League City couple enjoys a quiet country life amid urban growth
Amid urban development, League City couple Pauline and Gene Aaron enjoy a quiet country lifestyle on a little more than 11 acres.
Behind a line of crepe myrtles and wrought-iron fencing, a variety of species of mature trees, along with recently planted ones, grace the property. A few free-standing flower beds, as well as some surrounding their home, are full of colorful blooms.
The Aarons, semi-retired, have spent the past five years improving and adding on to their existing property they call their forever home.
“We’d been living in a subdivision and I was really wanting to spread my wings,” Gene said.
They started with just 1.3 acres and built the house, Pauline said.
“That was five years ago, and since that time, we’ve acquired 7 more acres and most recently an additional 3 acres,” she said.
Flagstones play a major role in this yard. The Aarons made good use of them in creating walkways and flower-bed borders.
“We planted everything in the front yard except for the tallow tree, which we kept due to its leaves that turn a nice fall color when autumn arrives,” Pauline said. “The property already had some nice live oaks, an elm and hackberry in the back, but we planted everything else, including all the fruit trees.”
A mix of drift and knockout roses, limelight hydrangeas, mums, day lilies, agapanthus, inpatiens, and a loropetalum that sporadically blooms thin petals of pink fringe-like flowers, are just a few of the many ornamentals in the front beds.
Around the corner to the left, past a tall yellow esperanza, is a thriving vegetable garden, sharing space with potted plumerias. Beds along the fence line are full of Texas star, coleus, wild roses and day lilies.
The backyard takes you to a shaded patio, bordered by more beds, including a luscious bleeding heart vine. A lap pool, a corner full of sizable live oaks, and a large pond, home to a family of ducks and turtles, add to the serenity.
“This pond was already here, but we made vast improvements to it,” Pauline said. “We enjoy watching the Muscovy ducks, and especially the whistling ducks, when they afford us the opportunity, as they are a rare sighting.”
Beyond the backyard, the entire scene changes dramatically as the rest of the acreage comes into view. It’s a country atmosphere not easily found elsewhere when you take into consideration that a major grocery store is mere minutes away.
“This area was all overgrown when we bought it,” Gene said. “We planted 60 trees, dug this second pond ourselves and stocked it with catfish, so the grandchildren like to come out here and fish. It’s about one-third acre in size and is 11 feet deep.”
Each corner of the pond has been landscaped with oleanders, roses, butterfly bushes and a variety of other ornamentals.
A grove of pecan and oaks stand in a far corner toward the side of the property. One of the majestic oaks — original to the property — is estimated to be nearly 200 years old, Gene said.
A cottonwood tree, Queen Anne’s lace, wooden birdhouses and a couple of homes for the gnomes are among their favorites, they said.
“I made the gnome houses from tree stumps for the grandchildren and added windows and doors,” Gene said. “They are still waiting for the gnomes to appear and ask me all the time, ‘When are they coming out?’”
The upkeep for a yard of this size isn’t easy, but the couple shares the labor.
“It takes a lot of work, but we have a system,” Gene said. “I do all the tractor work and the two of us mow all 11.3 acres ourselves, and we can do it in about six hours.”
“Aside from the upkeep, we are so thankful for this place,” Pauline said. “It’s given us great purpose and it’s a real blessing. We thank our lucky stars every day.”