Monday, June 24, 2013

"Buffalo's Favorite Gardens" motorcoach tour

The only Asian-inspired garden among our travels on Friday.
I had the pleasure of being tour guide and host for last Friday's National Garden Festival and AAA/Horizon Club Tours' garden-themed motorcoach tour, "Buffalo's Favorite Gardens." We had an avid and rabid group of 15 that were enthused to get to see some of the popular gardens and hidden gems of Buffalo's gardens. My co-host was Master Gardener Marlene Liberti, who also coordinated the tour. She ably answered all the hard questions that I cannot answer, like, "What's that plant?"

A stag head fern collection hanging on a fence.
We started off with two gardens on Lancaster Avenue and then were off, to Bird and Delavan, Baynes and Ashland. On Ashland we had two bonus gardens to view, as neighbors of our planned garden were expecting a bus tour of garden fans from Pennsylvania and were, "tour-ready" and invited us in.

A nice lunch on the outside back patio garden of La Ti Da on Allen street, and we were off visiting gardens on Park Street, Norwood Avenue, Summer Street (where four gardens OTHER than our planned gardens, had generously opened their gardens for view.

Last garden of the day was on Sixteenth Street, and that garden is always a pleasure to visit. Below are photos from our day.

My apologies for the harsh lighting in the following photos. It was a bright sunshiny day - not a cloud in the sky.

The National Garden Festival, along with AAA/Horizon Club Tours is offering different garden-themed tours every Friday during the six weeks of the Festival (and one Thursday too!).

Friday, June 21, 2013

Stop what you're doing and smell these roses...

If you haven't been there in a while, it's high time to get over to Delaware Park's Rose garden. The Rose garden is across the street from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. I think you can smell the roses from there on a humid non-windy day. I can almost smell them from my house...

I'm no big fan of roses, they seem to me to be fussy, difficult, and prone to blackspot, but I do enjoy the work others put into them. And the Rose Garden, in my estimation, has never looked better than it does right now.

It features many varieties from the All-American Rose Selections -- 33 different beds of them in fact. The pergola, seen in the top photo is a popular place for weddings and wedding photos. It sits in the 35-acre Frederic Law Olmsted-designed Delaware Park, just one of the six parks and many parkways and circles that make up what Olmsted called "the best planned city in the world."

The Rose Garden is maintained by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and tucked between the historic Marcy Casino on Hoyt Lake (used for weddings, parties and meetings); Shakespeare Hill where Shakespeare in the Park is performed each summer (second longest running free Shakespeare festival in the country); a play ground; and the world-class Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Pretty good company. And a public space setting any city would covet.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Checkerboard Garden

Above is my checkerboard garden. It's under a "horsey" swing – part of the jungle gym/swingset my daughter has well outgrown. When I first put it in, it was done with too-thin slate tiles that broke apart after a few years. The square pavers you see here are concrete – and thick.

At its best it was very full -- in bright sun.
I had also originally spent LOTS of money on a line of plants called Stepables - I had different Stepables in each few squares - two thymes, silver kisses, baby tears, Irish moss and different sedums. For the full list with Latin names, see here. It took about three seasons for it to fill up.

But at the same time, the tree across from it and above it grew and put this area in deep shade. Then it was a race to see which Stepable would disappear first.

Before they were all gone, I planted them in other sunnier areas of the garden and are thriving fine. Most got planted into the hypertufa pots I made last year.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Heuchera, hellstrip & Harry Potter

Harry Potter Garden has a few new additions this year.
This weekend was working on the Harry Potter Garden, the hellstrip and the heuchera (coral bell) bed. Also did plant shopping, planted up most of the baskets and boxes too.

The Harry Potter garden, where we find odd plants and give them the names of the plants found in the Harry Potter books, got cleaned up, mulched and a few house plants brought out to it (a pencil plant, ponytail palm, my birthday bromeliad (thanks Carol!)) and a few others. I've moved all my black mondo grass here from other parts of the garden and planted a few new additions. You'll have to stop by during a bus tour, bike tour, Open Gardens or Garden Walk Buffalo to see it.

The huechera bed had the copper fountain moved to the front and its old spot in the back of the bed now has a bloodgood Japanese maple tree. I used to have a royal purple smoke tree in this spot, but it died a couple years ago and I've missed having something tall, in a color, in this spot. Moving the fountain to the front of the bed will make it more prominent and noticeable. have to find a piece of tubing to get the pump hooked up to the fountain though. It seems to have gotten lost in the black hole that is my garage.

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