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PA Yard of the Month

A year ago Faye Benton’s lawn at her new home on Lisa Avenue was mostly dirt, barren Southeast Texas gumbo soil with little vegetation to offer the curb appeal she so desires.
Now, a year later, a lush lawn grown from a love for gardening and a need to keep busy has earned Benton the Port Arthur Yard of the Month designation for July.
Sponsored each month by the Port Arthur Beautification Committee, the Yard of the Month honor is one that makes Benton proud — not only for her lawn’s beauty, but because the countless hours spent cultivating flowers and shrubs were done during a time when she had to start a new life without her much loved husband.
“He would have been so proud; he was such a good man and loved his family,” Benton, 64, said of her husband James Benton, who died a year ago.
“I bought this house after he passed. There was no landscaping when I moved here,” she said.
Benton moved from the house she shared with her husband on Thomas Boulevard to the new subdivision off of U.S. 69 close to the shopping center that houses Best Buy and other retailers.
Benton said she has always loved plants, and found in the months after her husband died, time spent tilling the soil was therapeutic.
Her efforts have paid off. At her corner home, sago palms, crepe myrtles and roses are among the plants that share space in the rock-lined beds.
Benton said she hired a landscaper to get a start on the yard, but tends to the vegetation every day, including the many flowering plants in the back yard.
“I cannot stand a shabby yard,” she said.
Shabby is the last word Michelle Dorsey would use to describe Benton’s yard.
“It was real manicured, has really nice plants as well as flowers, all her grass was green and watered, very appealing to the eye,” Dorsey, Beautification Committee chairwoman, said.
Benton’s yard had everything the Com     mittee looks for in a beautiful lawn —  healthy grass, well manicured lawn, beds that are weeded and edged, trees and plants are in good health, walkways and drives that are not marred; and trash containers not visible from the street.
Anyone can nominate a Port Arthur resident for Yard of the Month by contacting the Beatification Commission at 409-983-8140.
E-mail: sherry.koonce@panews.com
Twitter: skooncePANews