The blogosphere is already brimming with posts about Buffalo, and soon we’ll be seeing dozens more as 70 of us gardenbloggers unpack our bags and photos and seriously debrief about our whirlwind meet-up there over the past four days.
So where to start? Well, this exhausted blogger/traveler will simply send readers to this growing list of blog posts about it all, and report on one brand new feature in Buffalo’s extravaganza of gardens (all enhanced by what MUST be the greatest concentration of superb historic buildings in the U.S.). It’s the competition among landscape designers who volunteered to turned 19 plain front yards into gardens. Not just any front yards, these are surrounded by historic homes AND a park designed by none other than Frederick Law Olmsted.
Just like so many made-for-TV garden make-overs, they were done quickly, in just three days, and I confess to some moments of cynicism when I saw the instant results and heard that none of the chosen homeowners were actual gardeners. “Probably a waste of money,” I sneered to myself, imagining them quickly succumbing to neglect. But the brains behind Buffalo’s urban garden activism know better, so these homeowners agreed to become gardeners. They had input into the design of their gardens. They were a big part of the general hoopla about the make-overs. And to help turn them into gardeners who can sustain and even enhance the transformations, they’re the lucky recipients of free training in all aspects of garden maintenance, including pruning. Plus discounts at the local garden center. These people think of everything!
We’ll never tire of praising Buffaloans for their use of gardens to bring the city back to life. Cityfolk everywhere can learn from these front-yard make-overs and the famous Garden Walk – coming soon to this lovable, livable city.
Finally, a big virtual hug and THANK YOU to Elizabeth Licata and Jim Charlier for giving us such an awesome four-day event. The standing ovation we gave them at Saturday night’s dinner was spontaneous, long and loud.