LA GRANDE — The residence of Kirk Borgerding and Seren Kopetski was selected for the La Grande Community Landscape and Forestry’s Summer Beautification Award. Borderding and Kopetski have transformed a former “juniper nightmare” at their home, 1610 Foley St., into a handsome landscape.
“What started out as a two-week vacation evolved into a six-month project involving 300 tons of rock, hundreds of plants and multiple trips to GrandeScapes Nursery for supplies and advice,” said Kopetski. “We wanted to pack the front yard with lots of fodder for the pollinators so we would have fun watching the wildlife from the house’s beautiful windows. The tricky part was finding the right plants that would not become deer food too.”
The sloping front yard covered in juniper has been replaced with rock-lined terraces and pathways that form the structure for a diverse planting of shrubs and perennials. In addition to creating a habitat for native pollinators, removing the juniper also makes the landscape more fire resistant. The Oregon Department of Forestry lists ornamental juniper as highly flammable and recommends removing juniper shrubs near homes.
Blue Summit Realty, 102 Greenwood St., was selected for the commercial award. Owner Haley Hines worked with Garden Girl, LLC, to add plantings of shrubs and perennials that complement the building. New lawn and sidewalks were installed and the gravel parking area was paved, eliminating dust and the need to spray weeds.
The purpose of the Beautification Awards Program is to recognize residential and commercial properties that add to the beauty and diversity of La Grande’s environment. Nominations for this award are made by members of the La Grande Landscape and Forestry Commission, city employees and community members. The awards are given seasonally, in spring, summer and fall.
The selection committee looks for landscaping that integrates color, texture, seasonal diversity and appropriate use of hardscapes and space; landscaping that promotes resource conservation, wildlife habitat and/or food production; and owners who have overcome special circumstances. Nominations for the fall beautification award may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Urban Forestry Division at 541-663-1952.