Diamantides Receive 12th Spirit of Union Award

Kathleen Diamantides gravitated toward creating an English garden for her home at 389 Rinehart Road. Mrs. Diamantides is originally from England, although she and her husband, George (a native of Brooklyn, NY), have lived in Ohio for many years. “It’s a well-known fact that English people love flowers, and especially flowers with color,” Mrs. Diamantides said.

The Diamantides are the recipients of the City’s 12th Spirit of Union Award. The couple moved to Union four years ago from Old North Dayton. “We just love it here,” Mrs. Diamantides said. “We have lovely neighbors, and we also look out onto a park across the street.”

The Diamantides’ three-bedroom ranch-style home is surrounded by a profusion of color, which is key to an English garden, Mrs. Diamantides said. In the spring, tulips and irises emerge from the ground. Roses and geraniums and other perennials and annuals, set against a backdrop of shrubbery, provide for a pleasing display all summer long.

Mrs. Diamantides said she prefers perennials because, as time goes on and they grow in beauty and abundance, they reduce the number of annuals that one needs to buy.

Mrs. Diamantides tends mainly to the flowers and Mr. Diamantides to keeping the lawn nicely clipped and green. They love sharing gardening tips with their neighbors and with a gardening club to which Mrs. Diamantides belongs. “We share ideas, see what works and what doesn’t in one’s yard. Every year, I experiment in the garden, and, if a plant doesn’t work well in one area, you can always take it out and put it somewhere else until you’re satisfied.”

Kathleen Diamantides’ tips for an English garden:

·      Plant flowers randomly, not in rows.

·      Choose a profusion of colors. Pink and yellow especially work well together.

·      Perennials grow in beauty and abundance, reducing the number of annuals that one needs to buy. But annuals are best for bursts of color.

·      Place tall plants and shrubs toward the back of a flower bed and smaller plants in the front.

·      Brickwork, wrought iron and picket fences give an English appearance.

The first recipients of the Spirit of Union Award were Jerry and Shirley Hissong in 1997. The second recipients of the award were James and Marilyn Goodman in 1998. In 1999, there were two recipients: the Kessler Family (Debi and Ken), who received the third Spirit award; and the Harper Family (Darla and Scott), who received the fourth award. In 2000, there also were two recipients: Chris and Tim Van Atta received the fifth Spirit award, and Greg McFadden and Rosemary Broderick received the sixth award. Dave and Joy Aran of 106 Deubner Drive received the City of Union’s seventh Spirit of Union Award in 2001. Sarah and Michael Pace of 101 South Old Mill Road received the eighth Spirit award in 2002. Norma and Bob “Tuck” Lodge were the ninth recipients of the City of Union’s Spirit award in 2003. LaVon and James Austin of 432 Applegate Road were the 10th recipients. Steven and Beth Brand and family of 103 Ewing Court in the Union Ridge neighborhood were the 11th recipients.

The Spirit of Union award was established by the City’s Park Board. To make nominations, please contact the City at 836-8624, or email your nomination by visiting the City’s Website at www.ci.union.oh.us/spirit.html.