Dozens of golf carts will be busily touring Crooked Creek’s pathways Saturday — but this week the drivers will be looking for flowers and lava rock rather than golf balls. The first-ever Garden Challenge Tour will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., during which visitors can view the residents’ new landscaping projects that were undertaken to win an increasingly stiff competition.

In March, Crooked Creek Golf Community residents were informed of the competition.

“It was a challenge put forth to the community to get the whole place ready for the Duramed Futures Tour,” organizer Chris Robinson explained.

The Duramed Tour, featuring more than 100 top female golfers from all over the world, starts Aug. 8.

Residents were encouraged to spruce up the view of their yards from the golf course. The person who made the biggest effort and impact would receive a $10,000 prize.

People immediately got to work. Amanda and Freddy Collett, who moved into their recently built home last July, were among them.

and dianthus,” Amanda Collett said. “No trees.”

But after hearing about the competition, the couple immediately got the motivation they needed to take on their decidedly bare yard. Despite limited experience in landscaping — “This is my first year I ever planted a flower,” Collett said — they got to work with the help of Laurel Gardens and Sunny Time Landscaping.

The Colletts decided to feature five focal points in the yard, each with its own flower bed. In the process, they planted countless trees and bushes, including 20 double knock-out roses, installed two water fountains and laid 32 tons of lava rock.

“We really went overboard,” Collett said. “There’s not a bare spot anywhere.”

On Monday, the freshly watered yard was ready for the competition, which will take place Saturday. Collett’s home is one of about 15 in the running.

Visitors who come for the tour will be given a map and a golf cart to visit the entries. Visitors will also help judge the contest. To keep things unbiased, there will also be judges from out of town putting in their two cents’ worth.

The judging will be based on appropriate plant use, overall color, most original feature or focal point, overall improvement and design.

Tickets for the tour are $10 and will be available for purchase inside the Crooked Creek Clubhouse. Ticket proceeds benefit the United Way of Laurel County.

For more information, call Chris Robinson at 606-528-3186 or Judy Nicholson at 330-0702.

Tara Kaprowy can be reached by e-mail at tkaprowy@sentinel-echo.com.

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