Monday, March 30, 2009
Another Buffalo garden hits the national stage in the Spring 2009 issue of Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living, a Better Homes & Gardens special interest publication. The 8-page story, titled In-Town Seclusion, explains how gardener Mike Banks made his wedge-shape yard more beautiful, private and useful with good garden planning. His secret to success? Dividing the yard into individual spaces, which flow together naturally.
This gorgeous space is literally, in downtown Buffalo, in the shadow of city hall, with large buildings just a block away. It is made up of "new Victorian"-stlyed brick homes built in Buffalo's historic West Village in the 1980s.
The article features an interview with Mike, a "before & after" photo of the wedge-shaped, 700 sq. ft. garden, an illustrated map of how he designed & planted the space, soil tips (especially important for city-dwellers), a "How to plant this bed" list of plants, and a side for bar rules of great garden design. Also, in the resources section in the back of the magazine, there is a plug for Garden Walk Buffalo.
Mike's garden leans heavily on foliage for its impact, which makes for year-round interest, as opposed to annual & perennial flowers to make a visual impact. He gets color from a variety of coleus as much as from any particular flower. And he spends virtually no time deadheading. A decided plus for low-maintenance gardening, since his job involves much travel.
Mike Banks is a former organizer of Garden Walk Buffalo and is a great fan & supporter of the tour, now the largest garden tour in the country.
I've been by this yard dozens of times, but have never seen it from inside the yard. I'm going to have to hop the fence and get inside sometime. Or stop by Garden Walk and see it for myself.
The photos, by Toronto photographer Andreas Trauttmansdorff, are simply stunning. Andreas made this tiny, odd-shaped lot look expansive and intimate at the same time. If you get a chance, it's worth checking out his website, just to see some of the gardening photography he's done. He's been to Buffalo a few times now, on assignment for Better Homes & Gardens and will be back, we hope. The BH&G producer (and scout and stylist) for the story was Donna Talley. The writer was Julie A. Martens
Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living, which traces its history back to 1940, is the oldest special-interest gardening publication in America. This Spring 2009 issue is available on newsstands now. I picked up my copy in the checkout aisle at Wegmans.
Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living editor, Luke Miller, is a Rochester, NY native. He's also got a vegetable gardening blog, Smart Gardening. It's brand new - please visit and leave him a comment. Tell him you want to see more Buffalo gardens featured in Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living because you can't get enough of them!