9404 Lightwood Loop

Contemporary meets traditional at 9404 Lightwood Loop. Holly and David Parnos just completed a beautiful transformation of their shaded front yard to garner the August YOM. The Garden Girls were driving by and literally did a double take. Where there had been a traditional, if not a little threadbare front yard, there is now an eye- catching oasis. Holly recently indulged her artistic side and developed a formal landscape plan. Working with a professional landscaper she polished the plan to its final form. Although the project had been in the planning stages since April, once the work began the transformation happened within a matter of days.

A large ash tree dominates the front yard and although lovely, the shade it generates poses its own set of landscaping challenges. Like many of us, last year’s drought was the final straw and the Parnos decided something more significant than nursing the existing grass back to health had to be done. Removing the grass, putting down mulch, and adding colorful specimen plants in artistic groupings creates a peaceful feel. A sidewalk from the curb to the front door solves a problem many of the homes in this neighborhood have and is now a focal point in the landscape. Large concrete squares float in a dark gravel walkway creating a dramatic focal point. Dark gravel along the curb further draws the eye in while solving an access issue for visiting guests that have to park along the street.

When planning the new landscape, Holly leaned heavily on the “Native and Adapted Landscape Plants” booklet published by the City of Austin. This booklet (available at local nurseries and home improvement centers) identifies adapted plants and provides a wealth of information such as watering needs, shade-tolerance, size, etc. Holly selected plants with a variety of striking forms, from complex broad leaves to striking linear shapes. Trailing purple lantana, pink salvia, American beautyberry, and society garlic provide a sweep of purple at the front of the yard. Turk’s cap, columbine, flame-leaf acanthus, and red yucca provide a swath of red. Other standouts in the yard include agarita, sotol, and muhly bamboo. Utilizing this diversity of flowering plants ensures the yard will have colorful blooms from early Spring to late Fall. Although the transformation appears complete, there are still a few planting beds where Holly can hone her burgeoning gardening skills. I for one can’t wait to see the future additions and watch as the landscape matures.

The Parnos took advantage of the great shade in the front yard and created a small patio area in front of the house. Adirondack chairs accentuate the welcoming look and relaxing “feel” of the front yard. The family, including Layla (their furry child), is already enjoying their new urban oasis.

Message From the President

The Fourth of July parade was a hit with the kids in the neighborhood and many adults also participated. Neighbors supported the kids by cheering them on as they circled the subdivision. The line-up began at the front entrance park and the parade picked up additional participants along the way. The kids decorated their bikes and wagons and others marched along. It ended at the back park on Silk Oak Drive where a jumping castle arrived at 10am. Erica Taylor did face painting which was a smash hit and I tied balloons for the kiddos. There were good eats and treats, along with sausage wraps and lots of covered dishes your neighbors brought. Everyone visited until about 12:30. We even had a few folks sign up with the home owners association.
We could sure use some more members. Their dues support activities like the July Fourth Parade, National Night Out, Easter Egg Hunt for the kids, Halloween awards, Christmas light awards, and upkeep of our beautiful front entrance. We are in dire need of new lights for the front entrance and they are expensive. Keeping that entrance attractive keeps your property values up and welcomes your guests to a neighborhood that is proud of itself. Dues are only $60 a year, that’s only $5 a month! Please consider supporting your neighborhood.
There is a Neighborhood Watch program planned for August 7, Tuesday at 6:30 pm at the Police Station at 404 Ralph Albenedo. This is just north of Slaughter and west of Congress. Officer Ristow will be presenting a slide presentation and talk and answering questions on keeping your neighborhood safe and recognizing suspicious activity. We have not had one of these in a few years and would be a good opportunity to brush up on your observation skills.
The next major activity planned for the neighborhood will be National Night Out and we would like to have one house on each street host a get together. Contact any of the Board members if you would like to do this. The Cherry Creek on Brodie Lane Association will furnish refreshments and will be letting you know the exact date as it gets closer.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your President. Sam Taylor