Saturday, March 31, 2012

Garden Walk Buffalo on Facebook

Please visit Garden Walk Bufalo's new Facebook page which can be found here. Please click over and "Like" our page. Features you'll find there include:
  • Photo collections of different features of the Walk - titles like Mirrors in the Garden, Waterworks on the Walk, and Hellstrips. More collections will be added, over time, to keep you inspired for the other 363 days a year.
  • 43 Great Garden Ideas found on Garden Walk you can do in your own garden
  • Discount coupons and offers from our sponsors
  • Up-to-the-minute links to what is being said and written, nationally (and internationally!), about Garden Walk Buffalo
  • Garden Walk events - like our booths at Plantasia, Elmwood Festival of the Arts, our Spring Beautification Grants & Speaker event and more.
  • Interact with other Garden Walk fans
  • Find out more about gardens that you may want to visit for this year's Walk, or see those gardens that you can never quite get to!
GW, being a small non-profit, is always looking to extend its marketing reach into the social media realm because many GW gardeners and attendees are on Facebook and, well, it costs nothing! And Garden Walk is all about free!
Visit Facebook and "Like" our page and you'll get Garden Walk updates coming directly to you.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

More Garden Walk gardens in national magazine - including mine!

Backyard Solutions magazine, a nationally distributed landscape & gardening magazine, features two Buffalo gardens with two-page spreads and gardener interviews and another garden (mine, shown at top!) to illustrate ways of making your backyard more private. The two featured gardens include:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

February showers bring March flowers...

Like every other northeast garden, I'm about a month ahead. All these spring bloomers I don't worry so much about because they can handle a freeze or few. It's the buds on the trees and on the clematis I worry for. And, for the first time ever, I have blooms on my pear tree espalier. I'm afraid I'll lose them to frost before a pollinator can get to them.

Local Garden Guru Sally Cunningham tells me that it may not be a good year for the gardens - the plants didn't get their long winter deep freeze with a nice snow covering - what they're genetically geared for. And I worry too about all the water they DIDN'T get. We had, reportedly, 35" of snow (and in the city here, I can't imagine we got any more than 15" this winter). Our normal amount is closer to 90". That means the plants are starting off the season with around 30% of their normal water!

Friday, March 23, 2012

A non-gardening post about a gardener

Today would have been my friend Bob's 81st birthday. He died last April, shortly after his 80th. I was asked, by his wife, to write an article for the Hospice Buffalo newsletter memorializing Bob, but also laying the groundwork for a memorial fund in his name. If interested, you can send a tribute gift in his name online here. Here is what I'd written.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Wright garden for you

Not every house gets a conservatory designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Matter of fact, very few Wright houses even have conservatories. And none have a pergola/conservatory combo like the one at the Martin House Complex in Buffalo, NY.

The view down the pergola.
Now, photos are not allowed on the tours. I know this because my 13-year-old daughter is a Martin House tour chaperone. She's the one that follows the group, being led by a tour guide, asking that people move along;not lean on, or touch things; and asks them to put away their cameras. I'm told the no-photo rule, which only applies inside the house, is not as much because they don't want images of the house out in the world. It's more because it is a total distraction on the tour for the guides, other tour-takers, and even the people taking pictures. I have no issues with experiencing a house or garden without looking at it through a lens.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A colorful city square garden

Another great garden on the KenTon Garden tour here in Buffalo. This one, like many on this tour had great ideas throughout. First, I really liked the layout. The deck was situated smack dab in the middle of the yard, creating an island for dining and hanging out.

What that did is enable the gardeners to create a meandering path with many perspectives around the deck. It divided the garden in to many distinct sections. The typical square city yard suddenly seemed larger and WAY more interesting. And it didn't look like a boring square with planted borders along the edges. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mexican home in a garden

I wish this were MY dining room. Another home we visited in Mexico was so well integrated into its garden you went from one to another seamlessly. Once you walk through the garden to get to the house, you look through the house to this pretty patio dining room. With a hammock. Every dining room should have a hammock.

Just steps from the Sayulita beach (many steps, all uphill) starts this garden path along a hillside. The owner, a former children's television host from Seattle, was happy to show us around. He's worked for years on the garden -- but his sister is telling him he should tear most of out and start all over! Sisters can be cruel. You can see her garden here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The House on Heart rock Hill Gardens

Spent a week with our friends E&J in Sayulita Mexico a couple weeks back. They've named the home Casa Regalo (gift house). I call it the Hill House because, as beautifully as they have designed it, its most distinguishing characteristic is the very steep, corkscrew driveway. And then there's that rock at the end of the drive - shaped like a heart. (Or it's because the climb up the driveway taxes your heart.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Four Garden Walk Buffalo gardens in national gardening magazine

McKay Putnam Street Garden
The 2012 issue of Great Backyards magazine is out and it features 95 gardens from around the country, including these four from Garden Walk Buffalo:
Putnam Street garden of Phoebe & Bruce McKay
Bidwell Parkway garden of Hilary & Matt Turco
Lancaster Avenue garden of Corinne & Steve Curvin
Delavan Avenue the garden of Jennifer & Jim Guercio

There are also smaller photos used throughout the book of Buffalo gardens used to demonstrate garden design tips & tricks, including: 399 Summer Street, 37 & 42 Fifteenth Street, and 801 West Ferry Street.

Monday, March 5, 2012

An internationally-renowned hosta author visited me and all I got was this lousy gnome

A well-known hosta expert, on two continents, and author of three books on hostas (Timber Press Pocket Guide to Hostas, The New Encyclopedia of Hostas, and The Color Encyclopedia of Hostas) was over to the house and was all excited to have me open a gift he found, with me in mind, to add to my collection of treasured garden art.

I should have known. When opening it, his wife was disavowing any responsibility in the selection of the gift and said it was specifically from her husband and not her - she brought alcohol. (She, herself, is also the author of a book - The Book of Little Hostas).

Apparently the look on my face of receiving a small, plastic, dopey-looking gnome, holding a hoe and flower, was exactly the reaction for which he was looking. I might add that both husband and wife are helping to plan and organize a garden art sale/hosta show/plant society education event in June. I now question his ability to participate in the vetting of vendor booth artists.

As for the gnome? Not sure if he'll find a spot in my garden -- possibly in the Harry Potter Garden, maybe he'll work his way into my garden travels. I know that gnomes are not allowed at the Chelsea Flower show, maybe he'll wind up there for a photo shoot in the future.

I think I'll name him Shadrack.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A tropical plant collector's garden

Behind the large wooden doorway in an immense wall that faces the street in a small town in Mexico, on the Pacific coast, is this plant-curated courtyard surrounded by small buildings of various colors and styles. Each little building is either a bedroom, office, art studio, guest room or bath. The kitchen is a pavilion.

Building colors are a great foil
for the tropical plant colors.
The owners were away, but we got a sneak peek at their spectacular garden (never leave your keys with a gregarious & gracious brother that is proud of your achievements in designing and gardening).

The owners are collectors of plants and have spent a few years developing this courtyard garden which is really the foyer/hallway/dining room for the complex. Even though this is a seaside town, there is no view of the ocean from here, though it's only a five-mute walk away. With a garden like this and the sense of privacy the hacienda-style home provides, I'm not sure I'd miss the ocean view.

The colors of the buildings - red, blue, orange, yellow makes me want to paint each side of my house a different color. I have some of these same plants in my yard. Well, they're houseplants in my zone that I slowly kill throughout the winter and drag outside for fresh air during the summer. But they don't get to these gargantuan sizes.


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