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Marie Lemere uses color creatively in her garden at 914 America Ave. N.W. Her dream is for all the houses on her street to plant flowers in their front yard. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Front yard garden of the week: Empty nest makes room for garden

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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

We might all agree that being the mother of eight children does not allow a lot of time for gardening.

Marie Lemere's yard at 914 America Ave. N.W. was very active for many years, with baseball being played in the front yard. First base was located where a stand of lilies now bloom.

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After Marie's family grew up and left home, she found a little time to watch television. She was inspired by the gardening ideas she saw on HGTV. Marie is creative and has a good sense of color. She saw wild flowers in ditches that now look great in her garden. She started her gardening in the back yard, but the trees grew and shade became a challenge. So, we can now find Marie busy in her front yard garden.

Marie said she believes a front yard garden is a way to share with her neighbors. She smiles when she says she gets compliments from all ages. Even teenage boys will comment that they like her flowers. There are flowers blooming in Marie's garden throughout the summer. In the spring, creeping phlox in white, blue and pink are complemented by iris. Pansies, catmint and chives add to the charm. By midsummer, the yellow day lilies, roses and yarrow, penstemon, white daisies and rudbeckia fill the yard. Hosta fill in the shady corners. Deep pink petunias line the entry sidewalk. Varities of rudbeckia continue to bloom until late fall.

There is also a very healthy salad garden with tomatoes, peppers, spinach, lettuce and dill. These are all planted in self-watering containers, which Marie recommends. These containers take advantage of the sun in the front yard without taking up a lot of space.

Marie said her garden challenges are the weeds and the city's watering policy. The policy makes keeping a yard looking nice very expensive. She said hopes the city would one day reconsider and go back to the old watering policy, which offered a reduced rate to keep lawns green. The drought in the past couple of years was difficult, and she lost some of her perennials.

Marie said she gets personal satisfaction from her garden. She gardens for herself but is happy that others enjoy it. Her dream is for all the houses on America Avenue Northwest to have some flowers in their front yards.

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Pioneer staff reports
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