PROSPER Magazine | February 2019

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PROSPER Prosper’s Community Magazine Since 2012


February 2019



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C O N T E N T S 8

Celebrate Love

February 2019 | Issue #91 Published By Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC


Town Matters

Editorial/Marketing Director Heather Reynolds


Prosper Hearts

Production/Creative Director Jason Reynolds


Project Graduation


Prosper Sweethearts


Culture Connections


Class 1 Ranking


10th Annual Fishing Derby


Cooking up Comfort


State of the Town


Sizing up your Prosper Landscape


PEF Hires Executive Director

Contributing Writers Ray Smith | Celso Martinez | Heather Reynolds Jimmie Gibson | Joyce Godwin Lynne Welch | Patty Kendzie | Gwen Ray Photography Contributors Jason Reynolds Cedarbrook Studios Production/Design Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC Editorial Please send editorial considerations to Advertising Information For media kits, contact Heather Reynolds at


or email her at Visit our website at PROSPER Magazine PO Box 405, Prosper, Texas 75078 972.347.6231 | A Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC Publication

-CEDARBROOKMEDIAMagazines | Photography | Design

On The Cover: PHS 2019 Seniors Photo by Nico Ray

6 | February 2019

PROSPER Magazine is wholly owned and published by Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC. PROSPER Magazine is published 12 times a year. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or copied whole or in part without expressed written permission from the publisher, Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC. Š2019. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. The title and all material are protected by international copyright laws and are reserved. Although the greatest of care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this magazine at time of going to press, neither PROSPER Magazine nor Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC can be held liable for omissions, inexactness or errors.

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From the Publishers

Happy Valentine’s Day Prosper!! The month of February is always a favorite because it’s the one month that we celebrate LOVE. Although somewhat of a Hallmark holiday, during the Valentine’s season, we welcome the chance to focus our energy on something special and celebrate the people who mean so much to us. The true definition of LOVE is an intense feeling or deep affection…and taking the time to focus on those feelings is imperative, especially in today’s fast-paced society. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle of life and sometimes our sweethearts don’t get the attention they deserve. Take the time this month, whether it is for an hour, a day or all of February – and let your Valentine know how much you adore them and celebrate your love. Who is your sweetheart? Have you been married for 50+ years? Or only a few months? Or maybe you and your sweetie haven’t tied the knot yet, but you know he/she is the ONE. Everyone’s definition of their sweetheart is different, and each couple has their own unique love story. We asked y’all on Facebook to post your favorite couple photo and we received an overwhelming response! Take a look at pages 16 & 17 to see all of the beautiful Prosper couples…and if you want something that will make you smile, please go check out the post on our Facebook page. Love stories, stories of renewed marriages, stories of newlyweds…they are all there and the smiling, happy faces may just be the best thing you see on social media all month!! We hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day this month! Eat the chocolate, smell the flowers and indulge your sweeties. It’s only one day a year, so splurge a little and enjoy it. And maybe the additional focus on one another will spark a renewed commitment to your love story. Because after all, there’s nothing more fun to celebrate than LOVE.

With Prosper Pride,

Heat her & Jason Reynolds #WeAreProsper #WeAreOne #TownPeoplePride 8 | February 2019

CEDARBROOKMEDIA Building your Business is OUR Business Magazines | Photography | Design

2019 Event Schedule Prosper Summerfest June 1, 2019

Held at Frontier Park, which is located at 1551 W. Frontier Parkway in Prosper, Cedarbrook Media will feature music, food, shopping with our vendors, inflatables, games for the kids and a movie on the giant screen at dark. Festival attendees will be able to set up on the grassy berm at the Pavilion in Frontier Park to enjoy the music and allow their children to enjoy the festivities.

Pride in the Sky July 4, 2019

The 6th Annual Prosper Pride in the Sky event is a wonderful evening of celebration for our town and our country. Cedarbrook Media invites you to come out to the celebration, complete with Live Music, a Charity Softball game, Car Show, 3 Kid Zones, Food, the Posting of the Flags, Games and Fireworks set to music! Attendance in 2018 topped over 12,000 people! Pride in the Sky is held at Frontier Park, which is located at 1551 W. Frontier Parkway in Prosper, Texas. We partner with the Town of Prosper to utilize the entire park facility, including the ball fields, pavilions and parking lots. We set up 3 HUGE Kid Zones with inflatables, rides, water slides and games throughout the park. There will also be live music at the Main Stage and the best car show ever hosted in Prosper! We are working and planning now to ensure that the 2019 Pride in the Sky event is the best display of patriotism in all of North Dallas!

Prosper Pumpkinfest October 19, 2019

The 5th Annual Prosper Pumpkinfest includes a lineup of fun entertainment! Featuring live music, a kid zone with games and inflatables, shopping, food trucks and PUMPKINS galore – it’s a great family event to enjoy the fall weather and see all of your friends!

To stay up to date on these events, find us on social media at @weareprosper You can also get more information by visiting

If you would like Sponsorship information, or would like to apply to be a vendor at any of our events, please contact Heather Reynolds at or call 972-347-6231

Town Matters

From the Desk of Mayor Ray Smith Every year, the Prosper Chamber of Commerce invites me to present the annual State of the Town update, giving their members the latest information on how Prosper is growing and developing. The presentation becomes the sole topic for one of their two monthly meetings in January. I usually make my presentation during the regular meeting time of 7:30 a.m., but this year, the Chamber moved the presentation to an evening, and utilized the sanctuary at Lighthouse Fellowship Church, rather than the church’s smaller Fellowship Hall. The event, presented on January 17 at 6:30 p.m., was very well attended by Chamber members and other interested individuals. I always enjoy this yearly update because it gives me a chance to do several things. First, I think it’s important for the local business community to see where our tremendous growth, both commercial and residential, is occurring. Those businesses that depend on day-to-day retail interaction with customers can benefit by knowing where their customer base is choosing to live, and where other businesses are setting up their shops. Second, the update provides Chamber members an opportunity to hear about what the Town Council and the Town staff are concentrating our efforts on. I shared information on plans for new municipal buildings, usage totals from the library, the latest from our public safety personnel, awards the Town has received, and how successful we’ve been in securing grants for some of our projects. Third, I always like to provide an update on the various road projects that Prosper, Collin and Denton Counties, the North Texas Tollway Authority and the State are either working on or plan to work on soon. Transportation issues are critically important for us, not only from an economic development standpoint, but also from a residential standpoint. 10 | February 2019

The vast majority of our residents do not work in Prosper, so making it easy for them to get to work and back home, to get to and from our schools, and to get to our commercial and retail centers is important. The update also allowed me to provide the latest information on other transportation topics like the Hwy 380 expansion, overpasses, railroad crossings, and other critical street and road projects. And, finally, the State of the Town presentation has now added an entire section containing aerial photos of Prosper’s physical progress. The photos compare Prosper as it appeared in 1997 to today. The difference in how the Town is filling in is dramatic. That kind of growth will continue until we reach our projected build-out in 2040. The 2019 State of the Town presentation can be reviewed on the Town website on the Town Council page under the Government tab. I encourage you to look it over and share your comments with me at And last, but certainly not least, remember that February is National Heart Health Month. Heart disease is still among the nation’s highest killers. Make sure you take care of your ticker.

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Prosper Hearts By Lynne Welch

“To keep the body in good health is a duty...otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” This famous quote by Buddha is at the heart of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) mission, building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. As America celebrates American Heart Month in February, the American Heart Association also celebrates its annual Go Red Day on February 1st. In 2018, the life expectancy in the United States was 76 for men and 81 for women. Through 2015, the United States was last amongst developed nations in life expectancy. According to a recent AARP article, the US is the only one of the 18 developed nations with a life expectancy average below 80. In the US, one in four Americans deaths are the result of heart disease making it the leading cause of death in America with an attributed estimate of 610,000 deaths per year. Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, killing more than 140,000 each year. Within the last year, the American Heart Association updated the blood pressure categories getting rid of the pre-hypertension category and establishing a healthy blood pressure as less than 120 systolic over less than 80 diastolic. In addition, the AHA made the recommendation to all Americans to get their blood pressure checked regularly. To this end, the AHA partnered with districts around the nation to promote heart health throughout the year. Prosper ISD joined the hundreds of other districts this year in the recognition of Go Red Day. Following the recommendation of the Prosper ISD School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), the district joined forces with AHA to promote heart health. Sending monthly email and social media blasts about healthy eating, living and exercise, the district began the journey to fight heart disease and stroke. Over 250 employees donated to the AHA to receive the Go Red shirt to wear on February 1st to raise awareness. Students, staff and the community were encouraged to wear red on Friday, February 1st and hundreds of district employees committed to healthy living and getting their blood pressure checked. The Prosper ISD Health Science program joined in the fight by allowing student interns to go to the different campuses throughout the month of February to offer complimentary blood pressure checks to staff. It is imperative that every person knows the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke. Early detection through regular blood pressure checks can save lives. Prevention through healthy eating, living and exercise can increase life expectancy by years. For more information about heart health, explore the AHA website at or contact your doctor. The duty of keeping healthy isn’t just to preserve your life but to safeguard the wellbeing and future of your entire family! 12 | February 2019

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Project Graduation 2019

14 | February 2019

Photo by Nico Ray

A Night our Class of 2019 Will Always Remember By Gwen Ray

With graduation quickly approaching for Prosper High School’s Class of 2019, preparations are being made behind the scenes for the last hoorah - Project Graduation. Project Graduation (PG) is an after-graduation event for the graduating seniors. It was created in an effort to give the students an alternative to going to parties where drugs and alcohol may be available. During the graduation season, the percentage of adolescents ages 16-19 who are killed in automobile accidents where alcohol is implicated, jumps from 33 percent to 40 percent. Project Graduation is held on May 25th at Main Event in Frisco. It begins at 11:45pm and continues until 5:00am on Sunday. Those seniors who attend will have unlimited access to all the activities, games and food. There are drawings throughout the evening where graduates will have an opportunity to win prizes such as laptops, tv’s, gift cards, and much more. Each student must also have a completed parent consent and student waiver on file. Tickets for the event are $100 and can be purchased at www.ProsperProjectGraduation. com. This event is completely self-supporting, as Project Graduation does not receive any funds come from the school district budget. It is only through the generosity of parents, townspeople and the sponsorship of local businesses and organizations that we are able to continue hosting this incredibly fun and safe event for our graduating seniors. The goal this year is to raise $85,000 and all monetary donations will be used to provide the venue, entertainment, food and door prizes for our seniors to help them enter the next phase of their lives. Anyone can support Project Graduation and help make it a night the Class of 2019 will always remember! And since PG is classified as a nonprofit, or 501c3, donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent as allowed by law. There are many different ways you can contribute to the event. Please visit the PG website, www., where you can make a financial donation or access the link to the Amazon Wishlist. Items on the wishlist range from dvd players, AirPods, mini refrigerators, Apple watches, tv’s and Chromebooks. They have made it simple for you to contribute and your order will be shipped directly to the Prosper ISD Administration building! For more information, the Project Graduation Board can be reached at

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Eagles Nest

Culture Connections By Lynne Welch

Cesar Chavez, American labor leader and civil right activist who cofounded the National Farm Workers Association once said, “We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community - and this nation.” As North Dallas, and specifically Collin County and the community of Prosper, continues to explode in population, the census number isn’t the only number on the rise. In an area that has predominantly been a white, agricultural community for decades, Prosper is seeing an increase in cultural diversity amongst its citizens. To celebrate the multicultural growth, various Prosper ISD elementary campuses are celebrating with culture fairs targeted at introducing students, families and residents to the growing variety of cultures that now reside in the Prosper community. Campus administrators work with students and families to create an evening of food, fun and entertainment that highlights the various cultures found within the community. Families set up “booths” and invite guests to try some of their favorite cultural dishes. Many of the students are adorned in dress appropriate to their cultural lineage and families offer activities that expose guests to some of their favorite pastimes. Meanwhile, the students have created presentations used to highlight the pride they have for their cultural background. Families come to support their students doing presentations and other families come to learn about the various cultures in the community. As guests tour the booths, they have the opportunity to talk to neighbors whose backgrounds and experiences may be very different from theirs and learn about the similarities between them. Recipes are distributed, art is displayed, and entertainment is provided giving guests the opportunity to understand the diverse culture that is becoming Prosper.

18 | February 2019

In a world of substantial variations in values, beliefs, norms and perspectives amongst community members, a community that understands one another regardless of cultural background is a community that can both appreciate and respect one another’s differences while working together to create a better environment for future generations. Just as Leonardo Da Vinci used a variety of colors in his masterpiece, so too can we, by understanding and respecting one another’s values, beliefs, norms and perspectives, create a beautiful future in the lives of our children.

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Fire ISO Classification Takes Yet Another Beneficial Hike A brief two-year period since attaining a three-level rise in ISO (Insurance Services Office) classification from Class 5 to Class 2, the Town of Prosper has been notified of a reclassification to ISO Class 1/1X, the highest and most advantageous of the ratings for fire protection. The announcement was received by Town Manager Harlan Jefferson and includes the results of an extensive review of the Town’s overall capabilities of responding to and fighting fires. Implementation of the new classification must await the approval of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, a legally-required formality. “The classification to the highest level is a testament to the hard work of the Fire Department,” said Jefferson. “But it also reflects the training and efficiency of our Dispatch personnel and the steadfast work of the Water Division in Public Works. It’s a coordinated effort that stands to benefit everyone.” While the change has been approved at the ISO level, the effective date of the change will come later in the year, allowing insurance companies, appraisers and actuaries time to enter the new classification into their pricing structures. “This is extremely good news, and it shows that we are doing all the right things in Prosper,” said Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame. “While the change from Class 2 to Class 1 may mean a slight break on insurance rates for homeowners, the new rating makes a larger difference for commercial establishments.” Under the ISO program, called the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, communities can score between 1 and 10, with Class 1 being the most exemplary and Class 10 being the least. To come up with the new rating, the ISO evaluated the Town in three areas:

Fifty percent of the score took into account Prosper’s Fire Department, including staffing, training, geographic distribution of firehouses and adequacy of the fire equipment;

Forty percent of the score looked at the community’s water supply, including the placement and condition of fire hydrants and the amount of water that’s available to put out fires; and

Ten percent of the score measured the efficiency of emergency communications, such as the 911 system and the number of emergency dispatchers.

A split of Class 1/1X means that those properties located within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant or water supply suction point and within five miles of a fire station will be designated as Class 1; while properties located farther than 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant or water supply suction point and within five miles of a fire station will be designated as Class 1X. A slight difference in rates exists between the affected properties in the split. Even with the significant improvement in the classification, homeowners should continue to seek the best deal on their homeowner coverage, as there are differences in how insurance companies approach the ISO classification. Some insurance companies offer immediate rebates once the change in classification is made official, others will wait to adjust premiums at the next renewal period. Across the country, only about one-quarter of one percent (0.25%) of almost 50,000 communities have received a Class 1 rating.

20 | February 2019

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The Pond at Frontier Park Saturday, February 23 9am - 11am Prizes for kids 14 and under!

10th Annual Prosper Fishing Derby: A REEL-y Fun Event By Patty Kendzie

Bring your pole, bait and cooler and come out to the pond! On February 23rd, the 10th Annual Prosper Fishing Derby will be held at the pond at Frontier Park. This relaxed morning of fishing is a great family event offered free of charge by the Town of Prosper. Prizes will be awarded in various categories to kids under the age of 14. No registration is required. For the duration of the event (from 9:00 am to 11:00 am), the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) has granted the Town of Prosper an exemption to the fishing license and any stamp requirement for those who fish or volunteer. TPWD will stock the pond in advance with mostly rainbow trout. The Derby is a catch-and-keep event for trout only, with a limit of five per person. Derby officials encourage catch-and-release. The Town of Prosper’s Parks & Recreation Department would like to thank the Title Sponsors for this annual event – Prosper’s PondMedics, Inc and Edward Jones – Aaron McNeal. For more information, please contact Trevor Helton at or 972-569-1064. 22 | February 2019

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In Good Taste

Cooking Up Comfort Hearty dishes for cold, dreary days



n crisp winter days when the wind blows cold, warming up from the inside-out with hearty comfort foods can feel like a worthy solution. From chili to cornbread to dumplings, flavorful and filling foods prepared without an overload of ingredients certainly can provide a feel-good boost on chilly evenings. Chili, a classic wintertime favorite, can be taken to the next level with a few tasty additions. Make a spicy version by mixing in bacon, sweet potatoes and a chopped jalapeno pepper for a quick warm-up. A simple and somewhat sweet spin on a classic, comforting side, HoneyPumpkin Cornbread pairs well with the slightly spicy chili. If you’re really looking to put the comfort in a comforting main course, this Skillet Chicken and Dumplings recipe takes less than an hour to create. To make these heart-warming recipes stand out from a crowd, Circulon Symmetry Chocolate Cookware provides dishwasher-safe, premium nonstick cookware for easy cleanup and food release that slides right off. Find more information and comforting family-favorite recipes at

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 60 minutes Servings: 6

6 1 2 1 5 2 2 1/2 1/4 2

Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 5.5-Quart Casserole slices thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch pieces medium onions, chopped jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped garlic cloves, minced tablespoons chili powder teaspoons ground cumin teaspoon dried oregano teaspoon ground chipotle pepper cups chicken broth

24 | February 2019

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes 1 can (15 ounces) no-salt-added black beans 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley 1/2 teaspoon salt Heat casserole over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-covered plate. Reduce bacon fat in casserole to 2 tablespoons and return to stove over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, onions and jalapeno pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and ground chipotle; cook until fragrant, 15 seconds. Pour in broth, tomatoes, beans and barley; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender and barley is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and salt; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Skillet Chicken and Dumplings Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Servings: 8


2 4 1 2 2 2-3 2 1/2

Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 3.5-Quart Saucepan containers (32 ounces each) low-sodium chicken stock Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 12-Inch Essentials Pan medium onions, diced carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds head broccoli, chopped tablespoons butter tablespoons olive oil cups chopped chicken bay leaves teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1/4 1/2 2

teaspoon dried basil teaspoon dried thyme teaspoon powdered garlic teaspoon salt teaspoon pepper cup half-and-half tablespoons cornstarch

Dumplings: 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat or all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup half-and-half Garnish: fresh grated Parmesan cheese fresh black pepper In saucepan, bring chicken stock to boil. In essentials pan, saute onions, carrots and broccoli with butter. Add olive oil

as needed if pan looks dry. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are beginning to soften. Add chopped chicken, bay leaves, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and hot chicken stock to skillet. Simmer 20-30 minutes until vegetables are softened. Adjust seasoning, as necessary. Whisk cornstarch into half-and-half until smooth. Whisk into soup and simmer 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. To make Dumplings: In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and halfand-half. Swirl soup with wooden spoon and add heaping tablespoons into center of soup at strong simmer. Continue adding until all dumpling batter is used. Cover with lid and cook on high 2-3 minutes. Serve topped with grated Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.

Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Servings: 12-16

1 1/2 1 1/4 3 1 1/2 1/4 1/2 1 2 5 4

Circulon Nonstick 9-Inch Square Baking Pan cups all-purpose flour cups yellow cornmeal tablespoons sugar teaspoons baking powder teaspoon baking soda teaspoon sea salt cup canned pumpkin puree large eggs, at room temperature tablespoons unsalted butter, melted tablespoons honey

1/3 cup buttermilk 1 tablespoon grated orange zest Heat oven to 400 F. Lightly butter baking pan. In bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, honey, buttermilk and orange zest. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until moistened; transfer to prepared baking pan. Bake until cornbread pulls away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting. February 2019 | 25

State of the Town Mayor Ray Smith 2019

State of the Town Presented to Prosper Chamber Members The Prosper Chamber of Commerce hosted Mayor Ray Smith during the annual State of the Town presentation on Thursday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church. The presentation is an annual occurrence for which the Chamber sets aside one of its two January membership meetings. This year, instead of hosting the Mayor at a regular morning meeting, the Chamber moved the presentation to the evening and shifted the meeting into the church’s sanctuary, instead of its usual meeting space, the smaller Fellowship Hall. Drawing over 100 attendees, which included Prosper Chamber members and the general public, the presentation lasted almost an hour with the Mayor providing a live narration over the 47 PowerPoint slides in his presentation, shown on the large video screen in the room. Topics covered by the Mayor included the latest on the Town’s population growth, commercial and retail developments, Town plans and awards, new businesses that have either opened up or plan to soon, road projects, and aerial photos comparing Prosper’s physical growth today with how it looked in 1997. A video take-off on a popular TV show was also shown during the event. It described the manner in which the Town develops the annual municipal budget. Overall, reaction to the presentation was positive, as the Mayor was asked several questions at the end of the evening’s program. The complete State of the Town presentation is available for review on www. on the Town Council page under the Government tab.

26 | February 2019

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Growing Prosper

Sizing Up Your Prosper Landscape

clumps of small trees, like Yaupon Holly and Texas Mountain Laurel, or lorded over by towering Oaks and Elms?

In Terms of a Good Landscape Design, Scale is Essential

It really doesn’t matter what you actually own when it comes to sizing up a landscape. Anything within your view should really be considered “your” landscape. If you can see it, it counts, whether it’s in your yard or not. This is what designers call the “borrowed” landscape. Although it’s very important to design on a human scale, it’s equally important to relate your landscape to your surroundings. no matter how large or small.

“Like it or not, the design is more important than the plants…” My plantgeek friends get mad when they hear me say that, but it’s true. Some of the best horticulturists I’ve ever known were terrible landscape designers. I won’t call any names, but I certainly could! I don’t care how special, rare or expensive your plants are, without a well thought out plan; you’re likely to have a huge horticultural mess on your hands. The best way to learn is to view as many great gardens as possible, either in books, magazines or, even better, in person. Although I’ve heard experts toss out dizzying numbers of essential design principles, I’ve pared them down to five that I’m convinced gardeners can’t live without. These are balance, unity, repetition, dominance and scale. Commit them to memory, as I truly believe you can’t do a good design without them. Scale, also known as proportion, is the relationship of individual parts to the other parts and the relationship of each part to the whole. In establishing scale within the landscape, people are the ultimate measure of all things. All aspects of the design must be in scale with its users. In other words, we shouldn’t create landscapes for the Jolly Green Giant, just little ol’ you and me. For those of you who look at magazines for the pictures instead of words, let me make this even easier. Big houses and yards need big beds and plants, while smaller homes and lots are more accommodating to smaller beds and plants. It’s really that simple. No matter how simple it may sound, it’s still going to take a little work and thought on your part. First of all, you must take a look at your house, yard and surroundings and decide what scale you have inherited. Is your home one story or two? Are you surrounded by neighbors’ ever encroaching fences or acres of pasture? Is your existing landscape peppered with 28 | February 2019

The next big move in making scale work for you in your landscape is taking incremental steps up or down, depending on what you are trying to relate to. In other words, if you have a small house surrounded by large trees you should use something medium-sized in between them to help tie them together. If you don’t, the large trees will be out of scale with your small home. On the other hand, if you have a two-story house, foundation plantings of dwarf shrubs will be out of scale with your larger home. You will need some tall plants as well as some medium-sized ones to tie your home to your landscape. It’s also important not to wrap narrow beds around larger homes. In my opinion, the scale most “do-it-yourselfers” use is too small. Of course, everything looks much larger up close, especially if you’ve spent many hours and dollars installing it. Landscapes can also grow out of scale over time. It’s not uncommon for “small” one-gallon plants eventually to grow into overwhelming monsters. At some point, certain plants will have to be cut back or removed entirely to remain in scale with your home. My wonderful 3rd grade Art teacher, Mrs. Manning at Hexter Elementary School in Dallas, always had us look at our artwork from the very back of the classroom each day. Things never look the same from afar. It’s very important to view your landscape standing at the road or edge of your yard (or even farther away) if you can. It will make your job of calculating scale much easier. Don’t be surprised if some of your hard work has

disappeared entirely. Unlike traditional art, landscapes are ever-changing. But that’s a large part of their beauty. We never grow tired of sizing them up! Question: Jimmie, I have several shrubs, must notably two large Crape Myrtle trees, that I would like to move. When is the best time? I really enjoy reading your columns and have found them to be very helpful. Thank You, Camille T. in Prosper Answer: Hi Camille! All woody type plants must be moved while they are dormant. That basically means late November to mid February. For the record, Crape Myrtle trees are more forgiving than almost all other woody plants so you could add a couple of weeks to both sides of those times. Question: Jimmie, I know you are a super busy guy and I so much appreciate you taking the time to answer the people in our great city of Prosper questions! I have a small side yard area that is shady and muddy! we have to walk through this area almost every day. Can you help us with a simple solution that can help eliminate the mud but have some kind of greenery something that's pleasant to look at? Thank You, Julie J. in Prosper Answer: Hi Julie, you are most welcome! It is truly a pleasure to have a platform of helping folks out! Simple solution for your issue would be to install flagstone stepping stones from entry to exit points spaced appropriately for your size steps. Then, in between those, add some really good Organic Soil Conditioners and plant Dwarf Mondograss in between your flagstone stepping stones. You have now achieved aesthetically pleasing functional access!

JT Harvey Jr 214-396-5858 ext. 4002

Until next time‌Happy Gardening!! -Jimmie.

Send your landscaping and gardening questions to Jimmie Gibson Jr. at or Jimmie is a Prosper resident and the owner of Absolutely Bushed Landscaping Company, an award winning, family and veteran owned and operated business created in 1980 to provide the highest quality custom Outdoor Renovation available to homeowners in the Dallas Ft. Worth area. February 2019 | 29




Prosper Education Foundation Hires Executive Director Prosper Education Foundation (PEF), the nonprofit organization that invests in the students, staff and schools of Prosper ISD, has hired an Executive Director, their first full time employee. Elizabeth Johnston is the new addition, joining PEF as the Executive Director. “Prosper is experiencing tremendous growth as both a town and school district. Expanding the reach of the Prosper Education Foundation is a great step to ensure every student and teacher of Prosper has what they need to learn, teach and inspire the next generation to excellence,” said Mrs. Johnston. “I am excited to help propel this organization to new heights and engage the expanding community in the support of PISD students and staff.” Prosper Education Foundation, established in 1996, is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to engage the community to provide college scholarship opportunities to PISD seniors and educational resources that enhance the quality of education for our students and our teachers. To do this, PEF raises money to invest in the students, staff and schools of Prosper ISD. Through student scholarships and professional development for teachers, PEF is working to further the excellence that Prosper ISD has achieved.


“Bringing Elizabeth on to lead the Prosper Education Foundation is a needed step to further the mission and goals of the organization, which include increasing public awareness and building donor relationships to benefit Prosper ISD students and staff,” said Marcellus Rainey, President of the Board for PEF. “Elizabeth brings energy and experience to this role that our Board is excited about. We look for great things to come from this move.” PEF is currently accepting student scholarship applications from Prosper Seniors graduating in 2019. PEF offers several scholarship opportunities to Prosper graduates. $173,500 in scholarship funds were awarded to Prosper graduates in the Class of 2018. Additionally, in the 20172018 school year, nearly $100,000 was given to teachers as awards and professional development support. PEF is expected to outpace funds spent in those areas for the 2018-2019 school year and in scholarships to the Class of 2019. To find out more about the Prosper Education Foundation or their scholarship opportunities, visit or reach out to the PEF office at 469-208-7075.

About Prosper Education Foundation The Prosper Education Foundation, established in 1996, was created for the sole purpose of supporting the Prosper Independent School District. Our goal, together with the Prosper community, is to provide college scholarship opportunities to PISD seniors and to provide educational resources that enhance the quality of education for our students and our teachers. The foundation was formed to operate a charitable organization that will raise funds through donations and charitable events for the purpose of funding the growth, development and support of all Prosper ISD students, faculty, and programs. This funding and support may include, but is not limited to, scholarships, grants, and facilities.

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