Gracious gardening

By on September 18, 2017
LaForce Gazebo. Provided photo

LaForce Gazebo. Provided photo

Driving into Hilton from South Avenue, one cannot help but notice the beautiful flowers and decorations around the “Welcome to the Village of Hilton” sign. Such a display doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the work of Donna LaForce, who lives nearby in her 1870s home that she shares with her husband, Richard.

The village installed the sign in 2009 and one year later, LaForce decided that the property around it could use some prettying up. So that Memorial Day weekend, she began buying flowers during her trip to visit her daughter, Shari, who lives in Maryland. When she returned home, she supplemented them with flowers from local farm markets, and added in a few decorations.

“I pick a different theme each year,” said LaForce. “This year, I’m using a gazebo that was the card box at my daughter’s wedding years ago. I thought it was appropriate because of the gazebo in the village.”

As for the flowers, LaForce said that she has to choose varieties that will tolerate direct sunlight due to the location. She credits her neighbor, Douglas Speer, for keeping the grass around the sign looking like a golf course. “He cuts it every two or three days and even mulches it by cutting it twice,” she said.

LaForce’s own gardens at her home of 40 years are equally impressive. She finds time for her hobby in between working 40 plus hours at the Kathleen Anne Tenny Animal Shelter in the village. She began volunteering there even before it opened in 2002.

“Every year I look forward to see what Donna does and I am so impressed with it!  It’s great to have residents that take such pride in where they live,” said Mayor Joe Lee. “I encourage anyone who lives near or passes by any of the other three signs to consider ‘adopting’ one. It would be a perfect neighborhood project.”

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