Monday, February 28, 2011

My "plant room" in the Buffalo News

Okay, I don't have a dedicated plant room, but it's the room with the most windows, so it wins – and it was photographed for this article on houseplants. Writer Jana Eisenberg, freelancing for The Buffalo News, was looking for interview subjects. I'm no major houseplant aficionado, I have about 40 or so that I keep hobbling along though winter, increasingly bedraggled-looking each week, until I can drag them outside for the summer. A half-dozen or so are odd-looking tropicals that are part of our Harry Potter Garden.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cinder planters

Seen on the Blackrock/Riverside Tour of Gardens here in Buffalo, this seems like an easy (and cheap) spring afternoon project -- cinder blocks as planters. Here they're laid out simply. I could see staining them with cement stain to add color, stacking them creatively, or buying some of the larger, more unique-colored cinder block options out there. I keep photos like this in a file called "Garden Ideas" though I'd be better off filing them under, "Things I'll Never Get To."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Green Waterfalls

That's what a building with great foliage looks like to me -- a green waterfall. We don't get to see too many buildings like these in the states -- too much damageable wood & other construction materials. But here in Rome, buildings are nearly indestructible. Photo on top is a hotel that, I'm told, has a great bar on the roof. Below is a restaurant and a random balcony.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Scooby Doo or Scooby Don't?

This photo, every time I come across it, is my reminder that all successful gardens are personal expressions solely for the enjoyment of the gardener and no one else. This "garden" was on the Blackrock Riverside Tour of Gardens.

Would I take every square inch of my backyard and put in an above-ground pool, with white marble chips as a surround, then stick in Scooby Doo and Warner Brother's cartoon characters? Never in a million years.

But when the owner was showing me around she told me that the whole backyard was put together for her grandkids and they LOVED coming to grandma's house. She even looked wistful, as if she'd rather be with them than showing garden snobs around her yard.

THIS should be a prize-winning garden design because it elicits the exact visual & emotional result the garden designer intended -- the grandkids look forward to visiting grandma.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Columnar apple orchard in pots

Seen on the Blackrock/Riverside Tour of Gardens here in Buffalo. This serious gardener keeps all his columnar apple trees in pots to form a vertical orchard against a wall that keeps the heat on them, producing prodigiously. He drags them into his garage for the winters to protect them. I have one columnar apple tree (in the ground) in my front yard. If I had five, not sure I'd want to bring them in each year. Bringing them in probably protects the planters from winter ice more than the trees themselves.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bloomin' Donkey Ears

My donkey ears are about to bloom (Giant Kalanchoe Gastonis Bonnieri). We bought this plant for it's oddness to add to the Harry Potter Garden. It's got these huge leaves that, when they first appear, are shaped like donkey ears. They're very large, thick, shiny leaves. And a cool feature is the babies it grows at the ends of the leaves. That's what clinched it for us as a Harry Potter Garden participant.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hugemungous Amaryllis in the making

I can't imagine that any stalk/flower combo will not topple this precariously large amaryllis. Niece Kristy got it for me for Christmas – so it's not even two months old. It appears to be growing to ginormous proportions. I'll have to either place it on the floor, or raise the ceilings, when the flower stalk appears. Never having grown one before, I don't know what to expect. If size matters, then it'll be impressive.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Two Buffalo frontyard gardens in Great Backyards magazine

Part of the benefit of doing the marketing & PR for Garden Walk Buffalo is being able to add photos of my own house when story producers or editors ask for any garden stories that have good-quality, high-resolution photography. I don't choose what gets published, but I offer up many properties of which we have photos.

My front yard - from a five-year-old photo.
This current issue (2011 issue) of Great Backyards, Expert Solutions for all Landscapes has 50 garden getaways, two of which are gardens here in Buffalo, NY. One is mine.

The other published garden belongs to Ashland Avenue resident Lynn Widger (seen above). Like my article, Lynn's is a two-page spread with an interview and some "Behind the Scenes" info – like main plants used, zone info, specific challenges, solutions and favorite outcomes.

We start with a finite number of gardens that can even be chosen to be used for publicity's sake (the ones that have been photographed). From there, I choose gardens that fit the editorial needs of the publication. They narrow it down more to use only stories & photos that will appeal to, or be of interest to their readers.

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