Friday, July 16, 2010

Buffalo: Where Bloggers Meet

You may remember that Mom and I attended Spring Fling Chicago 2009 last May and had a wonderful time, meeting fellow passionate gardeners and seeing all the fabulous green space that I admire Chicago for. (I would still love to know what the city's floral bill is.)

This year, we did it again - Buffalo style.  New York, that is.  I'd been to Buffalo before, but only in passing, on the way to Niagara Falls in 1994.  I remember absolutely nothing about the city.  But I sure remember Buffalo now. Speak to me of this city of 270,000+ inhabitants and I'll tell you why it's called "The City of Good Neighbors."

More than 70 garden bloggers paraded through front yards, side yards, back yards, gates and walkways, and you would have thought we all were their neighbors just dropping by to talk shop.  But the truth is, we came from all corners of the US and Canada to get a preview of Buffalo's renowned Garden Walk, held every year during the last weekend in July.  More than 350 homes open their arms and gardens to more than 50,000 visitors.

I have to be honest, that many people roaming around on the garden streets of Buffalo doesn't exactly thrill me. I like to take my garden tours with far fewer companions so I can really see the gardens and all that they hold. And that's exactly what we did last weekend. It would be nearly impossible to see all the gardens anyway, so we relied on our hosts, Elizabeth Licata and Jim Charlier, to choose some of the best for us to see in the company of friends.

It was still a little overwhelming, all that gardening goodness laid before us like desserts in a confectionery. I think I'd need a week just to see all that was available to us.  Buffalo is rich with history, too, and the variety of architecture throughout the city is worthy of a visit just to see that.

 The American Red Cross

A quick run-down of the weekend's events (and our weekend started on Thursday...gotta love that!) here, and then on to just a few of the 554 photos I took while in Buffalo and the surrounding area:

Thursday, July 8

 The gardens at the 20th Century Club

    Friday, July 9

    Saturday, July 10

    Sunday, July 11

    • Tour Lancaster Avenue Garden Walk gardens
    • Lunch in the gardens of Garden Walk president, Jim Charlier

    This was the itinerary for the group, but Mom and I came in on Wednesday, visiting Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, OH, on the way...

    ...and the American side of Niagara Falls on Thursday morning with Meems and Marmie, and staying an extra night on Sunday so we could have a leisurely drive home on Monday.

     Niagara Falls from the American side

    Sunday evening, we went to dinner at Mother's with the other attendees that stayed over as well (about 20).  Each morning, we had a wonderful breakfast in the Embassy Suites hotel that was included in our room stay.  Eggs custom prepared and fresh melons and pineapple...mmmm! I miss those omelettes!

    We had planned a stop at Petitti's Garden Center in Avon, OH for the way home, for two reasons: it provided us with a nice break at the halfway point of the 6½-hour drive, and we ALWAYS stop at Petitti's when we're in Cleveland! (We always manage to spend some money there, too.)

    I'll be doing a few other posts that are related to our Buffa10 experience over the next week or so, including the highlight of my trip - meeting my Soil Sisters, Jan and Lisa.  I love you guys!

    Jan, Me, Lisa - the night we met

    Just a smidgeon of what we saw last weekend in Buffalo:

    The home of Elizabeth Licata, one of our hosts

    The Monarda and Lilies were outstanding, everywhere we went

    I'd love to nap here!

    Container gardening on Pearl Street

    The Cottage District

    Lancaster Avenue garden

    Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens

    Lovely lilies in the Shadrack's garden

    Kris, of Blithewold (RI), takes a refreshing stroll through the stream at the Shadrack's

    As if our hosts didn't provide us with enough culinary delights (ha!), there was also Taste of Buffalo at our hotel's front door

    The All-America Selections Trial Garden at the Erie Basin Marine University

    Every garden needs a cat

    Just a typical street scene in the Cottage District

    I love the color combinations in this lovely resting spot

    Wonder if she got any takers? Just how much are you worth, Jim?

    Makes me wish I had a small backyard

    The home of Jim Charlier, one of our hosts

    More Cottage District surprises

    Two friends in a gazing ball
    (Barbara and me)

    I want a cottage...

    Ligularia was very popular in the gardens

    These are only a few of the images I captured while in Buffalo. I'll be resizing and uploading many more over the next week.  You'll be able to see most of them on Our Little Acre's Facebook page.

    Thank you, city of Buffalo, and most especially, Eliz and Jim, for providing me with what so far has been the highlight of my summer. There's still some summer left, but it's going to be hard to top what we just experienced in your city. Well done, all of you.


    Corner Gardener Sue said...

    I've been enjoying the posts I've come across about the Buffalo fun. It's cool that you and your mom got to make a vacation out of it and go other places.

    I've heard it's in Seattle next year. I've never been to one of these events, and don't know if we'll be able to swing a vacation next summer, but we've talked about driving to the west coast some time.

    Robin's Nesting Place said...

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I enjoyed looking at your beautiful pictures.

    Pam/Digging said...

    What a nice recap of the weekend, Kylee. I didn't know you and your mom had arrived on Wed.; you guys really made a vacation of it!

    So, has your mom planted all her plants yet? I'll never forget that elevator scene.

    Kylee Baumle said...

    Jim ~ :-)

    Sue ~ Mom and I usually do that when we drive places. We wouldn't want to miss anything! LOL. Over the last five years, she and I have gone so many places and I love that we can do this together. Cherished times, for sure.

    Yes, Seattle! I can't wait! You really should go. It's just SO much fun. The gardens are great and the people are even better.

    Robin ~ Thanks, Robin. You really should consider going next year! I know you'd love it!

    Pam ~ We left on Wednesday so we wouldn't be so tired when Thursday's events rolled around. You must have missed the fleabag hotel story! That one requires a phone call, I think. :-)
    Yes, Mom has her plants all in the ground. She usually does do that right away. I'm the procrastinator, remember? LOL. Oh man...that elevator scene. I can't remember - did anyone ever take a picture of that? She bought more when we stopped at Petitti's. So did I. We're hopeless.

    Cyndy said...

    Thanks for the recap - I'd forgotten how much was packed into a few days - amazing! I enjoyed so much your Mom showing and telling me about the children's garden she organized in your hometown. She seems to be a gardening force of nature!

    F Cameron said...

    What a wonderful report and photos for those of us who couldn't make it. It sounds like everyone had a fabulous time!

    Alex aus dem Gwundergarten said...

    Thank you for the trip to Buffalo! Wonderful pictures and you're absolutely right: every garden does need a cat :o).
    Kind regards from Switzerland

    kris at Blithewold said...

    It was so great to finally meet you - and your mom!! Your pictures are perfect - I have none of the same ones - makes me want to go back and see it all again. But I will remember that cool stroll through the Shadrack's creek always...

    Commonweeder said...

    I asked my visiting 12 year old grandson whether he liked the American side or the Canadian side of Niagra Falls best. He did not hesitate - the Canadian side - because there was lots of stuff there - and there was just grass on the American side. I guess that's why the bloggers all said they liked the American side. They were happy to take a pass on the casinos and tchoke joints.

    Commonweeder said...

    PS - I can't wait to see the Horticulture magazine story about your mother's Children's Garden. It is beautiful. She is one great organizer.

    Rose said...

    Thanks so much for sharing all these images, Kylee! Looks like such a wonderful time that you all had. I regretted not being able to go, but seeing all the photos from different posts is the next best thing to being there.

    Lynn-Sin City to Slaterville said...

    Wasn't it so fantastic! I'm still going through photos, too. You really captured it, and it was great to meet you there.

    Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog said...

    Kylee, wow, you packed so much of what we saw in this post. It's great! It was so much fun and also so much fun to get to know you and your mom a little better. Hopefully we can do it again next year!

    blogger templates | Make Money Online