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Kevin Prall, PCH, Awarded Inaugural "Best Front Yard in America" by Better Homes and Gardens

Friday, September 13, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cathy Corrigan
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Out of around 900 entries, Kevin Prall’s yard was judged to be in the top ten. Then, voting was open to the public, and he won.

While this is an incredible honor, it is even more impressive when you see the yard. Kevin is a “zone pusher,” someone who grows species of plants that are native to, or do not thrive, in the climate in which they are planted. Kevin’s yard is a tropical paradise. And it’s in New Kensington! From palms that grow up to 16’ to crepe myrtle, camellia shrubs, Tasmanian tree ferns, southern magnolias, and Japanese needle palms to a Lily of the Nile, his yard is a lush respite.


Creating this masterpiece is a labor of love, but it’s not work when it’s one’s passion. There is feeding and occasional watering during the summer, more watering and organizing and inventorying the plants in fall, preparing them for winter (which for the palms, means wrapping them in heat tape and building a box around them that gets filled with straw for insulation against the cold weather), and getting everything going again in the spring. To keep things festive, Kevin wraps some of the tree boxes to look like presents at Christmas.

Kevin and his husband, architectural designer Layne Bennett, have lived in the house for nine years. What was once a 1912 American foursquare that blended in with other homes in the area, their home now pops out due to its foliage and color. With Kevin’s redoing of the landscape and Layne’s rehab of the exterior and interior, it is now a showpiece that attracts people who drive by just to look. While Kevin is from Colorado and Layne from Utah, their years in Florida made them love the plant varieties available.














According to Kevin, “I don’t like to do anything ordinary. Living in Florida, I developed an affinity for palms. Just because a book says something like palms are for warm-weather areas, it doesn’t mean it’s true. I decided to turn my passion for plants into a living project.”

For more information, contact Ryan Johnson ( or Kevin Prall ( Both may be reached at 412-767-4769.

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