Sunday, July 11, 2010

Buffa10: A Sunday Morning Stroll

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?

Daylilies as seen on Friday

The first stop for several of us was a garden we'd visited on Friday in the rain. I still wish I'd gotten out my camera and taken more pictures there today but I was too busy visiting with gardeners Brian and Gordon, as well as helping them do a little gardening. Yes, I can now say that I have gardened in NY state: I deadheaded daylilies as I talked with the guys and their lovely tenant Kathy, who's the 3rd member of the Bird Avenue garden crew. Thanks, Brian and Gordon, for your hospitality both days!

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.

5 comments:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I missed Jim & Annabelle's garden. It's lovely. I know where they got that little fairy gate from: Lockwoods, where I bought the same thing. I like how they've got little stones in there with it to look like big rocks.

EAL said...

Ha--you describe Jennifer's garden as tiny. It seems huge to me! Those gardeners on lancaster and Delavan have much more space than we do in Allentown.

Great shots! My battery ran out as well--boo! I have not gotten in to get good shots of those gardens for years--and 2 cameras ago!

JCharlier said...

Your battery ran out two houses from mine! How can you let that happen!? Glad you enjoyed your time here and extra glad you got to see Jenifer's garden. It's usually on the list of top gardens to see, but being off a few blocks by itself, it just wasn't convenient to get to. And I ALWAYS ask Jennifer to open up her garden from groups. I feel as though I rely on her too much. She's too generous, as you found out.

I'm told you saw my wife Leslie in Newark!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

You've been showing photos that I haven't seen from other bloggers who went to Buffa10! I love them... and I seriouly adore hearing about parents who integrate kids into the gardening. Very nice.

By the way, I think I need to go to the toy store. How freaking awesome is it to have a stuffed lion greeting your visitors on the front step?!?!

Cindy, MCOK said...

MMD, I'm sorry you missed Jim & Annabelle's garden ... it was well worth the visit.

EAL, yeah, compared to your garden, it is huge. Compared to mine, it's tiny.

Jim, I did get some shots of the Harry Potter Garden with my iPhone. Thanks for reminding me I need to upload them! Jennifer was most gracious ... do thank her for us next time you see her. I was delighted that Leslie came over to say hi ... I very much enjoyed talking with her at lunch on Sunday.

Kim, I'm glad to hear I had some different perspectives. With so many incredibly talented photographers in attendance, I felt more than a little intimidated by the challenge!