I want to thank Irene Renfroe for calling me this week about one of Pawhuska’s most beautiful yards that just happens to belong to her neighbors, Randy and Mary Lou Hunt, at 503 Myrtle.

Randy retired from Calumet Oil Company last year after 38 years of service. Mary Lou had retired in 2009 from the PHS Cafeteria. Shortly after moving to Pawhuska in 1972, Mary Lou’s passion for flowers became evident. She created a beautiful oasis in both the front and back yards that undoubtedly would qualify for G.F.W.C. Heeko’s Pretty in Pawhuska project.

One of Mary Lou’s favorite plants is her 8-year old Bougainvillea, a South American native plant with thorny vines and flower-like spring leaves near its flowers.

"A Bougainvillea can grow from three to forty feet tall," explained Mary Lou. "In Hawaii they grow as shrubs. I bought my first Bougainvillea from Lowe’s. The one in the front yard came from Seminole when I was visiting my sister."

To prevent freezing, Mary Lou puts the largest of her Bougainvillea plants in the garage during the winter. She doesn’t claim to be a master gardener but her front and back yards convey she has a green thumb.

As we were walking through the gardens, Mary Lou identified Mandavilla, Periwinkle, Vinca Minor, Angel Wing Begonia, Hibiscus, Geraniums, Naked Ladies, Mexican Petunia, Sweet Potato Vines, Plumbago and Fan Flowers, to name a few. She also pointed out a beautiful July Phlox.

"Irene gave me the start of the Phlox," said Mary Lou. "Another friend gave me a start of Listeria. Occasionally I have to cover a few of the more delicate plants to keep rabbits from nibbling on them."