Unveiling of 16 Curb Appeal winner final landscaping

By: tricia.sloma@wndu.com Email
By: tricia.sloma@wndu.com Email

South Bend, Ind. There's a South Bend home that stands alone in terms of location, and landscaping.

It's our 16 Curb Appeal Winner and the crew at Linton's Enchanted Garden transformed this historic home into a showplace.

Here's a look how a place once slated for demolition is now a treasured gem.

If old homes could talk imagine the stories they could tell.

Like this home on Sherman Avenue. Renowned architect firm Austin and Schambleau built it for businessman Robert Greening and his wife Ida in 1915.

Clinton, Shundra and Kamrie Gilkie live here now, and while they work to restore the inside, they needed help on the outside.

That's why they were so excited to win our 16 Curb Appeal Contest, and new landscaping from Linton's Enchanted Gardens.

Mark Linton came up with a beautiful design, “This is going to become the jewel of the neighborhood.”

The plans were first approved by the historic preservation commission; they make sure homeowners use landscaping that will help, not hurt the home.

“Everybody thinks that ivy covered walls are so romantic, but they actually kill the mortar that's holding the bricks and the stonework together,” explains Catherine Hostetler with the Historic Preservation Commission.

The elaborate stonework at this home used to be obscured by overgrown shrubs they were ripped out. And soon it was time for new trees, shrubs and flowers to move in.

“Well it's a historic home so we did use historic plants,” says Mark Linton. “We used old fashioned hostas, we've got hydrangea shrubs as well as hydrangea trees.”

Perennial roses, burgundy coralbells, and blooming grasses provide color and texture, and large potted urns add variety with striking annuals.

“Some of my favorites are some of the new things such as these black elephant ears, and we've got these beautiful new ornamental grasses, that are used as annuals called fireworks ornamental grasses,” says Mark.

“We loved them when we first saw them, when we picked out plants at the design center, but seeing them live and in action on our property, that was just really amazing,” says Shundra Gilkie.

Seeing the difference is amazing.

“What we have accomplished here is definitely curb appeal,” says Mark. “It is the first thing you see when you walk up to this beautifully restored home.”

The transformation is drawing praise from community members who gathered at a dedication celebration to take a closer look.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is addressing the abandoned home issue in South Bend with the initiative "A Thousand Houses in a Thousand Days," he's thrilled this home was saved.

“Well I think this sets a tone for the neighborhood,” says South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “When you come up Sherman Avenue you see a home that someone cares about, and that tells you that this is a neighborhood that somebody cares about.”

And the Gilkie Family is happy the 16 Curb Appeal helped make their old home look new again.

“I think you can see it better now,” says Karmie Madison. “It looks nicer.”

“It enhances the character of the home,” says Clinton Gilkie. “You tend to pay closer attention to the details of the home and the craftsmanship.”

“It's hard to describe it in a few words but I would say casual elegance would probably sum it up,” says Mark.

Casual elegance made possible with the 16 Curb Appeal.

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