Home as Jungle Paradise.

You can barely see Lizzy Hargrove’s home from the street. In her 13 years living there, she has been turning it into a botanical paradise.

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Her 85-year-old Heights home was originally Vitanza’s grocery store, wrote former Houston Chronicle home design editor Madeleine McDermott Hamm in a 1998 article. Artist Jeff Law bought the abandoned corner property in 1997. He renovated the commercial building and made it his home.

Law briefly rented the house to TV journalist Linda Ellerbee.

palm trees copy

A former fashion model who later worked at a nonprofit serving the homeless, Hargrove said her mission after moving in was to create “an enchanted forest.”

“Jeff Law began the original plantings. I just keep adding and could not stop,” she said. “A lot of it has to do with my history and being an only child and, now, a bit of a hermit.”

The house is her “maze, labyrinth or green jungle,” she said. “There are more lizards than I can count. I feed squirrels, possums and a whole variety of bird life.”

Landscaper Freddie Martinez takes care of the yard.

She describes her house as a “last bastion….It feels like a cabin in the woods.”

She shares her cabin with 10 birds, five cats, two freeway rescue dogs and a goose named Honker.

She has a small pond in the backyard for Honker and some frogs.

goose

Honker is a big attraction in the neighborhood, she said. “People want their picture taken with him.”

Bonus pics from Lizzy’s house:

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Looking out from Lizzy’s front porch.
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Back entrance.
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Backyard water fountain near the pond.

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