Dry summer doesn’t take the bloom off Westlake contest

George and Diane Woyansky’s home won first place in the “Residential, Entire Yard - Small” category and the overall “Best in Bloom” award in this year’s Westlake in Bloom competition. Photo by Jim Bedell

Westlake held its annual celebration of all things green – and pink, purple and yellow – with the Westlake in Bloom awards reception at LaCentre on Aug. 10. The special evening offers appreciation to those residents and businesses who help beautify the city by enhancing their properties with flowers and landscape features.

The top three winners in each of the 15 categories were recognized at the ceremony with a plaque and a handshake from Mayor Dennis Clough. A slideshow of photos taken by Jim Bedell, Westlake’s planning director and the evening’s emcee, demonstrated the difficult task faced by the contest’s judges. Window boxes, patios, yards and commercial properties burst with color and creativity.

The panel of judges, which included several master gardeners, visited each location and evaluated the color, texture, balance and originality of plant selections. They also looked for artistic focal points and the appropriateness of the flora for the grounds. While there were a few entries that received near-perfect scores, this season’s big winners were George and Diane Woyansky. The couple’s Donna Drive home was awarded first place in the “Residential, Entire Yard - Small” category, and was also named this year’s overall “Best in Bloom” winner, in honor of the late Lu Walter.

George is the head gardener in the family, tending to a love of flowers he inherited from his mother. Retired from the family business, George spends hours each day in the yard. “He’s out there everyday from April to November,” Diane said. “It’s not all work,” said George, “sometimes I just stand there and look around.” He also enjoys the frequent visits from neighbors who like to stop to admire his flowers as they walk past.

“To me, a flower is the most incredible thing in the world,” he said. “There’s a a thin stalk coming out of the ground and the color of the flower goes all the way through. And it all comes from a small seed planted in the dirt.”

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Volume 8, Issue 16, Posted 10:05 AM, 08.16.2016