It's over. Let Garden Walk Buffalo 2010 begin!
I share here only gardens from my street. This is 72 Lancaster.
It was an awesome weekend, despite the tornadoes.
Garden Walk 2009 is over and it was a great weekend. Weather held out for the most part. There were intermittent quick light showers and one huge storm, with 65 mph gusts, torrential rain, and tornadoes spotted outside the city just as the Walk was wrapping up on Saturday, around 4 p.m. As we moved into the house as the furniture was blowing around the back yard and plants in pots were being tipped over, my wife, looking out the window said, "THERE'S PEOPLE STILL LOOKING AT THE GARDEN!" Gardeners. Relentless.
75 Lancaster–only some of the pots. Anabelle won't tell Jim how many pots they have–he'd only groan and refuse to carry them all in for the winter.
Fine Gardening, Martha Stewart Living and a freelance travel writer for mags like Travel & Leisure.
All were in town to experience the Walk this weekend. Ed Healy of the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitor's Bureau (CVB), Elizabeth of Garden Rant/Gardening While Intoxicated and I took turns hosting them all and making sure they were able to visit gardens we think were of interest and gardens that fit what they were interested in.
Stacey doing an interview with Channel 2, WGRZ in the Erie Basin Marina University Test Gardens.
Saturday with Martha Stewart Living
Stacey Hirvella, Senior Associate Garden Editor for Martha Stewart Living, and her husband, Adam, were invited to Buffalo by the CVB to experience Garden Walk (Adam's only mission was to have chicken wings once each day). No editorial promises, no promise of scouting for gardens to shoot. Just to see how big this event has gotten, and to experience a garden tour that's become more than just a garden tour–it's also a PR tour-de-force for Buffalo and a tool for rejuvenating neighborhood pride, improving properties and increasing home values.
Stacey and Adam started here at my house and we walked up my street to visit the other seven gardens on the tour on my street. By the time we'd gotten through the last one and hopped in the car to take on another garden she told me already, with just the eight Lancaster Avenue gardens, it was, "...already the best garden tour I've ever been on." And we had 333 more gardens to see!
My Garden Walk project, the counter tops around the grill. I went with mandevilla this year to climb the grate. The pot of ornamental peppers & purple basil pops out and another empty pot goes in to create an ice bucket for cold beverages.
Stacey attend the School of Professional Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. After working as a rooftop gardener in Manhattan, she served as the horticulturist at Tavern on the Green restaurant for three years. She joined Martha Stewart Living in 2005 and works with Andrew Beckman and Tony Bielaczyc planning the garden content for the magazine. She's got great garden cred. When she says that my street has great gardens, well, I for one believe her!
We were able to take in other gardens–an over-the-top Victorian, a quiet Asian-inspired oasis, a test garden for seed companies from around the world, the only cooperatively-owned garden center in the country, a funky Vietnamese garden that has to be seen to be believed, a sophisticated jewel of a city garden, and many more. I sent them off to get lunch (and most likely wings for Adam), and on their own to discover gardens by themselves–without my commentary. I think discovering some of the jaw-dropping gardens on your own is an aspect of the Walk I take for granted, and I wanted them to experience that.
I spent the rest of the afternoon in my own garden answering the same questions over and over again–but none-the-less thrilled to receive compliments on my garden and the Walk in general. Dozens of friends & neighbors showed up to say hi.
Sunday–A fine day with Fine Gardening.
Steve Aitken, Editor-in-Chief, and newest FG contributor, Kerry Ann Moore, were great fun to pal around with, just like an unrepentant terrorist would be. Mr. Aitken has a dry sense of humor, and Carrie, well, she was obliged to laugh at his jokes 'cause he's the boss. Fine Gardening is very focused on their editorial coverage–every feature & photo starts with, "How can we make the reader a better gardener?" And ends with, "Have we made the reader a better gardener?" A garden tour doesn't necessarily fit that criteria easily, but Steve had heard of Garden Walk Buffalo and wanted to experience it himself. The previous day, Elizabeth had taken them to a few gardens and they had the afternoon to wander on their own.
72 Lancaster again, same garden as the very top photo. This bed is timed to be at peak 12:35 p.m. on the Saturday of Garden Walk each year.
We started off at my house briefly at the end of Saturday, meeting and getting out of the 65 mph sideways rain. Sunday morning I pick them up and we went straight to the Erie Basin Marina University Test Gardens. Then, off to the Rabin Terrace gardens, an inner city community garden (with an orchard), and off to the garden center co-op. We went on to a Victorian garden and then onto my street for a quick visit to two gardens. They had a flight to catch so the next stop was their hotel.
The great fountain in the garden at 193 Lancaster. This garden, mostly through foliage, is EXTREMELY colorful.
They asked lots of questions to the gardeners we had time to talk to and Kerry took a good number of photos for reference. Even when Steve was quiet I could see him asking himself, "How would this make a story or photo that would make someone a better gardener?" Again, no promises of any type of coverage, but I believe they were duly impressed and would have liked to have seen even more gardens.
Steve even got a decent-sized piece of a "turtle rock" from the master gardener at the test gardens to take home to his own rock garden. I think he was going to make Kerry carry it back to Connecticut.
191 Lancaster. Gorgeous shade garden colorful and well-edited (unlike my garden). And he gets to hear the bubbling of the fountain in the photo above of his neighbor without the expense or hassles of having his own water feature!
I'll report other stuff from over the weekend–the crowds, the full shuttle buses, the quotes, the far-off distances people traveled to get here, and yes, the parties. Oh, and some gardens!