since they built their home in 1969.

Mary and Dave have lived in their single-story brick home since it was built on the last vacant lot in the neighborhood in 1969.

While they raised their two daughters there, they also built the yard little by little.

For the past few years, the Yard of the Month selection committee, composed of Central Missouri Master Gardeners and Bittersweet Garden Club members, have been inviting the Rehagens into the contest.

“And all they saw was the front yard,” Mary said. “I said, ‘Gosh, if they liked the front, they really should like the back.’”

The judges agreed.

“Just driving by doesn’t give you a clue as to the serenity in the back on such a busy street. What a surprise! Beautiful!” one judge said.

Perennials have been the backbone of their landscaping crossing four decades.

“We love the perennials coming back,” Mary said. “But it’s fun to do a little bit with the annuals, which require the extra care.”

Their deck and covered patio overlook a shapely backyard, lined by a wooden fence and divided by the natural creek spanned by a matching wooden bridge. On the other side is a thinned woods on a steep slope, accented by dogwoods and mimosa trees.

Closer to home, a newly renovated pool area is accented with potted plants. And at its base is a fish pond the couple have been developing the past few years.

Their fence-line rose bushes have been in bloom. Their gooseberry bushes are consistent producers. And along their shared property line, ribbon grass has found a new place to spread out.

Dave takes care of the weed-free lawn and has spent years shaping the mature trees, including pin oaks and magnolia.

A second judge said the Rehagens’ yard, “had a dramatic expanse of perfect lawn.

“The mature trees were beautiful. It is more a traditional garden with a living room feel.”

The clean front yard is punctuated with impatiens for color. On their front porch are rescued, now thriving, office plants.

Their values are evident with the lighted American flag, which has flown since their son Kyle was deployed to Iraq in 2004 with the Missouri National Guard Blackhawks. And a large crucifix is a reminder of their faith and inspires many who travel the road near Helias Catholic High School.

“What a beautiful yard all the way around the house,” another judge said. “The grass was so lush and all the beds very manicured.

“I especially enjoyed the tranquility of the backyard (quite a contrast to the front with the busy street), with the blooming roses and hydrangeas next to the fence and the flowing stream.”

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