Joanne Musante spends a lot of time out in her yard. The work has paid off.
Musante was awarded this week with Millbrae's Residential Beautification Award, given to a homeowner that "makes a special effort to consistently maintain their property in a manner that contributes to the beauty of our community."
"I'm not finished. I'm never finished," says Musante. "There's always a project I want to get started on."
To look at her Taylor Boulevard home, a short walking distance away from City Hall, an observer is left with the feeling of nicely-grouped organization among the plantings in the yard, a property concurrently open and inviting. Yet privacy and structure are maintained.
Musante admits she had some help when putting the landscape together.
"The gardener that I had helped design the front of my home," says Musante.
She's particularly proud of two complementary palm trees in front, a Japanese maple, and says she enjoys the colors on display. "There are different greens, bright green to dark green, mixed in with red."
Xeriscaping - a landscape that requires minimal amounts of water - is part of the picture. Her gardener helped with that as well.
"He picked plants that did not require a lot water. That wasn't my idea, that was his."
She says folks will stop as they pass by and ask her questions. "Did I design the yard? Do I cut the Japanese maple? And then complement me for it."
Mustante did share a secret to her success in winning the award. She believes one of the reasons the committee zeroed in on her yard was due to the contrast with her next-door neighbors. "I think what makes the house I'm in look better," says Musante, "is because on either side of me, they're not garden people. There's quite a contrast."
"You either have it or you don't," says Musante. "And I like being outside. I love it. Backyard, front yard, it doesn't matter."
It shows. The City thought so too.
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