by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The yard of Christine and John McAfee at 1233 NE 15th St.  is this month's pick for Yard of the Month by the Canby Garden ClubThe beauty of Christine and John McAfee’s yard, besides its beauty, is that beauty changes every year.

That’s the way Christine likes it — changing it up with new plants and flowers every year.

The new look works as the couple’s home at 1233 NE 15th St. in Canby is a veritable pallet of colors and plant styles. That’s why the couple earned September’s Yard of the Month award from the Canby Garden Club.

“I’m very honored to be selected,” Christine said.

The McAfee’s bought the Canby property 17 years ago but didn’t build and move onto it until about six years ago, moving from a bigger property in Milwaukie.

“Our daughter lives here with her family and we just fell in love with Canby,” Christine said. “We thought this would be a great place to retire to. I’m retired, but my husband is still working, but this will be our retirement home.”

And that home has plenty to see, thanks to Christine’s vision and her husband’s support.

“Both of my parents were avid vegetable and flower gardeners,” Christine said. “I kind of grew up with it. I Love gardening and find it totally relaxing. It’s one of the things I can spend time doing and I don’t think about anything else. It’s just very relaxing and rewarding.”

The yard itself has transformed quite a bit in six years. Most of the grass has been removed from the back (replaced by pavers) and front (dry creek bed and boulders).

“This year, I talked my husband into taking out the rest of the grass, so we did that in March,” Christine said. “I designed a dry creek bed and then gave the design to an architect who worked with it and placed the boulders and moved some plants.”

Then, in May, Christine continued her yearly passion of changing things up.

“I thought, ‘It’s annual time,’ and since I usually do something different every year, I decided to put in wave petunias and potato vine,” she said. “Next year, it will be something totally different. I like mixing it up.”

And her husband lends a supportive hand as she creates each year, she said.

This yard is full of color from crepe myrtle, many perennials, hanging baskets and a lavish use of annuals. Christine loves gardening so much she divides and transplants many plants to the logging road behind a neighbor’s house and has established a beautiful garden there, too.

This will be the last Yard of the Month until April 2014.

— John Baker

Contract Publishing

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