The May recognitions for Sunshine Garden of the Month are three residential homes with visual appeal, unique design and features. They include trees, shrubs, seasonal interests, and perennials. 

The first award for May went to JoAnna Madison-Gustafson at the corner of S. 8th Ave. & W. Fremont for the unique farm/country theme that includes a water tank, large chicken, with an inviting porch. Also the library/pantry is ideally located for the neighborhood and walkers. This was built by her father, Dan Madison. 

Garden of the Month: JoAnna Gustafson

“I try to create places and opportunities to relax and be comfortable,” said Gustafson. “I plant perennials so I can add each year if I want but I’m not required to if I am too busy. I enjoy the front porch for people watching and the back to relax out of the sun under the shade tree. Another new addition this year is my little library/pantry for the community. Given the current circumstances, I try and be outside as much as time and weather allow. It’s a great way to be socially distant while getting fresh air.” The quality of her year is emphasized in the balance of art, turf, plants, and color.

Garden of the Month: JoAnna Gustafson

Second recognition is to Linda and Fred Stoeffler for all season plant variety and health maintenance. 

Garden of the Month: Fred & Linda Stoeffler

“We have a fairly small yard so have designed our beds on a small scale. I call them ‘pods’. They’re on all sides of the house. This way we have plenty of green space to enjoy,” said Linda Stoeffler. “We have a nice variety of plants and flowers. Both shade and sun lovers. Some of our flowers/plants have been passed down through the family, from the family farm. Some have been gifted from friends who are thinning out their beds. And, of course, many were purchased. We planted a memory garden the summer of 2017. It contains early, mid, and late bloomers. It also contains some forms of outdoor art. Also to compliment our yard and gardens, we have a nice assortment of bird feeders. So, when people drive or stop by we hope there is always something interesting to see.” They live at 824 E. Court Ave. Linda shares new bloom pictures throughout the year on social media and is an active member to the Madison County Master Gardener program.

The third Garden of the Month for May is the home of Amy Sawyers, located at N. 4th Ave. and W. Benton, which is quickly recognized for the curbside multi-color of phlox. This is awarded for the outstanding year around visual design of objects of art and plant variety. 

Garden of the Month: Amy Sawyers

“I bought my home 11 years ago and there were no gardens on the property. Just bridal’s veil and lilacs. I brought in several perennials from my former home and started making flower beds. My most recent is the shade bed under the oak tree. I plan to continue the curb side garden because I hate mowing there! My gardens are basically old fashioned perennials like phlox, coneflowers, roses, hostas, mums, asters, lilies, and others.”