Saturday, July 30, 2011

The garden with the bowling ball totem...

We were supposed to go live in Ellen's Highland Ave. garden at 4:50  a.m. yesterday morning, but with severe thunderstorms anticipated, it was canceled because they can't set up their truck with the big antennae tower. Wimps.

I still got to the TV studio to record my bits, and later in the day, they were still able to connect with Ellen. Better to shoot the garden in the daylight as opposed to the darkness 4:00 a.m. Man, this is Buffalo- the bars are still open at 4:00 a.m.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My editorial in the newspaper. And Ellie's response.

Yesterday a short bit I wrote ended up in the Buffalo News, which I've posted below, so you don't have to link over to read. If you've read my garden blog for any length of time, you'll see familiar themes in this editorial.

My favorite part of my mini essay is the one response it got on the Buffalo News website--from Ellie of course. Ellie is one of Garden Walk's most fierce advocates -- not for its tourism aspects, not because it makes properties pretty, or it brings in outside money, or changes peoples perceptions of a much-maligned city, but because "...people are looking out for each other." Well said Ellie.

It's not just Buffalo's image that's changed because of our gardens, but Buffalo itself, as this article says. People who care for gardens also care for their neighborhoods, and often reach out and get to know neighbors, and feel their ability to change things. It's pretty much free (not counting the labor!), it costs the city nothing, and it works better than any of the silver-bullet profit-making ideas that have us owing the banks and paying back interest for generations to come. It makes prospective homebuyers feel that, even if city services to a neighborhood are lacking, the neighborhood is safer because the neighbors are taking care of it and looking out for each other.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Garden Walk Buffalo helps fill hotels to maximum

With 50,000 expected to tour our gardens this weekend, and 24% coming from outside of Erie and Niagara Counties, that means there will be around 12,000 people coming from out of town. It's safe to assume the vast majority will be staying with family & friends. Even if we assume three-quarters of them will be with family and friends, that still leaves around 3,000 people looking for hotel rooms.

Holy crud.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Arts & Crafts Garden

"The Arts & Crafts Garden" a talk by Paul Duchscherer, this Thursday at the Roycroft Inn 7:30 p.m. Only $10. Call 716-652-5552 to reserve a spot.

I never even really thought about it. There's an Arts & Crafts style of garden? I guess that just makes sense. The Arts & Crafts style of home is very distinctive, and the whole philosophy of the Arts & Crafts movement was toward hand-crafted, artisan-created wares with a nod toward nature -- and away from mechanization and industrialization.

Well, Paul Duchscherer, an expert in all things Arts & Crafts (and a Buffalo native), will be here this week from San Francisco, to talk about what happens OUTSIDE the Arts & Crafts (or bungalow) homes.

You can read an interview with Paul by Jana Eisenberg of Buffalo Spree magazine here. He states that an Arts & Craft garden style is influenced by Japanese, European, Mediterranean and English cottage gardens. And when asked if he's surprised that Buffalo has become a hotbed for gardening, he says no and tells why.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A gardener's meal...Dandelions, Basil, Cucumbers and Snails

This Friday, for the first time ever, a special party is being thrown by J.P. Bullfeathers for Garden Walk Buffalo and ALL the people cranked up for a weekend of garden touring.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Listen up. I'll be on Martha Stewart Radio tomorrow morning

I'll be on, live, around 8:30 a.m. (EST) on the "Morning Living" program, hosted by Betsy Karetnick & Brian Kelsey. They're interested in sharing info on Garden Walk Buffalo with their listeners. I'm expecting deep, probing questions, like, "When did Garden Walk start?" and, "What can people expect to see?"

Other press this past week includes:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Beautiful music for our beautiful yards!”

I've been following the blog postings for the National Garden Festival's Front Yard Contest. And, as great a job that Matt Biddle has been doing writing posts, shooting videos and interviewing landscapers, homeowners and people that grew up on the street, I've been even more intrigued by the comments being left on the site by one of the residents getting a front yard makeover.

Ginny Kessler-Bunt has been leaving comments about the landscapers re-doing her front yard -- as seen through the eyes of her seven-year-old grandson, Ian. You can see in the photo above, Ian, at the screen door. Here is what Ian's observed this week, and his comments about team of landscapers coming in and radically changing the front yard:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Philharmonic & fireworks. We don't do gardening small...

The National Garden Festival kicked off its Front Yard Contest yesterday. It's a friendly "contest" between member landscapers of the WNYS Nursery & Landscape Association. Nine landscapers take over a neighborhood this week -- for FREE -- along Newman Place in South Buffalo, across from the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Cazenovia Park. It's also hosted by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and coordinated by Festival Director Sally Cunningham, and Otis Glover of the Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lewiston GardenFest

A couple Sundays ago I attended the Lewiston GardenFest. I'm so used to my own very urban garden tour that going off into the world of a suburban garden tour was like culture shock -- they have so much space! I would have no idea where to begin with a property measured in acres, as opposed to feet, like mine is.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Eight Paths Garden

No. This isn't a Chelsea garden. This is a Buffalo garden. And one you can see for the next few Thursdays for the National Garden Festival's Open Gardens as well as on Garden Walk Buffalo.

It's a beauty of a garden - Asian, urban - and quite unexpected in its neighborhood. The unassuming front yard and home do not give up anything to this much loved and well-tended space.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Typography in the garden

I want this fountain. Or something similar. If I can ever have the chance to design my own water fountain, I think I'll find the perfect quote, and have one made from a typeface of my choosing. I'm an art director and these things are important to me. I don't have enough (or any) typography in my garden. I'm going to have to remedy that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thailand in England

I would not have wanted to be a vendor anywhere near this exhibit because it was hard to look elsewhere. It stood in stark contrast to the green displays surrounding it.

I don't know what the criteria is for displaying at Chelsea, but this exhibit had no live flowers. Each item seen is covered with flowers hand-crafted from petals & leaves -- more than one hundred thousand -- which used used more than two million flowers to make.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A garden for lawyers

This was another of the "urban" garden displays at Chelsea. It's called the Magistrate's Garden. It's got a whole backstory to it. It is a garden designed to celebrate the role of the 650-year old Magistrate and "highlights the pivotal role"  the magistracy plays in delivering a balanced approach to the law. Heavy. It's conceived as a garden outside a courtroom, above a parking garage, maintained by offenders of the law performing community service.

I just thought it looked nice and was good use of space. It did feel more room-like than may other gardens, probably due to the London plane trees trained overhead to form large square "umbrellas" as a roof to the space. That and the small-scale doable green wall were my favorite take-ways from this garden.

Oh, that and the "bench" bench.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Clematis Tunnel

My own paltry clematis bloomed so very shortly this year. I do have another, but that's waning now as well. There'll be nothing left for Garden Walk. Usually the last petal is falling off the last clematis flower the morning Garden Walk begins.

I've read that you should purchase two clematis together whenever you buy them and plant them together -- and early blooming one and a late blooming one. That way they'll dress up an area for a longer period of time. I'd also read that to plant one at the base of a tree or two if you have few. The early-summer-blooming vines could add much color to trees that bloom early in the season. I have done none of these things.


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