Kistners turn backyard jungle into attractive oasis to win Lookin' Good prize

Bonnie and Terry Kistner are Week 3 winners of the Lookin’ Good Contest for transforming an overgrown yard of the home at 1901 Wilmar Drive into an attractive patio complete with decorative stone and plants. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Posted: Jun. 14, 2014 10:35 pm Updated: Nov. 30, 2014 12:02 am
The backyard of the Kistners’ home was an overgrown thicket a year ago before they decided to do something about it. “We could not sit in the backyard because of the chiggers,” Terry Kistner said. (Submitted Photo)

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

When Terry and Bonnie Kistner bought their home on Wilmar Drive two years ago, they knew the backyard was going to need a lot of work.

The backyard "had been overrun with weeds and overgrown plants," Terry said. "It was difficult to see from one end of the yard to the other because of the overgrowth."

It literally looked like a jungle, he said.

"I told the neighbors I thought I heard monkeys out there," he said. "We decided to clean it all out."

Those efforts have paid off, because the Kistners have been named the Week 3 winners of the Lookin' Good property pride contest sponsored by The Quincy Herald-Whig and First Bankers Trust.

This is the 26th year for the contest, and all weekly winners receive $100 cash and a chance to win the contest's $1,000 "People's Choice" grand prize. Contest entries are being accepted through midnight Aug. 10, and voting for the grand prize will take place from Aug. 31 through Sept. 4.

The Kistners earned the weekly prize for turning their overgrown backyard into a trim and neat oasis.

They cut down all the vegetation and planted grass in its place. They also installed a concrete patio and a privacy fence. In addition, they did quite a bit of landscaping along the side of the house featuring small plants, rocks and decorative bricks.

"Last year at this time, we could not sit in the backyard because the chiggers would eat at our ankles and the bees would chase us indoors," Terry said. "This year, we are enjoying our new patio and landscaping. Neighbors have been very supportive and complimentary of our efforts."

Terry said he and his wife did much of the work themselves.

"My wife was, and always is, my right hand in all the projects that we accomplish," he said. "She's always working right alongside of me. She says, ‘We're a team.' Sometimes we run into obstacles, but usually between the two of us, we can figure out a way to get the projects done."

Terry admitted they had help creating the poured-concrete patio, which required extra muscle.

Now that the backyard is done, the Kistners have been working on the interior of their home.

"We fixed up the basement, and we're doing room by room as we can," Terry said.