After sleeping in and partaking of a leisurely, if not quiet, breakfast, those of us who were staying on in Buffalo today headed out to visit the gardens in the Lancaster avenue area, home to organizer Jim Charlier and his delightful wife and daughter. An aside: know that quiet is a relative term ... how quiet can a room filled with 50-60 garden bloggers be when we're all attempting to discuss the gardens we'd seen, our gardens at home, gardens we'd like to see, our plans for the day, and how in the heck some of us would get our purchases home?
Brian also very kindly offered to take us over to a neighbor's garden, telling us that it was not to be missed. He wasn't exaggerating and although we caught Jennifer still in her pajamas, she graciously agreed to show us around her gloriously planted garden. I am in awe of how creative Buffalonian gardeners can be in such small spaces. I'm also touched by how warm and hospitable they all were to us this weekend. Several times gardeners asked us to let our readers know that there's more to Buffalo than bitterly cold winter weather and I am more than happy to oblige! One thing that struck me in particular was that almost every home has some form of garden, even if it's just a tiny patch of perennials. They clearly take great joy in their gardening season. I believe Jennifer was one of those who asked us to pass the word, so I've chosen her garden to share that message. Look at the incredibly lush and exuberant plantings out front!
From there we moved on to this garden, with a very English garden in the front, as pictured below. One of the revelatory experiences for many of us throughout the weekend was the huge stands of Monarda. I believe the Head Gardener actually wept at the sight.
Equally lovely was the side garden of this home, a more formal garden but the most serene garden room of any I saw. It was a lesson for me in just how much more less can be. I'd love a similar gate to this one somewhere in my garden.
Then it was on to Jim and Annabelle's garden, where the latter had created a tiny dish garden specifically for children to enjoy. She encourages them to rearrange the rocks and the garden art in the dish and commented that they frequently come up with arrangements she'd never have imagined. What a lovely idea, though, especially given that children are more used to hearing "hands off" in the gardens they visit.
Jim loves dahlias and Annabelle loves daylilies, which take pride of place in the back garden.
This year they're sharing the limelight with this gorgeous Buddleia.
As we made our way back down to the Charliers' house for a picnic lunch, here are a few of the plantings that caught my eye.
Unhappily, my camera battery ran out about 2 houses down from Jim's and I have no pictures to share with you of HIS beautiful plantings. Thankfully, others were better prepared. Jim and his family were charming hosts and lunch was scrumptious. We all got quite a kick out of the FOR SALE sign in their front garden: no offers refused for a gardening obsessed middle-aged male with a digging problem! Check out Pam of Digging's photo.