Garden Walk highlights—just a few


Big P.S.: Here’s a description from horticulturalist, author, and radio host Sally Cunningham, with some descriptions of the actual plants seen on GW:

We all saw certain plants performing at their dramatic best this week. Trumpet vines soared skyward, and rose of Sharon and some short hardy hibiscus bloomed right on time. Crocosmia was the perennial more people asked me to name—most likely the cultivar Lucifer, with strappy, three-foot leaves and a dramatic spray of bright red-orange tubular flowers. Great drifts of monarda. Phlox, shasta daisies, daylilies, lilies, and black-eyed Susans were like explosions of color, often in gardens that have sunshine for the first time in years. Seven-foot rudbeckia maxima was amazing in some gardens.

Perovskia, salvias, nepeta (“Walkers’ Low”) softened the bold colors. In shadier settings, hosta cultivars (named, quality choices—not just grandma’s same old greens) held primary positions, but many gardeners are also using variegated Jacob’s ladder, gold bleeding hearts, mosses, and a wide range of ferns.

Astilbes, often sold as shade plants, were in the sun and obviously thriving (getting ample water and compost-amended soil).

In baskets or in ground, some annuals were stunning, especially the coleus (patterned or bold single strokes of orange, gold, rust, maroon and lime—lush, rich.) Huge-leaved caladium also provided drama—pink, burgundy, silver, white—leaping out of the shade. Tall sunset-colored euphorbias and the red foxtail grass held center stage in great black urns, copper planters, or terra cotta pots. And don’t forget the mandevillas brimming out of coconut-fiber-lined Kinsman wall planters. Just—wow!

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. We had a great time at Garden Walk and are sorry we missed meeting all of you. Mike Banks got us off to a great start and we really tried to get to too many gardens. Elizabeth’s garden was packed elbow to elbow when we visited but what we could see looked great. Martin Kemp’s garden was fantastic, especially after seeing the before picture but we’re stumped on the “B”. All of the gardeners that we met were very gracious. We’re already planning a return trip next year.

  2. Now please write a book about the Garden walk as had been mentioned at the walk. Really glad all of You had a good time & got to see our fair city & our love for gardening!

  3. Ummm…
    There is a book. And a DVD. It’s called Garden Walk Buffalo. Available at all WNY bookstores, garden nurseries and Wegmans….

  4. Jim… Yes,that I know about.I was referring to the book that Amy was casually talking about at Elizabeth’s house on the side steps Sunday.

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