Young mom to get a makeover |

Young mom to get a makeover

by Heather McGregor
GSPI Managing Editor

Heather Howe never won a contest until Sunday. That’s when Michele Wurtsmith at the Post Independent called to say Howe won the Backyard Makeover contest, grand prize at the weekend’s Home and Garden Show.

“I was very surprised,” Howe said Monday. “I have never won a contest, but I just thought I might as well try.”

“We really liked her answer,” Wurtsmith said of Howe’s entry, one of more than 150 submitted during the show held at the Glenwood Springs Mall.

A panel of seven judges representing the Post Independent, the Three Rivers Home Builders Association, KMTS radio and the Glenwood Springs Mall read through the entries and chose Howe as the winner.

Entrants were asked to write a few sentences under the headings “What my yard looks like now,” and “Why I deserve a makeover.”

Envisioning a “tranquil sanctuary”

Howe described her yard as “some grass, some dirt, boring.”

Her appeal for a makeover was this: “I am a mother of three boys. They are 4 months, 2 years and 4 years. I need a tranquil sanctuary where I can relax, play with my boys, entertain and enjoy nature.

“I love being outside, working in the dirt, but I have no clue where to begin. Please give me help and direction,” she added.

Howe will get help and direction, and then some.

As the contest winner, she received a garden design from Scott McGarrity of Plantscape, flowers from True Value, a patio set from Warehouse Furniture, two trees from West Canyon Tree Farm, a bird bath and potted plant from Eagle Crest Nursery, a portable fireplace from Kmart and a picnic basket from the Glenwood Springs Mall.

The makeover package is worth a total of $1,200.

Howe and her husband, John, and their boys moved to their place on County Road 110 last summer. They also purchased a business, Capitol Peak Outfitters in Old Snowmass.

“Right now, it needs help,” she said of the yard. Howe envisions an oasis with flowers and their new patio set, a place where the family can relax outdoors.

“We’re outside all the time,” she added.

Other entries made judges laugh

Howe may have made the most compelling plea for a backyard makeover, but other entrants showed their sense of humor in describing their yards.

Peter Bodrogi of Rifle called his yard “very rough and incomplete,” and said he wanted a makeover “to be the envy of my neighbors.”

Kevin Hobbs of Glenwood Springs said his yard is “barren.”

“I have great views of the mountains but my yard is in need of help. I would like an outdoor space that my wife and I could hang out in, instead of hide from,” Hobbs wrote.

Bette Solowitz of Rifle didn’t mince words in her entry.

Her yard: “Barnyard.”

Her reason for a makeover: “I don’t live on a farm.”

“Mingo” McKerrihan of New Castle made an appeal from a dog’s point of view.

Her yard is “just dirt or mud right now. It sticks to my paws and it hurts,” she wrote.

“I’m really old and I miss my old yard that was soft, cool green grass. I like my new home but not my new yard. Please help me!”

Gail McKerrihan said Mingo “wrote” the contest entry because she is suffering the most in the yet-to-be landscaped backyard. The McKerrihan family, which also includes Gail’s husband, Earl, and son Wesley, 11, plan to lay sod and build a pond and retaining wall this year.

Contact Heather McGregor: 945-8515, ext. 517

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