Last year, when we were locked in a room concepting what a National Garden Festival could entail in Buffalo, Garden-meister Mike Shadrack suggested we do a front yard garden competition between area landscapers just like they do at Chelsea. At Chelsea, front yards (really doorways) are mocked up by a few different designers. Below are a few that we saw at Chelsea.
But did we ask landscapers to mock up doorways? Did we envision an HGTV-style weekend makeover of a single garden? Did we pretty up the front of a single house? No, we asked landscapers to completely transform an entire street in just a few days. We don't think small.
Last year's competition saw about a dozen landscapers take on 19 homes along North Parade, a street of beautiful homes, that had seen better days, across from the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. With the generosity and talent of the landscape pros, combined the willingness of the homeowners to make a dramatic and significant change to the neighborhood, the Front Yard Garden Contest was unlike any garden competition we know of in the U.S.
And we're dong it again.This summer, the week of July 11, area landscapers will take on 15 homes along Newman Place in South Buffalo, alongside Cazenovia Park, another Olmsted-designed park. Tree trimmers have already bee through to do some much needed spring trimming. Community meetings have taken place. Landscapers will be matched with home owners. The "Before" pictures have been taken. Design and planning starts soon.
Last year's landscapers are listed below. This year's line-up will have many of the same, but the list is still being finalized and some new landscapers are expected to sign on. They're all members of the Western New York Nursery & Landscape Association.
Beaver Landscaping, Inc. (759-7044)
Beyond the Basics Property Services, Inc.
Birch Grove Landscaping & Nursery, Inc.
Dore Landscape Associates
Elbers Landscape Service, Inc.
The English Gardener, Ltd
Menne Nursery Corp.
Murray Brothers Nurseries, Inc.
T. O'Donnell Landscaping
S & R Greenleaf Landscaping
I'll be sure to post about the National Garden Festival Front Yard Garden Contest as time gets closer!