Both being Master Naturalists, they chose native plants that would be beautiful in the yard but able to survive the heat and dry spells when they weren’t there. They used as many Missouri flowers, trees and shrubs as they could.

Ken Francis and his wife, Tricia, decided to buy a second house at the lake five years ago. Since then, they have both worked at making this house a “home” that shows everyone a little more about themselves.

Now, their yard has been named September Yard of the Month by the Lake Bloomers Garden Club.

Ken and Tricia designed a more natural flowing  look in their garden. Both being Master Naturalists, they chose native plants that would be beautiful in the yard but able to survive the heat and dry spells when they weren’t there. They used as many Missouri flowers, trees and shrubs as they could. These would be hearty and wouldn’t need as much watering.  And there are all varieties, sizes and to choose from. 

They also planted annuals and perennials that would bring more color in their yard, such as the zinnias they have at the side of their front door, and marigolds  And when the flower season is over, Ken says he just has to mow them down and wait for their return the following year!

They brought irises when they came - some of which have been in the family a hundred years! They are beautiful in the spring and remind them of their family legacy. They also planted a redbud tree and a dogwood tree which were favorites of Ken's mother and dad. Both are stately trees now and give color and shade to the rocks already in the yard when they bought it.

Here you can see flowers growing below the sea wall amongst the rock! There was even a milkweed plant growing out of the rock where I spied a monarch caterpillar munching away on the leaves! While I was looking at this,  I asked Ken about the water damaging them, and he said “Yes it does, but they always come back!” Amazing!

You can find Ken and Tricia many mornings or late afternoons sitting under their pergola, covered by the sweet aroma of honeysuckle and wisteria, as they enjoy the beauty of the lake from their own “home  sweet home.”