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Great American Cleanup 2017 Photos

This year’s Great American Cleanup was a huge success! Thank you so much to all of the wonderful volunteers who contributed to creating a cleaner more beautiful Denton!

The photos in this post were taken by Adrian Samano, KDB Event + Outreach Coordinator, Autumn Natalie, and KDB Intern, Kristina Brewer.

Adrian Samano Photography. All rights reserved 2017

A Snapshot from 30 Years of KDB

When you’re looking to improve your community, an old fence and some funky shoes can go a long way! Long-time KDB volunteer and Rose Costumes owner, Judy Smith, knows this all too well. Any Dentonite can tell you about the Rose Costumes fence on Sherman drive, lined with art and shoes that change with the seasons. But did you know that this infamous site is also one of 50 KDB Adopt-a-Spot locations citywide?

For more than 20 years, the Adopt-A-Spot Program has been offered by KDB as a way for Denton residents to take a hands-on role in keeping litter off our city’s streets. Dozens of volunteers help maintain Adopt-A-Spots all around town. These dedicated groups commit to picking up litter at their “spot” at least four times a year, to reduce litter – and its environmental impact on our community – by keeping it out of waterways and public spaces. Some volunteers – like Judy and Rose Costumes – go above and beyond, adding whimsical details and beautifying touches to their site. This investment of time and creativity reaps major benefits, fostering community pride and building a unique sense of character for our city.

KDB Adopt-A-Spot volunteers find their own sense of community pride from keeping their spot clean and beautiful, year after year. Sustaining volunteers like Judy and Rose Costumes can be proud that they’ve created a clean, beautiful spot that also serves as a treasured landmark for our community. So the next time you give directions and say, “turn after you see the shoes,” remember the dedicated Adopt-A-Spot volunteers who make it all possible!

Photo by Will Milne


KDB’s “30th Anniversary Snapshot” is a recurring blog segment, highlighting interesting and lesser-known features of KDB’s history, in honor of the organization’s 30th Anniversary Year.  Acknowledgements to the KDB 30th Anniversary Committee; KDB Board Member, Mannix O’Connor; and former KDB staff member, Nicole Vance for their contributions to this post. 

Yard of the Month – 2016 Year End Wrap-up

Yard of the Month is a Keep Denton Beautiful program that focuses on community beautification. The program recognizes Denton citizens who maintain exceptionally clean and beautiful properties. Nominations for the program are open to the public from March through October of each year, and one winning Yard of the Month is selected by KDB volunteer judges. A Business Yard of the Month is also selected each month to award local businesses who maintain exemplary properties.

To be considered for this award, a property must meet a set of criteria.

A special rider is attached to the Yard of the Month Winner sign when Dyno Dirt has been used in the landscaping. Dyno Dirt compost, mulches, and soils are nutrient-dense, retain moisture, and are sustainably produced primarily from yard clippings and food waste.

Winning yards are honored with a Yard of the Month Winner sign for a full month, and the owners receive a goodie bag filled with swag, along with a free, one year, Family, or Business KDB Membership!

Yard of the Year

Congratulations to the residents of 2208 Parkside Drive! This beautiful yard has been selected as Yard of the Year!

This year is the second year that Keep Denton Beautiful has awarded a Yard of the Year. The winner was selected from this year’s Yard of the Month winners as the most beautiful yard in Denton! More pictures and information about this property are listed below. In addition a goodie bag, this homeowner will also receive a custom, 8×10 watercolor portrait of their home, by local artist Amanda North of Chromatic Ecstatic. Her work is beautiful, and the portrait she creates of this yard is sure to be gorgeous!

Residential Winners


2208 Parkside Drive

This home has been owned and maintained for the past 32 years by the original owners. These long-time Denton residents have done all of their own well-thought out landscaping.

A few reasons why we like this yard:

• Native and adapted plants, such as Bluebonnets, Prairie Verbena, Common Violets, Daffodils, Salvia, Coneflower, Pink Thrift, Butterfly Bush, and Astor, fill the yard.

• The planting is done with consideration for the seasons – flowers will bloom in spring, summer, and fall for year-round color

• The homeowners compost and use a rain catchment system to make their gardens truly sustainable.

• Yard decorations have been tastefully used to add interest and not detract from the natural beauty of the plants.


3929 Fawn Drive

This home has been owned and maintained for the past 19 years by the original owners. The homeowners chose a classically southern style of garden to match the style of the house.

A few reasons why we like this yard:

• Low maintenance native and adapted plants fill the yard, proving that watersmart yards can still look lush!

• The planting is done with consideration for the seasons – flowers will bloom in spring, summer, and fall for year-round color!

• This yard is very visually pleasing and beautiful from every angle.


1701 Wellington Drive

This home has been owned and maintained for the past 23 years by its current owners, who have done all of their own landscaping to create a lush garden from a yard that was bare dirt when they moved in. Very few of the plants have been purchased, and instead have nearly all been sourced from friends and neighbors!

A few reasons why we like this yard:

• Low maintenance, watersmart, native and adapted plants fill the yard, such as Frog Fruit, Lyreleaf Sage, Obedience Plant, Pink and White Guerra, Irises, Creeping Phlox, Bear Paw, Coralbells, Coneflower, Double knockout roses, and giant Magnolia tree, just to name a few.

• The narrow side yard, which could otherwise be an awkward, unused space, is filled with an easy-to-maintain wildflower garden.

• Serving double-duty, vegetables are used to add interest and color. A row of Swiss Chard lines the beds in front, and neighbors often share in the harvest!

• Milkweed – the Monarch Butterfly’s favorite – is planted in the front beds.

• Over the years, more than 35 cubic yards of sustainable Dyno Dirt have been used to make this yard absolutely stunning!


2105 Emerson Lane

This home was recently purchased by its current owners, and they were excited to have such a wonderful yard! The new owners are looking forward to purchasing new plants to add to an already beautiful landscape. The landscaping is a great example of xeriscaping, hardscaping, and abundant use of native plants.

A few reasons why we like this yard:
• No grass. The yard does not have any grass and is, instead, replaced with rocks, mulch, and hardscaping. This makes the yard extremely water-smart, cost-effective, and easy to maintain.

• Rocks! The yard utilized rocks of different shapes and colors to give color and variety to a yard that does not have grass. The rocks help give natural interest to a yard in a neighborhood dominated with yards that have the water hungry St. Augustine grass.

• Loads of native and adapted plants fill the yard, including cactus, vitex, sage, and coneflower.

• Wonderful use of space. Almost all available space is filled with landscaping features. It has natural paths that cross through to create a feel of serenity even though it is only feet away from a street. The area next to the driveway is also filled with native plants and shrubs to give balance to the already full space.


2320 Georgetown

The current owner has worked since 2002 to create her beautiful oasis! It took many years to get it just right. Grass wouldn’t grow, so she took an alternative route.

The homeowner offers this advice to her fellow Denton gardeners: Patience.

A few reasons why we like this yard:
• Limited grass. This makes the yard extremely water-smart, cost-effective, and easy to maintain.

• Raised beds. Outlined by red brick, these beds create a gorgeous myriad of plant life. Raised beds help to provide good drainage, prevent soil compaction and act as a barrier against garden pests like slugs.

• Use of Texas SmartScape native and adapted plants provide a beautiful array of color. These plants do well in Texas heat and drought conditions.

• The landscape provides a fabulous view while relaxing on the front porch. The colorful plants also attract many pollinators to watch.

• The permeable pathways prevent runoff and make use of local stone. The homeowner is able to meander through her garden easily to enjoy the atmosphere.


1021 Coit 

The residents have lived at their home since 1984 and, while some of the landscape was in place when they moved in, they have made gradual improvements over the years to make it their own. Their advice to others who want to improve their home landscape? Make a plan, but don’t get discouraged when something doesn’t work out. Learn from the trial and error, and move forward.

A few reasons why we like this yard:

  • They added hardscaping with a brick pathway, and selected water-conserving plants for the edge of the yard, near the street.
  • Since they enjoy herbs, they also added an herb garden.
  • The owners of this yard find joy in maintaining their outdoor space, and it shows!

Business Winners


Zera Coffee Company

Located at 420 E. McKinney Street, Zera is owned by Denton Freedom House, operated by volunteers, and is a residential discipleship and rehab program as well as full-service café.

A few reasons why we like this yard:

• The landscaping is watersmart, using drought-tolerant plants in a visually-interesting way.

• Making the most of a small space, this yard uses hardscape elements and texturally-attractive plants.

• The courtyard brings together upcycled furniture, a mural, and potted plants to create an inviting environment!


Corner Bakery Cafe, Denton

Located at 2217 S. Interstate 35E, Corner Bakery opened in Denton in late 2014. The yard is maintained by a local landscaping service.

A few reasons why we like this yard:

• The landscaping is visually interesting, with the use of stones and wooden planters that add a sense of serenity to an otherwise commercial setting.

• Many native plants and hearty herbs fill the raised beds, including fragrant Rosemary.

• Four newly planted Oak trees add beauty – and eventually will add shade – to this property.


Denton Yoga Center

Located at 118 West Congress, Denton Yoga Center has been open in this location in Denton for eight years. The yard was planned with the help of a Master Gardener and is maintained by a local landscaper.

A few reasons why we like this yard:
• Hardscaping in the form of art tiles, are used to good effect, and add to the feel of community.

• Many low maintenance, watersmart, native plants fill the bed, including Texas Hibiscus, Desert Willow, Purple Lantana, Salvia, and herbs.

• There’s structure to the garden, but a sense of freedom as well – like yoga, it has a good balance.


Liberty Christian School

Located at 1301 S. Hwy 377, Liberty Christian School has been in operation for thirty-four years – twelve years at its current location, and twenty-two years at its location near downtown. The landscaping was planned and installed by an in-house maintenance/grounds crew – and the mowing and edging is done by a local lawn company.

A few reasons why we like this yard:
• It was recently updated and improved to include more native and adapted plants and shrubs – and rocks and hardscaping for balance.

• Many low maintenance, watersmart, native plants fill the landscape, including coneflower, sage, jasmine, nandina, knockout roses – and even some great Texas Redbuds, and mature Shumard Red Oaks.

• The garden flows well, and is quite a magnificent feature in front of the school. With so many native flowers, shrubs and trees – they have really done something special with the space.


AlphaGraphics (The Martino Group)

Located at 525 S. Loop 288, The Martino Group is a premier property management company, operating since 2007. The landscaping was planned and installed by local lawn company, Perfect Finish Landscaping.

A few reasons why we like this yard:
• This property is also home to a variety of businesses, so many benefit from the attractive landscaping.

• Many low maintenance, watersmart, native plants fill the landscape, including Texas Sage (Green Cloud), Autumn Sage, Black-eyed Susan, Red Yucca – and even some Desert Willows and Crepe Myrtles.

• Drip irrigation is installed to conserve water and keep this property beautiful!


Bone Daddy’s Denton

Located at 3258 S. I-35E in the Unicorn Lake area, this Bone Daddy’s location is new to Denton.

A few reasons why we like this yard:

  • The restaurant management guided the overall Texas theme with native landscaping and local, vintage items that add visual interest and draw in visitors.
  • The restaurant made an effort to incorporate landscaping throughout the site, with a porch that wraps around a large, old tree.


Special Thanks to This Year’s Volunteer Judges

Gloria Alexander

Jerry Alexander

Carol Brantley

Mary Cissell

Tracy Durmick

Ginny Lassiter

Phyllis Minton

Judy Petersen

Thank you for your hard work and dedication! You help to promote the beautification of businesses and neighborhoods across Denton!

Become a Yard of the Month Judge!

Volunteer Judges commit to serve for a full program season (8 months long), and nominate yards on a monthly basis. This opportunity is eligible for Master Gardener volunteer hours! For more information, email volunteer@kdb.org.

Nominate a Yard

Have you seen a yard that’s worthy of being honored as Yard of the Month? Submit your nominations! You can also nominate yards via Instagram using the hashtag #KDByard.

A huge THANK YOU to all winners and nominees! You are helping to make Denton more beautiful!