Still and serene


You’ve just seen beautiful color images of Buffalo gardens in July. Western New York doesn’t quite look like that now. Color is not the first thing I think of when I do that initial glance out the window, to see what it’s like out and check whether the plow guy got to our back alley.

When I review the many, many images I have of WNY in winter, I am struck by the pure beauty of white, black, and gray, with occasional flashes of silver. Often, on the way to work, I want to pull over and somehow capture an acceptable image of the sparkling white tree canopy that lines the street I usually take. I don’t, because none of the pictures I get really do the job and it will make me late.

Comparing these photos to the busy color and floral incident of a summer image, I kind of have to prefer the winter scenes. As images. These views give me all I could ever want or need in terms of “winter interest,” so much so that I don’t worry about planning for such interest in my own garden.

These are a rest for the eyes, just like the rest we’re getting from our usual spring–fall garden schedules.

Images in these posts were taken at various times over the past few winters in WNY, including Niagara Falls.

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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 regular 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 rarely get snowfall where we live and while I realize it can reek havoc and creates extra work, I still envy those areas that get it. These photos are beautiful.


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