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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Coates honored to have ‘Yard of the Month’

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  • If you happen to be out cruising the Kearney Hill area you should drive by Patty Coates’ house at 1206 Oakview Drive.  Coates’ yard was just chosen as Yard of the Month by the Tree City Garden Club, and it is a well-deserved honor.
    Coates, a combustion turbine technician for OPPD, said she had never owned a home of her own before this house, and when she bought it the property was a blank slate.  
    There was no lawn and no retaining walls, just dirt.  She had a sprinkler system installed before moving in and began immediately working on her own “little corner of the world.”
    Found in the yard are Asiatic Lilies, Peony bushes, hostas, rosebushes, Spirea bushes, flowering thistle, and many more plants, along with an impeccably groomed lawn.  The Peony bushes are at least 50 years old and were transplanted from her grandparents’ house.  
    Coates described herself a very “spiritual person” explaining the numerous angels and crosses found scattered throughout her yard.  
    She is also very close to her family and chooses to honor them and their passing in her yard.  What started out as her “Mom and Dad spot” in the yard near the shed has expanded to include her sister and nephews that have also passed away.  
    Coates is working on commemorative wooden stepping stones for each family member to be added to this section of her yard, and there is a large white metal crucifix welded by her friend David Belitz, watching over all.
    Coates’ yard is like a treasure chest of wonderful surprises; the eye leaps from one ornament, or plaque or plant to the next before jerking back to notice something missed in the first glance, and starting over.  
    There are several areas to sit down amidst the beauty and contemplate life, and somehow all the pieces make a cohesive whole that is entrancing.
    Standing under the various plants and pretties and twinkling lights festooning the “hangy-down thing” she designed herself and had a friend weld, Coates admits she’s never thought of herself as artistic; she just puts things together until it “feels right.”  
    “I’ve had friends ask if I could help them decorate their yards, and I’m always surprised and honored,” she said;  “It’s humbling to think that somebody else admires something you do that much.”
    Despite hard winters killing plants and aggravating moles making dirt trails through her yard, Coates continues working at it.  

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