City of Murphy Arbor Day Volunteers Needed


On Saturday, November 5th, the City of Murphy is looking for volunteers to plant trees at Murphy Central Park at 550 North Murphy Road. The event runs from 10:00 a.m. until noon. All volunteers will be provided lunch by In-N-Out Burger at the end of the work session. Also, the first 150 volunteers will receive a T-shirt and ALL volunteers will receive a bulb to plant at home.

Did you know many of the beautiful trees around the Municipal Complex grounds and along the trails have been planted by volunteers? YOU can make a difference! Not only do the trees add beauty but they serve as natural air filters and they supply oxygen to our atmosphere. They also serve as shade for our residents as well as places for our wildlife to flourish.

You may register to volunteer here and all ages are welcome. Any children under the age of 16 need to make sure an adult is in tow:) Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and bring your own gloves and shovel…if you have one.

If you have any questions about the City of Murphy, contact me at 972-689-8424 so I can help you!

-Dawn Redmond


Create a Colorful Garden…Even in this Heat!

Dallas (Zone 8a) gets hot…yet we want a colorful garden. Here is a list of some of my favorite colorful flowers that can handle the heat!

1. Black-Eyed Susans: This native plant is beautiful with the prominent dark centers and yellow flowers. Butterflies love these!
Black-Eyed-Susan-Backgrounds2. Pincushion Flowers: These pastel color flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. They can get almost two feet tall.
pin3. Autumn Sage: The dark red, purple, lavender and fuchsia colors are beautiful!
032015flowers24. Homestead Verbena: I love the large purple flower clusters.
1774-Homestead-Purple-Verbena 5. Pink Skullcap: Small, red flowers.pinkskullcap 6. Blackfoot Daisy: This has small white flowers with yellow centers and needs a well-draining soil.926152ab0316638c_5883-w618-h436-b0-p0--home-design7. New Gold Lantana: This lantana has golden yellow flowers.Lantana-New-Gold18. Hibiscus: 10 foot wide plant with bright, scarlet flowers. How could you not love that?his 9. Belinda’s Dream: This pink rose required little care.belindas_dream110. Mystic Spires Blue: These blue and long flowers are pretty and also the plant is rarely bothered by pests or disease.spires

Send me pictures of your garden if you happen to have some of these beautiful flowers in it! I would love to see it!

As always, I am never too busy to handle any of your real estate needs! Happy planting!

-Dawn Redmond

Tomorrow is National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor’s Porch Day!

I bet you didn’t know that that August 8th is National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. Is it a truly legit holiday? Well…it is listed on the National Day Calendar along with some other awesome (and not so awesome) holidays. But I say…let’s celebrate!

Did you know Zucchini, or Courgette, is a fruit? It is treated as a vegetable but it comes from the zucchini flower. Zucchini is one of the easiest plants to grow and most gardeners end up with tons on their hands come August…hence, the holiday.

So why not share? If you are one of these gardeners out there and you are looking for a way to get rid of excess, leave some secretly on your neighbor’s porch. Don’t forget to send me your pictures and stories!

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One of my favorite and easy recipes is Zucchini Fritters.

You will need:

1 ½ pounds zucchini, grated

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 large egg, beaten

2 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Mix zucchini and salt together in a colander then place in sink to drain for 10 minutes.
  2. Use some cheesecloth to get excess moisture out of zucchini, or just squeeze excess water out with your hands. Don’t miss this step – otherwise they get soggy.
  3. Mix flour, cheese, egg, garlic, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
  4. Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  5. Mix the flour mixture with the zucchini.
  6. Scoop about a Tablespoon of batter in the skillet, gently flatten with the top of your spatula, and fry about 3 minutes per side. Add oil as needed.
  7. When they are golden brown they are done. Enjoy!

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As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance with your home selling or buying needs!

-Dawn Redmond


In the April 2015 Issue of Living there was such an interesting article called “Sculpture in the Garden.” It talks about how three landscape architects incorporate their architecture designs right into their gardens and landscapes. It showed some truly beautiful and magical pictures. It made me think that there is no right or wrong when it comes to transforming your yard into a masterpiece. Some shapes of the trees and bushes were trimmed into something I would have never imagined to do. Yet, it is breathtaking! So take risks. Be different!

One of the artists is Jinny Blom. He says on his website that the gardens he creates for people “are as varied as their owners and locations.”

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Another artist, Erik Dhont, always tries to create sub-spaces in his larger spaces. He wants each to have individual character, and he likes surprise and rhythm.

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The last artist, Ludwig Gerns, likes to incorporate a structure into an area to add identity to that space.

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It reminded me to just get creative! You should too! If you have any pictures you would like to share please send them to me. Also, remember I am here to take care of any real estate needs should you have any. Have a blessed Memorial weekend.

Magnificent Murphy Gardens: 3 Steps to the Perfect Garden!

Rolling Ridge neighbor Vanessa DeVary makes gardening look easy.   She has lived here less than a year and has already established a “blooming” flower garden.  Here are her before and after photos to prove it.





An engineer by profession, Vanessa uses a “three-step system” to creating her botanical masterpiece.

1.  Use native plants.  Texas weather can be harsh, especially during the hottest summer months.  By selecting flowers that are accustomed to the climate, you can create a low maintenance and drought tolerant garden.  Vanessa doesn’t use anything other than a standard weed and seed mixture to boost her garden’s growth.  There are many varieties, colors, shapes and sizes of native flowering plants.  A few plants Vanessa recommends are Turk’s caps, Salvias, Sedums and Knock Out Roses. is a great resource to use for finding native plants.









2.  Perennials, Perennials, Perennials.  If you have ever shopped for plants, you know that is easy to spend a pretty penny only to have the plants die at end of the season.  By purchasing perennials, you can have a beautiful garden year after year.  This minimizes the amount of money spent each year on the garden.  Vanessa includes a few annuals in pots and small sections of her garden to add an additional splash of color.  Budget tip:  Vanessa suggests purchasing and planting evergreens in the fall and the flowering perennials in the spring.  This helps manage the gardening costs by splitting the payments into two.  She also suggests trading plants with other gardeners as a way to add new plants and save money.




3.  Plant in threes and fives.  The trick to getting that professionally landscaped look to your flower beds is to pick a color combination, then group plants together using three or five of same plants.  Vanessa likes her garden to have a “cottage” like feel so she mixes blues, purples, pinks and yellows.  She leans towards flowering plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  Here is an example of how she groups flowers together.  Tip: For continuous color, group together plants that flower at different times of the season.


Vanessa encourages gardeners to have no fear.  If a plant doesn’t work in one section of the garden, move it to another section or give it away.

In real estate, curb appeal is important.  When I ask buyers what they want in their next home, they list curb appeal as one of their top three requirements.  Great curb appeal can lead to selling your home quicker and getting top dollar.  Your landscaping does not have to be elaborate and expensive, but it does have to compliment the home.  A good landscape architect can help you achieve a great garden.  See the list of landscapers in the “Referrals for the Hood” section of this blog.




Thank you, Vanessa, for welcoming me into your beautiful yard!


Magnificent Murphy Gardens: A Floral Paradise

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Nothing cheers me up like seeing beautiful flowers in bloom.  The Hancher flower garden was no exception.  Wade and Jamie Hancher, who are expecting their first baby later this year, have been working on making their backyard their paradise since 2007.  They began by turning a graveled area into a patio then adding their favorite plants, trees and flowers, a water feature and serene sitting areas.


Calla lillies, ferns, gerber daisies, rock roses, honeysuckle, tangerine cross vine, a magnolia tree and a bald cypress tree make up their collection florals. The queen of their garden is the exotic plumeria, best known as the flower used for Hawaiian leis.  These low maintenance trees are watered twice a week March through November.  During the cooler months the Hanchers take their potted trees and store them in the garage.  Beware, these exotic florals attract assassin bugs which sting.  But, I hear they can handle a mean bed bug issue.

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The Hanchers purchased their first plumeria on Craigslist and have have been using the cuttings to grow new trees.  For the first time, she plans to grow a plumeria from a seed.  These plants grow well in large pots and will first bloom a couple of years after planting.  Jamie says her secret to getting the gorgeous blooms on all her flowers is using a flower booster with a high middle number.  To my surprise, Jamie gave me gave a cutting from one her plumeria plants. It is sitting on my back patio and I can not wait until it begins to bloom. Thank you so much Jamie!


For families that relocate frequently, a potted garden might be the way to go.  Should the Hanchers ever decide to move, much of their garden can travel with them since many of their plants are potted.  Even the beloved cypress tree can be moved as long as the Hanchers exclude the tree on the sales contract and the buyer agrees.

Tip: If you are thinking purchasing a home with beautiful potted plants incorporated in the landscape, be sure negotiate the potted plants as part of the contract if you want them to stay with the home.  The pots are not permanent fixtures and do not automatically stay when the home is sold.  For more information on the value of your home or other real estate questions, contact me at



Murphy Family Turns Hobby Garden Into Cash


Gardening is a family affair for the Heise family. They have a busy household with four boys all under nine years old. Their garden is a  way for their children to play outside in the dirt and to learn about nature. Together they have nurtured their garden for the past four years and today it boast of five different cucumbers, squash, watermelon, pumpkin, cantaloupe and corn.


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While mom and dad oversee the day to day care, it’s their nine year old and oldest son, Ryan, who is profiting from the harvest. Every Friday you can find him on the corner of Heritage Parkway and Ashley Place from 3:30 p.m. until around 5:30 p.m. selling the fresh produce. He has made over $350 dollars this summer and bought his first go-kart with the earnings!


The Heise  have no real secret to keeping this great garden other than watering and spraying pesticides really late at night. This year the Heise say the having difficult time with pest damaging their squash. This has been an issue that I have heard from several gardeners. I have experienced this myself in the last two years. So far this year my squash has been growing strong…yah!

I really appreciate the Heise family for opening up their backyard to me.


As a professional real estate agent, I know that backyards sell homes. The addition of well maintained garden beds or landscaped areas for growing flowers could help your home sell quickly and for more money. They key is having a great plan for the layout of your backyard. You may want to consult with a landscaper to get ideas. For landscape architect referrals or have real estate questions, email me at

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And by the way, the cucumbers and squash you gave me were fabulous! Thanks again!

5th Best Place To Live In DFW Also Has Magnificent Gardens!


D Magazine voted the city of Murphy the 2014 5th best place to live in Dallas-Ft. Worth for its neighborhoods, schools and quality of life. I want to add another category: Gardens!

Look at Murphy in bloom! These gorgeous stargazers lilies are from the Leflett family garden who live in  Maxwell Creeks. These lilies are so vibrant and beautiful.  Did you know that the pink stargazer represents wealth and prosperity and are a sign of aspiration? More pink stargazers for me! Thanks to the Leflett family for sharing.

There is plenty to be seen in Maxwell Creek. Not only are the flowers radiant, but the veggies are growing strong, too. My next stop was a few doors down where I had a great visit with my Maxwell Creek neighbor and fellow gardener, Kara, and her family. She has a growing vegetable garden which features tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, a variety of hot peppers, cucumbers, squash, garlic and, my favorite from her garden, the beautiful purple hull pea.









Kara turned a problem area in her backyard into the perfect spot for one of her two gardens. She cleaned the area and placed a nice garden box in the location. This might be an idea for those you who are trying to decide where to build your garden. Look for an unexpected location with lots of sunlight for your beds.


As Kara showed me her garden, we were lucky to see a busy bee pollinating blooms. Ahhh, the plant life cycle continues…



…and I will continue to feature magnificent Murphy gardens.  If you would like your garden to be represented, please email me at

Stay tuned for next week’s gardens.