A new sign graces Eddie and Judy Smith's landscaped lawn at 713 Lazy Creek Dr.

“Yard of the Year,” the sign says.

Newton Mayor Glen Davis awarded Judy Smith at last week's city commission meeting.

“Thanks for making Newton beautiful,” Davis told her.

The Smiths were awarded a $50 gift certificate to a local greenhouse.

"I was very excited,” Judy Smith said. “I didn't have any idea that I'd even been nominated.”

This year the city received nominations for eight different properties. Staff narrowed the list to four properties and reviewed the yards based on specific criteria:

 • Water conservation planting

• curb appeal

• turf appeal

• good use of perennials

• good use of annuals

• tree health

• use of focal points

• overall impression

Judy Smith and her son, Scott, work on the yard while her husband, Eddie, is at work.

“If the weather's nice, my son and I will work out there several hours a day,” she said. “It requires a lot of upkeep and maintenance.”

Smith has been teaching herself about lawn care for the past 20 years.

 “I'm very honored to have the yard of the year,” she said. “I feel privileged.”