Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Buffalo's gardening summer III


Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Wind-Blown Asters, 1951, watercolor on paper, 30 x 40 inches,
Burchfield Penney Art Center. Gift of Dr. Edna M. Lindemann, 1968
And exhibitions! Not only are all the usual suspects (the Botanical Garden, garden centers, garden tours, garden groups) hosting garden events, but the local art galleries and museums are hep to gardening this summer too.

This gives visitors a chance to see more than just pretty gardens and can round out a weekend in Buffalo, and possibly extend visits for longer stays. It also makes for a greater visitor experience for traveling gardeners, not to mention the locals.

Here are the local exhibitions going on this summer:


EXHIBITIONS
Through October 5
Amselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo NY 14222 716-882-8700
This exhibition explores the interplay of history, identity, and landscape in the work of one of the most important artists of our time. Several major works by Kiefer (German, born 1945) form the core of the exhibition.
Included with admission. Visit albrightknox.org.

May 17 to August 11
William Smyers Arcangle Gallery Exhibit

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Dark Star is the peaceful and reflective images of Smyers’s view of the world around us and the beauty it holds. Bringing light to darkness and the darkness to light he has unearthed the deep riches of natural beauty buried in history of our pasts.
Included with admission. Visit buffalogardens.com.

May 29-July 3
Naturally Inspired

1045 Gallery of the Arts, 1045 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222  Phone: 716-228-1855
Artists Gail McCarthy (ceramic vessels and sculptures), Bill Wilson (fine art and garden sculptures) and Barb Ernst (paintings, prints, and object of art) will be featured.
For more information, visit photographics2.com/store

June 13-November 9
Burchfield's Botanicals

The Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Avenue Buffalo, New York 14222   716-878-6011
Charles E. Burchfield created nearly 500 botanical sketches of wildflowers and plants found in the forests and fields around his childhood home in Salem, Ohio. Burchfield identified and documented these plants along with the location where he found them. These sketches are an important document of Burchfield’s early fascination with the natural world. The exhibition features Burchfield masterworks paired with these botanical sketches and objects from the Marchand Wildflower Collection at the Buffalo Museum of Science.
Included with admission. Visit burchfieldpenney.org

June 14 - July 27
Celebration of Coleus & Color

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
We are adding more color and tons of fabulous coleus! From our front walkway, outdoor perennial shrub garden to our indoor tropical paradise... the Gardens will be bursting with color! Sponsored by: Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com. 
10am-5pm - $9 Adults, $8 Seniors (55+) & Students (13+ with ID), $5 Kids 3-12, Members and kids 2 and under are free! Visit buffalogardens.com

June 7 - July 6
Garden Railway Exhibit

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Brought to you by the Western New York Garden Railway Society
TWO train exhibits! Thomas the Train and a traditional set-up will be a part of the magical family fun. 
10am-5pm - Included with admission. Visit www.buffalogardens.com.

August 17 - October 5
Ann Parker Arcangel Gallery Exhibit

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Water and Glass - Shimmering pools, cascading fountains, glass reaching to the sky, silver-toned and green-gray succulents, all have been captured in Ann Parker’s photographic display of the Botanical Gardens. Using macro, zoom, and wide angle lenses, Ann’s photos show intricate details of plants, reflections in the pools, glass with light and shadow, and abstract, inverse images of  garden objects. Her Water and Glass exhibit showcases color, form, lines and angles, fluidity and motion.
Included with admission. Visit www.buffalogardens.com.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Buffalo's gardening summer II

There's just so much going on in Buffalo. Here are the talks, seminars, and workshops happening this summer (that I know about).

SEMINARS, TALKS & WORKSHOPS

MAY
Thursday, May 08, 2014, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Science Café: Indulge: Delectable Botanical Luxuries

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Learn about plants that pamper and get a mini-tour of the Botanical Gardens follows the presentation which includes light refreshments, beer and wine.
Cost for Botanical Gardens members is $22  non-members is $25. Pre-registration is required. Visit buffalogardens.com, or call 716.827.1584 ext. 291.

Thursday, May 8, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Sharpest Tool in the Shed

Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin Martin Complex, 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14214 Phone: 716-856-3858
It’s finally spring and time to get back into your garden. Join us for a lecture and sharpening demonstration to gain a comprehensive understanding of the “tools of the trade. Learn how modern technology has changed gardening since the turn of the last century, and get tips to strengthen your gardening skills.
Price: $20 per person/$15 member. Visit darwinmartinhouse.org.

Saturday, May 17, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.    
Bonsai Show     
  
Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Bonsai masters and novices display their prized trees at their peak, do not miss this once a year opportunity to see these meticulously manicured trees all in one place. 
The event is free for Botanical Gardens members and children under 3, and the cost for non-members is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (55+) & students (13+ with ID), and $5 for kids 3-12. Visit buffalogardens.com., or call 716.827.1584 ext. 291.

Saturday, May 24, 12:00 am - 9:30 am
Make-it, Take-it Workshop: Dazzling Flower Pouch

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Plant a 21” flower pouch and as flowers or herbs fill in, watch as they bring garden beauty to your fence, your gate or wherever you choose. These hanging pouches rest flat against the surface from which they hang and require less watering than traditional hanging baskets.
The cost is $18 per bag for Botanical Gardens members and $22 per bag for non-members. Pre-registration is required, Visit buffalogardens.comn, or call 716.827.1584 ext. 291.


JUNE
Saturday, June 7, 9:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Perennials and Shrubs—Symposium and Luncheon
Lockwood's Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street Hamburg, NY 14075, Phone: (716) 649-4684  
9:15-10:30 a.m.  Powerful Perennials, Superior Shrubs for WNY (Sally Cunningham)
11-12:15 Design with Perennials, Shrubs and Vines  (Rochelle Smith)
1:15 All About Hydrangeas  (Fred Safford)
Whole program with luncheon $38; Individual classes $10 each.

Sunday, June 8 1:30 p.m. 
Hypertufa workshop with Becky Watts
Lockwood's Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street Hamburg, NY 14075, Phone: (716) 649-4684  
Space limited; $30. Visit weknowplants.com.

Sunday, June 8
Monarch Madness!

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Welcome our monarch butterflies to their new exhibit at the Gardens! Fun butterfly and pollinator activities will be taking place. Make friends with a butterfly and walk through an enclosure set up inside the Gardens with the folks from the Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm in Clarence, NY. The Monarchs will be on display at the Gardens for several weeks this summer. 
10am-5pm - $9 Adults, $8 Seniors (55+) & Students (13+ with ID), $5 Kids 3-12, Members and kids 2 and under are free!  Visit buffalogardens.com or call 716.827.1584 ext. 291.


Saturday, June 14 10:30 a.m.
Sand Castings Art
Lockwood's Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street Hamburg, NY 14075, Phone: (716) 649-4684  
A “Make-and-Take” workshop (Artful Castings Designer Julie Steinert
$20, Visit weknowplants.com.

Sunday, June 22 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Hosta Show by the Western New York Hosta Society

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
A very unique show!  Hundreds of single hosta leaves (not the flowers) will be displayed in vases and grouped by size and color and judges will analyze each leaf for awards. There will also be potted hostas on display and with so many different varieties and cultivars, visitors will be amazed by the diversity.  Throughout the show experts and enthusiasts will be available to answer questions and offer advice on growing these beautiful plants.  
$9 Adults, $8 Seniors (55+) & Students (13+ with ID), $5 Kids 3-12, Members and kids 2 and under are free! Visit buffalogardens.com.

Wednesday, June 25, 6:00 p.m.
The Buzz in Your Garden 1

Urban Roots Community Garden Center 428 Rhode Island Street Buffalo, NY 14213  Phone: 716-362-8982
This first program will cover the importance of bees in our gardens, city, country and world. It will be presented by Wayne Robins of Nature Ed-Ventures. David Clarke will also be there to answer questions about other Beneficial Insects. Our goal is to enlighten the gardening community that not all bugs are bad, in fact we need bugs desperately to hold our ecology in balance.
Free, call for reservations 716-362-8982. For more information, visit urbanroots.org.

Sunday, June 29, 8:30 a.m.
Herbal Tussie Mussie

Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin  Martin Complex, 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14214 Phone: (716) 856-3858
In the spirit of the Parkside Garden Walk, the Martin House Complex will offer a program tostart your day right! Stop in and enjoy coffee, juice and bagels while you listen to Martin House Horticulturalist Nellie Gardener explore the history of the tussie mussie and the meaning of different plants and herbs. You can choose to make and take your own bouquet with you!
Price: $15 per person/$10 member. Visit darwinmartinhouse.org.


JULY
Wednesday, July 9, 6:00 p.m.
The Buzz in Your Garden 2

Urban Roots Community Garden Center 428 Rhode Island Street Buffalo, NY 14213 Phone: 716-362-8982
Presented by David Clarke on the importance of beneficial insects and their place in the garden. Wayne Robins will also be there to explain beekeeping. Our goal is to enlighten the gardening community that not all bugs are bad, in fact we need bugs desperately to hold our ecology in balance.
Free, call for reservations 716-362-8982. For more information, visit urbanroots.org.

Friday, July 25, 6:00-8:00 p.m
Flower Fields- Nellie’s Picks

Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin  Martin Complex, 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14214 Phone: (716) 856-3858
The Martin House Complex had an extensive landscape and Mrs. Martin was an expert flower arranger. Explore the gardens and learn what cut flowers may have been used in bouquets. Get design tips from Martin House Horticulturalist and arrange your own arrangement of flowers to take with you! Space is limited.
Price: $40 per person / $35 member Visit darwinmartinhouse.org.


AUGUST
Saturday, August 23, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Hosta, Daylily & Iris Sale

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Perennial gardeners will be amazed at the huge variety of hostas, daylilies and irises offered for sale by local specialist plant societies. Hundreds of plants will be offered, many new and exciting varieties and cultivars as well as popular garden favorites, at very competitive prices.  Throughout the day experts and enthusiasts will be available to answer questions and offer advice about selecting and growing these choice garden plants.
Free admission to the sale in the Administration Building. Visit buffalogardens.com.


PARTIES

Wednesday, June 18, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Starry Night in the Garden

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Join Star 102.5 and the Gardens to celebrate the beautiful Botanical Gardens. Popular musical groups, local restaurants, wineries and breweries come together to party into the night to benefit the Gardens. 
Tickets - $45, VIP Tickets - $100. Visit www.mystar1025.com for more information and go to www.tickets.com to purchase tickets.

Saturday, June 28, 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Garden Walk Buffalo 20th Anniversary Community Party

The South Lawn of the Richardson Olmsted Complex, 400 Forest Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14213
Join the Garden Walk Buffalo gardeners and organizers in this celebration of the Walk's 20th year. Families of all ages are welcome!  Entertainment will include: the band EMPIRE STATE, Hula Hooping with Melissa Campbell, games of Can-Jam, Frisbee, Blongo Ball.   Also, for the first time, we will be having docent/volunteer led tours of the Towers Building for a nominal fee of $10.  What a great opportunity!  Food will also be served for a price of $1 that will include hotdogs, pop/water, and chips.  To keep the excitement going all afternoon, we will have a raffle drawing every half an hour with donations provided by our sponsors. 
 Free. No tickets or reservations required. Visit GardenWalkBuffalo.com.

Saturday, July 19, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
RiverRock Community Picnic

2607 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14207 Phone: (716)-838-1249
Opening celebration of the new RiverRock Garden in Riverside Park. Pack a picnic and come out to Riverside and enjoy a day with your family and the WNY community by the newest water feature in Riverside Park.
Free for all ages. Visit bfloparks.org.


SUMMER CAMPS
Art Camp
Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Kids ages 5-12. Join us for artistic fun! Pre-registration is required and camp forms are due the Wednesday before each camp week.
9am-12pm, Garden Members $95 or $19 per day, Non-Members $105 or $21 per day. Visit buffalogardens.com. or call 716.827.1584 ext. 291.
AC 1 - July 7-11 - Multi-medium
AC 2 - July 14-18 - Painting
AC 3 - July 21-25 - Drawing
AC 4 - August 4-8 - Painting
AC 5 - August 11-15 - Drawing
Advanced Art Camp - Students ages 10-16 with previous art experience
AAC 1 - July 28-Aug 1 - Multi-Medium
AAC 2 - August 18-22 - Multi-Medium

Junior Botanist Camp
Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Kids ages 5-12 will become Junior Botanists for the week; exploring the Gardens, learning about plants, playing games, making a plant to take home and other fun activities. Pre-registration is required and camp forms are due the Wednesday before each camp week. 
12:30pm-4pm, Garden Members $95 or $19 per day, Non-Members $105 or $21 per day. Visit buffalogardens.com. or call 716.827.1584 ext. 291.
BC 1 - July 7-11 - Wild and Wacky Water
BC 2 - July 14-18 - Birds, Bats, Bees and Butterflies: Pollinators
BC 3 - July 21-25 - Crunch, Plants We Munch: Edible Garden
BC 4 - August 4-8 - Plants and our Planet
BC 5 - August 11-15 - Survival Adventure
Horticulture Camp - Students ages 10-16
ABC 4 - July 28-Aug 1 - Basic gardening and plant fun!
ABC 2 - August 18-22 - Basic gardening and plant fun!

Full Day Art & Botany Camp - Join both camps and save!
Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218 Phone: 716-827-1584
Pre-registration is required.  Campers staying for both camps will need to bring a bagged lunch.  
9am-4pm, Garden Members $150 per week or $30 per day, Non-Members $160 per week or $32 per day. Visit buffalogardens.com. or call 716.827.1584 ext. 291.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gardening takes over Buffalo in summer of 2014

In the garden tourism industry locally real things are happening:
This is my garden during Garden Walk, pretty much all day
for two days. We get just under 3,000 in our garden alone.
That's more than some garden tours get in total!
    Open Gardens on Thursdays and Fridays expose folks to
    gardens with great plant collections. This is the Shadrack's
    Smug Creek Gardens in Hamburg with an unparalleled
    collection of both daylilies and hostas.

  • National Garden Festival's LEAF a Legacy and area PLANT WNY landscapers are already working on their project for the year in Forest Lawn, and with the the Olmsted-designed Delaware Park's Park Japanese Garden. 
Garden-themed exhibitions, from large to small happen in
galleries throughout the area. This is 1045 Elmwood Gallery
for the Arts with a garden-themed exhibit in 2013.
Night tours of gardens are becoming popular locally with three
or four adding them to their day tours in 2014.
The Buffalo-style Garden Art Sale clicked in
1,500 shoppers and 40 vendors in 2013.

  • The Friends of the Japanese Garden are having the first ever Cherry Blossom Festival in May, along with a pink tie gala.
  • A local group is starting a Shakespeare Garden on the grounds of the Karpeles Museum.
  • Larkin Square is just starting the planning stages of a speakers series with garden authors from around the area.
  • Sprout, a new, high-end garden art and furnishings store from the owners of ROOM, is opening up on Hertel Ave.
  • Garden Walk Buffalo has new volunteers and a coordinator of volunteers that will also draft more. If you're interested, email us here.
  • Have you seen the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Delaware Park Rose Garden in bloom in recent years? It is nothing short of stunning. 
  • $8,000 in Garden Walk Buffalo Lunenfeld Beautification Grants are going out into the community for gardening projects for this year alone.
  • Urban Roots Garden Center and Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo were given grants to provide lectures & workshops from January through April which have been well attended.
  • Garden Walk Buffalo will have a billboard up on Elmwood Ave. above Nektar for the month of July.
  • The Buffalo Junior League Showhouse income was donated to the Massachusetts Avenue Project's Community Food Training & Resource Center– $300,000!
  • Lockwood's Greenhouses is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
  • The Erie Basin Marina University Trial Gardens are testing annuals and perennials for companies from around the world an has never looked better than the past few years.
  • It's Garden Walk Buffalo's best year ever for sponsorships.
  • Garden Walk Buffalo is in a great financial position going into the year. This is thanks to great financial stewardship from past and present board members and past and present treasurers.
Open Gardens on Thursdays and Fridays
offers gardens you can spend time in and
talk to the owners, as opposed to the busy
weekend garden tours in which
these gardens participate.

And there's garden parties not mentioned in the bullet points.
Here is the Garden Walk Buffalo "Rally Party"
for the Gardeners in advance of the Walk. A time to pick up
maps, posters, yard signs, buy t-shirts and complain
about the weather.
Tours by bicycle is a
great way to see gardens.
  • A bike tour of gardens is planned for South Buffalo during the Ride for Roswell weekend, as well as a tour called "Beyond Flowers" highlighting community and sustainable gardens, water retention gardens, urban farms and more.
  • The Elmwood Village Association is looking into the Elmwood Bidwell Farmers Market opening up late for picnic dinners the Saturday of the Walk.
  • The New York Times contacted Garden Walk last week asking for information and photos for this month's article on Home & Garden tours to visit this year.
  • Two radio shows (one here and one in Rochester) have already invited us to appear when it gets closer to the Walk weekend.
  • Groups like Plantasia Landscape & Garden Show and groups in Erie, Toronto, and Hartford CN are interested in Garden Walk and having presenters give talks.
  • Garden Walk Buffalo has a page on Wikipedia, gets 2,310,000 hits when you put it in Google, and is rated the #2 Activity in Buffalo on TripAdvisor.com.
  • Resnicow Schroder, Visit Buffalo Niagara's press relations firm in NYC has just sent out ten of the GW Press kits and magazines to national publications. Garden Walk has sent 20 GW press kits out to garden magazines and regional newspapers two months ago.
Tours like the Lewiston GardenFest have a street-load of great
vendors of garden art and plants and shrubs.
  • Other city's newspapers have either let go, or greatly diminished their garden writers and columns, if they still even publish them. The Buffalo News, in the last few years, has moved Sally Cunningham's weekly column to the front section of the Lifestyles page and often give her color photos. In the coming weeks it'll have more dominance on that page. This is no little thing.
  • I know of three bus tours coming in from out of town already this year (Machanicsville, PA; Wilmington, DE; and Ontario, Canada). I'm told hotel rooms are already starting to get hard to come by for GW weekend.
  • I am in regular contact with garden tourism author Richard Benfield, who is keenly interested in what we're doing here in Buffalo, as well as in touch with Michel Gauthier of the International Garden Tourism Conference - who is also following Garden Walk with interest. 
For Garden Walk weekend, the streets are full -
and so are the hotels!
  • Visit Buffalo Niagara is planning a trip to NYC for representatives of different tourism segments (art, foodie, festival, garden, etc.) to meet with travel writers. It was actually planned for February - but was canceled because of bad weather (in New York!).
  • Garden Walk is always talking to other groups around the country about operating garden tours - last week I answered questions from Cleveland. The current president, Cindy Loomis has been talking to other groups as well.
  • Visit Buffalo Niagara garnered a $50,000 NYS grant to promote garden tourism. Garden Walk had the inside front cover full-page ad in the Canada Blooms Showbook last month because of this grant. And they're working on upcoming media buys now.
Round table discussions, talks, workshops and more – from
casual to formal take place all summer long. Here's a round table
Discussion at Urban Roots garden Center.
These are just some of the reasons why I am encouraged for the coming year. There's plenty going on I did not list - or maybe even don't know about (including dozens of small and large garden parties). There is plenty of enthusiasm out there in what people are actually planning and preparing for. I believe Garden Walk's 20th Anniversary year will be a banner year and throw Buffalo to the top of the compost heap when it comes to garden tourism.

Here, volunteers plant iris in Delaware Park's Japanese Garden.
Not only do we have America's largest garden tour, with the other events and activities, from bus/bike and walking tours, a garden art sale, speaker series, garden center workshops, international garden travel opportunities, museum exhibitions, community involvement, corporate sponsorships, press opportunities, teamwork between gardening and tourism organizations and non-profits, visiting bus yours from out of town, sharing our success with other city's garden tours, beautification projects large and small, new themed gardens and events we have what every city wishes they could have as many as we have – passionate, creative, and generous gardeners.


For Garden Walk Buffalo, there are lines to get into some of the gardens.
The Erie Basin Marina University Trial Gardens seen here
test annuals and perennials for seed companies from around the world.
If they do well in test gardens like these around the world,
you may see these plants on the market in 2-3 years.






Sunday, March 30, 2014

My favorite houseplant (this week)



It's my Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata). I guess it's not really a palm, but is actually in the lily family. An evergreen perennial native to Mexico, it is the perfect houseplant for me because it doesn't require frequent watering - or much watering at all. I've had it for about four years and it has grown to keep pace with the size of the planter it is in. I've seen (in Mexico) that were 15' or more tall.

It's bottle-shaped trunk is cool, and looks kinda' like an elephants foot. The bulbous end is where it stores its water. I like the hard strappy leaves. It looks like it's exploding. It gets a summer vacation outdoors and ends up in the Harry Potter Garden because it's an odd looking plant and that's where they go to hang out with each other.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sagrada Familia, an indoor forest

Barcelona's Sagrada Familia, the Catholic basilica, designed by "God's Architect" Antoni Gaudí, is unlike any other man-made space in the world, let alone other churches.

Gaudí's influence was always nature, whether it came to decoration, engineering, or symbolism. And it is most obvious from the interior of this church.
The lighted "knots" way up on the columns mimic healed
wounds on a tree when a branch is pruned close to the trunk.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sagrada Familia, nature in a church

The Sagrada Familia, a church in Barcelona Spain, by "God's Architect" Antoni Gaudí is a man-made marvel of nature. Started in 1882, it's expected finish is somewhere between 2030 and 2041. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's construction got a major boost when the 1992 Olympics were held in Barcelona. Funding comes from its donors and visitors.

The central tower, which is not yet built will poke out of the center of the church in the photo above. It should be taller than the tallest crane you see in the photo – just under 600 feet tall. It will hold a four-armed (three-dimensional) lit cross, the highest cross on any church in the world.

There is just so much to this church, which was consecrated as a basilica in 2010, that I could never give it its due. In order to appreciate it, you have to stand inside it.

It makes my gardening blog because of Guadí's influences in its design – nature. There's an exhibition within the church showing Gaudí's organic architectural inspiration in seedpods, leaves, fruit, minerals, vines, tree knots, tree branching, honeycombs, oleander branching, basil growth patterns, passion fruit, buds and spikes of cereals and grasses, the fruit of the cypress, and dozens more. They can be observed both blatantly and subtly, as well as unseen – the structural engineering of the church incorporates engineering Gaudí also found by studying his natural surrounding.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Parc Güell, Barcelona


Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi had a great patron and advocate in Eusebi Güell (pronounced guay). The two of them hatched a plan to build an upscale English-style housing development in the Gracia District, just outside of Barcelona (radical in 1900) that included a park and 60 plots intended for building homes. Only two were ever built – but so was the park. And it is the park that has endured and enveloped by the city of Barcelona. It was taken over by the city of Barcelona in 1922. It is now one of the top five tourist attractions in Barcelona. It is now also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The property is on the side of a hill and Gaudi laid it out with curving paths that followed the land. The park has viaducts, colonnades, fountains, a winding staircase, a large open pubic area, garden areas, picnic areas, performance areas and much more.

Tradesmen working on Gaudi projects throughout the city were encouraged to collect bottles, plates, glass, porcelain, and anything ceramic, in order to create the winding benches that surround a wide, level performance area. The bench is said to be the longest bench in the world.

Two fantastic tile-roofed, gingerbread-looking gatehouses open to an immense tiled stairwell complete with built-in planters, fountains lead to a roofed area with 100 columns supporting the large performance area above it.

The tile work throughout, with broken plate and tile  fragments is called trencadis and is considered a Catalan Modernism style of working with tile. It's also called pique assiette. Parc Güell is the first extensive use of this style of tile work.

I will definitely be looking to add a broken tile project to my garden this summer. I need some Spanish influence on my garden, and who better than Gaudi to provide it?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kill the wabbit, KILL THE WABBIT!

Silly rabbits. There's been so much snow cover this year that they've taken to eating the bark off my knee-high apple espalier that surrounds my raised bed vegetable potager.
Bit the branches right apart. Above is a pile of their evidence.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Villandry Garden of Love


Almost nowhere can you find a garden with so much symbology - and nothing more romantic for a Valentines Day post - than the Garden of Love at the Loire Valley Chateau of Villandry, France. this is the sexiest use of boxwood you may ever find. The garden, obviously dedicated to the topic of love, is divided into four sections:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Let there be (green) light


To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo, I'm turning the city green Friday-Sunday, July 25-27. 

Last year I requested the 1966 M&T Tower (20 stories, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the same architect that designed NYC's original World Trade Center) and the 1912 Electric Tower (13 stories) in downtown Buffalo as well as the 1873 International Peace Bridge– the main local crossing between the United States and Canada – be lit green for the Walk. All three generously accommodated the request.

This year, being a special anniversary, I requested the American Falls and Canadian Horseshoe Falls be it green, as well as the 1899 Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens domes. All have said yes!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A garden magazine from the country's largest garden tour...

I'm so excited. My two great passions are combining to produce a real live gardening magazine to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo – gardening and design!

The Garden Walk Buffalo board has sanctioned a commemorative 20th anniversary annual. It will be a (roughly) 60-page, glossy, over-sized, magazine-type publication. Technically, it is not a magazine because there are no further issues planned. It's more of a commemorative annual. Though it's not an annual project either.

I'm excited because the articles/topics we'll be covering – as well as for the contributing writers preparing those articles. The writers are well-known area garden writers, like Sally Cunningham, Elizabeth Licata, Connie Oswald Stofko, Rochester's Jane Millimen and more. Even though they're local, they all have national garden publications in their writing portfolios. The lead feature article will be written by a significant writer in the gardening realm, TBA.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The plugs are here, the plugs are here!

 I'm super excited! I've laid my succulent frame down flat in an area of the garden where it'll be undisturbed (and hopefully comfortably snow-covered). And the succulent plugs from Mountain Crest Gardens have come by mail. All look  healthy. My wife says they look like a delectable box of chocolates. Can't wait to plant them.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Succulent obsessed, another frame made

And so I build a second succulent frame. I received a few succulents that are not winter-hardy. I love them because they come in a greater variety of colors than the hardy succulents. And varierty of plant types too. Nearly all of the hardy succulents for my large succulent frame are Hens & Chicks. They'll be nice too, but the variety of colors and structures should make this much smaller frame more interesting. And this one I can bring indoors to enjoy over the winter.

Looking over other succulent frame projects spread around the web, I really like the rough-hewn antique look of other people's frames. So I decided to not spend any money on this one and challenge myself to only use items I had around the house already.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The truculent succulent gardener

Geez, I haven't written a post since December 10. Someone may come and take my garden blogging license away. I have however, been very busy with garden-related things, even though it's the heart of winter.
There're succulents as well as sedum.
I had put zone 5 hardy succulents on all my Christmas and birthday lists for anyone that cared to ask – all both of them. My daughter came through in spades, as well as other family members. Below are some of the plants I got for birthday/Christmas. I also got a gift certificate to Mountain Crest Gardens - an online store for succulents where regular folks can order wholesale trays of hardy succulents.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Garden checkers or chess set

Wouldn't this be cool – to do an actual chess set with different succulents or cactus representing different chess pieces with different colored min-pots? Found this on the Blackrock Riverside Tour of Gardens a few years back.

These are the things that keep me up at night. Especially when I've got too much time to think and not enough time spent gardening.

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