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November 29, 2012
By Brad Lindberg

Staff Writer

Joan Garvey’s property at 345 Touraine won the Grosse Pointe Farms Beautification Advisory Commission’s inaugural award for nighttime impact.

It’s the commission’s first nightscape award in nearly a quarter century of recognizing outstanding landscaping.

“Strategically placed lighting complements the stature and style of this home and beautiful garden, showcasing the front entrance and illuminating all of this with a natural glow,” said Karen Shea, beautification chair, during the 24th annual beautification awards night, Monday, Nov. 19, at city hall.

“We are blessed in this area that people put a lot of effort into their homes,” said Mayor James Farquhar. “It keeps property values up. It’s contagious. Once you make your house beautiful, the next wants to be as beautiful as yours.”

Commissioners issued seven awards this year. Six winners, including Garvey, were first-timers. The seventh was a legacy, or repeat, winner.

Each year, commissioners fan out seeking contenders.

“In 2012, 34 homes and nine legacy homes were nominated,” Shea said. “Nominations come from commission members, but also residents and self-nominees.”

Commissioners judge gardens and landscaping on 12 criteria relating to:

the yard: layout proportions, color and variety;

the building: facade, entrance, walkways and driveway ; and

upkeep: lawn care, flower beds, and health and pruning of shrubberies.

Winners are: Glenn Crane, 412 Roland Court.

“The iron gate anchors this landscape,” Shea said. “This home has texture, balance and scale, using a variety of complementary material.”

Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Harrell, 160 Country Club.

“The front island bed is well proportioned with a combination of ornamental trees, hydrangea and yew and give depth of field to the inviting front entrance,” Shea said.

Mr. and Mrs. Atanas Ilitch, 4 Cherryhurst.

“This New England home, with its winding porch, stone chimney piece and bluestone walk is complemented with a proportional mix of deciduous and evergreen plantings,” Shea said.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Luce, 322 Hillcrest.

“A breath of fresh air describes this inviting home as extremely well kept with a discriminating eye for attention and detail,” Shea said. “Trees, holly bushes and boxwood complement and add dimension to the earth-tone facade. Wrought iron fencing and a weeping cherry add to the overall balance and design.”

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Monahan, 371 Lakeshore.

“This impressive home is proportionally complemented with many wandering beds and a pleasing combination of hardscape combined with soft plantings,” Shea said. “Sculpture adds a personal touch of interest.”

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Janovsky, 89 Vendome, won the legacy award. They also won in 2006.

“Criteria for a legacy award is continuous outstanding beautification,” Shea said.

She called the Janovsky’s house “extraordinary.”

Shea said, “At the entrance are dramatic large planters that add seasonal creativity to the overall layout, feel and design.”

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