When it comes to winning beautification awards, some property owners have the magic touch in addition to their green thumbs.
Such is the case with Roots Hair Salon and the Sera family.
Both have just earned their fourth award – no, that’s not a misprint – from the Oxford Village Beautification Commission.
“Outside is where the beauty begins and we take pride in (our property),” explained Lake Orion resident Claudia Rocosky, who co-owns Roots Hair Salon with her husband, Brian Rocosky.
“I’m just flabbergasted,” said homeowner Betty Sera, who’s lived on Lakes Edge Drive with her husband, Lou, for 40 years. “There are so many beautiful yards, attractive houses and lovely buildings in Oxford. I can’t believe that mine is that exceptional . . . It’s a real honor that they would recognize all the work I put into it.”
Last week, the commission announced the winners of the 25th Annual Beautification Awards.
Six homes and three commercial properties are being honored.
The winners include:
• 64 Dennison St. owned by Ty and Shawn Beltramo.
• 27 Lafayette St. owned by Rick and Vivian Davis.
• 71 Pontiac St. owned by Joanne Filhart.
• 450 Lakes Edge Drive owned by Lou and Betty Sera.
• 750 Lakes Edge Drive owned by Ron and Evelyn Piotrowski.
• 599 Thornehill Trail owned by Chip and Michelle Miller.
• Oxford Bank located at 60 S. Washington St.
• Roots Hair Salon located at 11 Mechanic St. and owned by Claudia and Brian Rocosky.
• 24th Street Sports Tavern located 13 S. Washington St. and owned by Viktor Paljusaj.
Winners were selected based on their properties’ aesthetic contributions toward the village’s overall appearance. They were judged based on landscaping, upkeep, repairs and improvements. The awards are designed to encourage others to spruce up or maintain their properties, which has the net effect of beautifying the entire community.
Prior to this year, Roots received beautification awards in 2003, 2008 and 2013 for its perfectly-manicured look that has a magazine-cover quality. But they haven’t let success go to their heads.
“We never take it for granted,” Claudia said. “We don’t do it for (awards). We just love Oxford.”
Roots is a family-owned-and-operated salon that’s been cutting and styling hair for almost 19 years. Claudia works there with her daughters, Heidi and Jodi, and Mande, who’s “like a daughter” to her.
Whether they’re walking in or just strolling by, Claudia said folks are constantly “awed by the landscaping and the building.”
She gives all of the credit to her husband Brian. He was much too modest to comment, but Claudia didn’t mind bragging about him.
“He’s meticulous. He’s artsy. He’s the one that does it all,” she said. “He can create it, design it and put it out there. He’s an amazing man.”
“My house looks just as good,” Claudia added. “We live on Lake Orion and when people go past, they say it looks like (it belongs on) the East Coast . . . That’s just what he does.”
Surrounded by colorful English gardens that she’s planted, expanded and weeded for decades, the Seras’ lakefront home is a masterpiece, from front to back.
Prior to this year, the Seras received beautification awards in 2013, 2005 and one year before that.
“I’m really thrilled that people appreciate what I’ve done,” Betty said.
She estimates her lush property contains roughly 20,000 bulbs from various perennial plants and flowers. As a result, there’s always something special in bloom, no matter what the season.
“With my garden, in the snow, things start blooming,” she said.
Betty enjoys the feeling of peace and “sense of accomplishment” gardening gives her.
“It puts me in a happy frame of mind,” she said. “It makes me happy just to go to a nursery.”
“Years ago, I used to work every day, all day (in my gardens),” Betty noted.
But these days, due to some “physical constraints,” Betty relies on her husband Lou and son Michael to handle most of the labor.
“I’m more of a manager than a digger,” she said.
For the Miller family, of Thornehill Trail in the Oxford Lakes subdivision, this is the second beautification award they’ve won since moving here in 2005.
“There are a lot of neighbors in our sub that take really good care of their homes and spend a lot of time in their yards,” Chip said. “We’re just glad to be a part of that and be recognized. We certainly appreciate it.”
Chip believes maintaining an attractive home and yard enhances a person’s quality of life.
“We all live busy lives and spend a lot of time at work and . . . raising our kids,” he said. “I think (working in the yard is) a relaxing hobby and I think it’s nice to come home to a pleasant setting.”