Newton Yard of the Month awarded

Staff Writer

NEWTON, NC – The Newton Appearance Commission recently presented Michael and Becky McRee with the Yard of the Month honor for the month of June.

The McRees carefully selected every detail inside and out when they moved into their new home on Kensington Circle in the Nottingham community in August 2015. Their lot was densely covered with pine trees, many of which were removed to help beautify their outdoor spaces.

Their home sits on a steep hill that abounds with azaleas, dogwoods, roses, crepe myrtles, and blue jug juniper. In the beds closer to the front of the house, there are azaleas, hydrangea, gardenia, iris, camellia, dogwoods, rose bushes, begonias, vinca, petunias, cock’s comb, and more.

The side wall that leads to the back of the home is planted with hostas that Michael McRee brought from his former home and forsythia that Becky McRee brought from her former home. The side wall is also planted with a number of vari-colored mums.

In the back yard, the McRees designed an English garden with a wide mixture of flowers including butterfly bushes, hydrangea, day lilies, drift roses, yarrow, sedum, coreopsis, asters, toffee-colored pokers, white gaura, hibiscus, abelia, cone flowers, and ornamental grasses. Russian sage and a number of other plants, along with several buckets of petunias, complete the English garden. Above the main garden, Michael McRee has planted dwarf Alberta spruce and crepe myrtles, as well as a summer vegetable garden.

Becky McRee said she helps with the weeding and general maintenance, but she gives most of the credit to her husband.

“It’s been a joy for us to see this property come alive and we love it here,” Becky McRee said.

Photos of the McRees’ lawn are available on the city of Newton’s Facebook page.

If you know someone whose yard deserves recognition, the Appearance Commission is now accepting Yard of the Month nominations. Commission members will choose a Yard of the Month each month through August. Selection will be based on landscaping and overall aesthetics. Nomination forms are available at For more information, email Collette Touchette, Appearance Commission chair, at

About the Newton Appearance Commission: The Newton Appearance Commission makes a careful study of the visual problems and needs of the city and the area comprising the extra-territorial jurisdiction of the city. The commission makes plans and carries out any programs that will enhance and improve the visual quality and aesthetic characteristics of the city. Members are appointed by the City Council.