Geri Rhodes, right, with friend Elisa Monnet, who helps Geri keep her yard/garden thriving and beautiful, along with handyman, Angelo Archuleta, not pictured.

Geri Rhodes, right, with friend Elisa Monnet, who helps Geri keep her yard/garden thriving and beautiful, along with handyman, Angelo Archuleta, not pictured.

TOMÉ — The Valencia County Extension Master Gardeners have chosen Geri Rhodes of Tome as the winner of the “Yard and Garden of the Month” for August, in the contest co-sponsored by the News-Bulletin. As the winner of this month’s contest, she will receive a $100 cash prize.

Geri’s yard/garden sits on about one acre in Tomé, where she has been living since 1999.

“Her yard is creatively designed with a mixture of native plants and trees, flowers, vegetable gardens, grapes and fruit trees throughout. It is a pollinator’s haven, with bumble bees, butterflies and all kinds of pollinators buzzing around,” said Merlinda Acevedo, president of the Valencia Master Gardeners.

Geri incorporates Earth-friendly practices, such as organic and regenerative gardening and collecting rain water, and her septic system allows for the gray water to water pinon trees, butterfly bushes and other plants along the septic line.

She has a special garden for her late husband, Ralph Flores, whose influence and handiwork around the yard has made it her haven. She is very knowledgeable about the huge variety of plants she has and is a board member for the Valencia Community Garden.

The deadline for entries for the September contest is Sept. 17, and the contest continues on a monthly basis through the growing season in October.

To nominate a yard/garden submit:

  • The name and telephone number of the yard/garden owner;
  • The address of where the yard/garden is located (all nominated yards/gardens must be in Valencia County);
  • A brief statement of why the yard/garden deserves the award;
  • Nominations for the September contest are due by 12 p.m., Friday, Sept. 17, and must be submitted via e-mail to either Rigo Chavez at chavrf66@gmail.com or Merlinda Acevedo at mercruz_2000@yahoo.com;
  • Nominators may also submit up to two photos of the nominated yard/garden via e-mail.

The Valencia County Master Gardeners is a community service program of the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service and provides courses and information to help community members improve their gardening skills.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.