'YARD OF THE YEAR' WINNERS RETIRE MOWER

April 28, 2001 12:00 am
LOW IN MAINTENANCE, HIGH IN BEAUTY: Lewis Currie keeps the weeds down in his yard full of flowers. Currie and his wife, Janet Nedry, were winners of the "Yard of the Year" award in 1999. (The Observer/ERIN WITTEN).
LOW IN MAINTENANCE, HIGH IN BEAUTY: Lewis Currie keeps the weeds down in his yard full of flowers. Currie and his wife, Janet Nedry, were winners of the "Yard of the Year" award in 1999. (The Observer/ERIN WITTEN).

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

Lewis Currie hasnt mowed a lawn in 15 years. He doesnt even have a lawn mower.

But he and his wife, Janet Nedry, who live at the corner of Fifth Street and N Avenue, have one of the prettiest yards in

La Grande. A testament to that is their winning the citys Yard of the Year award in 1999.

Currie calls it a low-maintenance yard. But it does take some time, he admits, especially the way they care for it.

It was expensive to put in when we moved here about five years ago, but once it was in, it was sure low-care all right, he said.

If you have a lawn, you have to mow every week, aerate, fertilize, weed, trim weekly. Thats a lot of work.

Most of their 60-by-100-foot lot is covered with a variety of plants that bloom at different times of the year. The tulips are in full bloom now. So are the star magnolia and forsythia. Lilac is on the way. Later there will be peonies, bridal wreath spirea, dogwood. In the fall, asters and mums will bloom.

We have mostly perennials. Theres rock crest and daphne, butterfly bushes. Weve got potentilla, both the ground cover and the bush. We have roses.

We plant some vegetables, some interspersed among the flowers. I keep three beds for vegetables and herbs. Cooking is my avocation, so I have to have herbs.

Currie, who worked in real estate in Southern California before retiring to Salem several years ago, moved to La Grande more than five years ago. He said he may put in a watering system. That would cut down tremendously on his work, he said.

The biggest thing you do is watering. And there are leaves in the fall. It takes me about three days in the fall and three in the spring to take care of the yard. The rest is just watering.

In the spring, I work to keep the weeds down, but it only takes me about 30 minutes every two or three weeks. The secret is to get em when theyre small.

He said, Gardening is fun. Ours is low maintenance, but its

still changing. Were not through yet.