An orange garden on Summer

Little Summer Street is unquestionably the most popular destination during Garden Walk Buffalo. The dense Civil War-era neighborhood of tiny cottages is even more densely planted with exuberant gardens and, without a doubt, one of the most charming and photogenic neighborhoods in Buffalo. And even here among these unique and colorful cottages one stands out.

2010 Photo by Jacquie Walker.
This garden gets a different treatment each year. Home to local artist Dottie Fitzgerald, it's usually a surprising and oddly funny take on pop art with readily available materials. One year it was colorful vintage suitcases floating in the hot tub. Another year it was sculptural/architectural takes on shopping carts. Another year saw the hot tub filled with floating melmac tea cups & saucers.

This year? Orange. The pale pink cottage with the red door and  shockingly-painted orange shutters is just screaming to have its orange justified (by using more orange). Orange decals on the outside of the house start you on the path to the back yard where you'll find orange string like a Cats Cradle game gone mad, dangling orange orbs of varying sizes, floating vinyl circles in the tub and orange-wrapped trees are among the devices used to carry out the theme. Oh, and an orange golf bag which seems to appear from year to year. And if you're there into the evening, there's orange lights in the trees out front.

I've often said that Garden Walk Buffalo is like visiting more than 370+ art installations. This truly is one. Can't wait to see what she does next year. A couple years back she had mentioned to me sourcing a bowling pin that stood taller than her house. Appreciate the artistic efforts or not, it's one of the most remembered gardens on the entire tour.

Would I be adventurous enough to make a temporary, quirky art installation in my garden for the tour? Probably not, but just by virtue of the fact I designed my space myself and do have personal artifacts, decorations and the odd sculpture, I suppose it already is a personal expression of its creator. But I'm not a rule-breaking, taste-challenging, convention-questioning, thought-provoking, envelope pusher like Dottie. Long live Dottie and others like her!


  1. I love the funkiness of the orange. I WILL be buying balls to paint for my next event


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