Yard McLaugh

   There were eight different nominations submitted for the owners of 915 First Street SE to be the winners of the June “Yard of the Month” award.

  “Were any of them from my family?” Tony McLaughlin (center) asked as he was presented with the award. Julie Hegge (left) executive director of the Belmond Growth Alliance, assured him that none of the nominations were from McLaughlins.

  The residence sits at the corner of First Street SE and Ninth Avenue SE and is bursting with annuals and perennials from every angle. The west yard also features a large bricked patio. The patio is just one of four seating areas in the yard. “We sit wherever the wind is blowing,” Gayla McLaughlin said.

  It is handy to have so many seats nearby since Gayla commits three days each week to weeding the extensive beds. She is a dedicated weeder through July 4, but does admit to cutting back on the effort after the holiday is over.

  Gayla is especially proud of the hollyhocks which line the backyard fence. “They are from my mother,” she said.

  Tony said the couple spends “quite a bit of money” on flowers each year. He typically picks the varieties while Gayla directs the planting.

  The carpet of green grass is watered regularly, thanks to a sandpoint on the property. The McLaughlins split the mowing duties.

  “It’s an honor to win the award,” Gayla said.

  The Pride in Belmond committee of the BGA is sponsoring this summer’s promotion.

  Hegge said the Pride in Belmond committee is looking for more members. Anyone who is interested in serving should call her at 641-444-3937 or stop by City Hall.