Elsa Bakalar’s Garden

In 1985 (could it be that long ago?) Elsa Bakalar,  my Heath neighbor and friend, and I started writing an article about color in the garden for Horticulture magazine.  One summer day in 1986 the brilliant photographer, and gardener, Garry Mottau arrived in Elsa's garden at dawn. That's when I learned about the importance and desirability of that early morning light for photography. I even got to hold a piece of shiny Thermax to throw some gentle light on Elsa's…

Bloom Day After Buffalo

After days of talking to the 70 other bloggers who gathered in Buffalo for a preview of the Buffalo Garden Walk I have a whole new appreciation for Bloom Day, created and hosted by Carol (who I got to meet!) of May Dreams Gardens.  For other mortals talk about the weather is banal chit chat, but for us bloggers, and all gardeners, it is shop talk. It is a topic filled with endless fascination - and we see…

Doozy of a Dahlia

  • Post published:07/13/2010
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One of the gardens on the Buffalo Garden Walk had many dahlias - familiar varieties in familiar colors. But this dahlia is a doozy!  I'm going to have to research a source.  Has anyone seen this in a catalog?

Mirrors in the Garden – a Trend?

The first mirror in the garden I saw this past weekend was in one of the first gardens. I had already seen gardens with high brick walls that had 'windows' cut into them. When I glimpsed shining light in the wall in this garden I thought it was another windowed wall, which I thought was a charming idea.  When I scrunched down to get a better idea, and a photo I realized I was looking at a mirror.…

Looking – and Buying in Buffalo

  • Post published:07/10/2010
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We started off at the Erie Basin Trial Gardens for the All America Selections (AAS).  The AAS helps gardeners by rating seed varieties so they can find some of  the best flowers and vegetables to plant from seed.  We all loved this brilliant red dahlia. Then it was off to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens which has a fabulous glass conservatory, modeled after the one in Kew Gardens in England.  This building opened in 1900. The Orchid…

A Search for Shade

  • Post published:07/10/2010
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Gardens can change overnight, as many people learned after the great May storm that took down so many large trees.  Those who had treasured their trees for the serene shade they provided, and the cooling they often brought to the house, found themselves in a new situation that could not soon be remedied. Marty and Jan McGuane’s cool shady garden became a hot sunny garden  less dramatically, but with the same result. “We had a beautiful and very…

The Walk Begins

  • Post published:07/09/2010
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I couldn't wait to start showing you Buffalo's gardens. Yesterday evening, on our way to meet one of our hosts, Elizabeth Licata of Garden Rant, we visited several urban gardens. This garden smelled heavenly with a single magnolia still in bloom and banks of lilies.  I have pink lilies and bee balm in my garden too. We saw plants I do not have like this amazing echinacea glowing in the late afternoon sun. When we arrived at the…

Daylilies for All

  • Post published:07/06/2010
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Daylily season is upon us.  Even those who can't name many flowers recognize dayliles, those growing in glorious organce by the road side, and those in shades of cream and pink, coral, gold and deep reds and burgundies in cultivated gardens. Some daylilies have the classic simple trumpet shape and some are ruffled.  Because daylilies are so hardy as well and beautiful in their variety, many small growers sell them in full bloom, dug out of the garden…

Happy Birthday Chicks!

  • Post published:07/02/2010
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Today the chicks are one month old!  We celebrated by moving  half of them down to their new home in The Dell with Sheila. She rebuilt their chicken house to make it snug and safe.  Three strong women, Sheila, her daughter Katelynn, and I squeezed into our henhouse to separate out the Buff Orpingtons, New Hampshire Reds, Silver Laced Wyandottes and Black Stars from the Barred Rocks, Dominiques and Araucanas.  Sheila lost count as Katelynn handed them off…

Gardens Are More Than Plants

  • Post published:06/29/2010
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It takes more than plants to make a garden. First, it takes time. Deirdre Bonifaz  and her husband Cristobal moved to Conway in 1985. For Deirdre it was a return to a part of the world she knew as a youngster. In the 1950s her father had moved the family from New York to a West Whately farm, to be closer to the soil and the essentials of life. ‘He was a man ahead of his time,” Deirdre…