May 23, 2021 · Filed Under Events and News 

The enormous vitex tree towering over the landscape at 3858 Lafayette Avenue
will begin to unfurl its purple blossoms at the end of May.

One of the deciding factors for Nicole and Alan Hawkins to buy the house at 3858 Lafayette Avenue was the huge vitex tree that stretches out across most of the front yard.  It’s easily one of the largest vitex in the area.  Despite the big plus of the specimen vitex, it created too much shade for most plants underneath it to survive, including grass. Nicole, who owns her own small landscape design company, covered the parkway with a bed of decomposed granite and planted Mexican feather grass and bluebonnets.  The Hawkins’ bluebonnet bloom this year was especially robust.

 In April, the parkway was exploding with a thick wall of bluebonnets.  Photo by Nicole Hawkins

Nicole was so pleased with the look and low maintenance of the decomposed granite in the parkway, she extended it to the rest of the front yard.  The result: less watering and no more mowing, with only a few occasional weeds to deal with. Nicole keeps those under control with a spritz of horticultural vinegar and orange oil.  To provide year-round color, the rest of the yard is filled with perennials, such as low profile Drift roses, oakleaf hydrangea, sea green junipers, yaupon holly, and red yuccas.

For being selected as the May Yard of the Month, the Hawkins received a complimentary annual membership to AHNA and a $25 gift certificate to Archie’s Gardenland.  To nominate a yard, even your own, please send the address to


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