Sunset Hills couple’s landscaping efforts reap rewards

By BILL MILLIGAN

Milt and Molly Zoth made their grounds appear to be an extension of the neighboring Powder Valley Nature Center in Sunset Hills, but anyone walking nearby might think they were at the corner of Whimsy Way and Shady Lane.

“When we moved here, we thought we didn’t need a lawn mower because all we had was landscaping,” said Milt Zoth of Cragwald Lane. “We gave away our lawn mower and found out it’s much more labor intensive doing all this landscaping.”

Besides verdant shade trees and hostas, the Zoths have scattered sculptures throughout their property, which recently was recognized as the third most beautiful in a contest conducted as part of the city’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Both Milt and Molly Zoth retired last year from Kirkwood High School.

Molly Zoth said, “We’ve collected whimsical pieces of art. It’s fun to have little settings all around the yard. My first degree was interior design. I like having these little surprises all over. When I retired, I had 30 years of accumulation. I wound up putting a lot of stuff in the yard. In our yard, things kind of look back at you.”

Though the couple’s gardening has gained momentum since retiring, they have been cultivating the grounds for 15 years, extending beds and installing rock pathways and sculptures. When they began running out of land for their gardens, they expanded onto property owned by the state along the access ramp to Interstate 270 at Watson Road. And they kept on growing.

“… We wanted to make the yard look natural, to be an extension of Powder Valley,” Molly Zoth explained.