The Big Kahuna & My Little Urban Plot


Finally, I get to go to Garden Walk Buffalo. Each year I look forward to the 30 mile trip south of Niagara Falls. Sometimes work prevents me from attending both days or if at all, but it rained on Saturday afternoon, so I am hoping Sunday is a little brighter. I have been a busy little bee with work this year.

I am expecting to see many Rudbeckia, Cone Flower, Phlox paniculata, and ornamental grasses. They put on quite a show at this time of year. Here are some from my garden. This image shows a very difficult area to plant – a narrow space between a black, asphalt drive and heat retaining brick wall. The dryer vent also contributes to the plant’s agony. The bed has Rudbeckia, cone flower, day lily, yarrow, grasses, sun drops, coreopsis and more throughout the year. This side yard is in shade until about 3 pm and these sun lovers bake after that. There is no water besides that which nature provides, so they must be real troopers to flower so well.

Phlox paniculata is in the backyard. It rarely ever gets watered. When it bends toward the ground, it begs for me to pass the roses over with the hose and share the wealth. Not a greedy plant, I oblige when it is looking a bit sad. It provides a sweet fragrance while dining, so it earns it’s keep. Occasionally, it does get powdery mildew so common to its kind. You have to admit, it’s looking pretty good in the photo. It is just coming into bloom, sharing a bed with boxwood, Calamintha nepeta and New Guinea Impatiens.

Across the other side of the yard is a favorite of mine, Sweet Autumn Clematis. Another plant that does not ask for much. I like plants that perform without much help, and this is a show stopper, even though the blooms are small.

You can see one of the roses here. They make pretty companions with the Sweet Autumn Clematis because they have differently scaled blooms. Yellow Trumpet vine is also barely seen in this image. Some years they bloom profusely together.

Another favorite, and under used plant, is Caryopteris or Bluebeard. It encourages bees, so it should be planted away from seating areas. I have a tendency to plant for wildlife, so I am not particular if the lavender and trumpet vine are in the gathering space. I love the true blue color of Caryopteris. This variety is aptly named ‘Dark Knight’. The little bee is so happy flitting about below.

Pee Gee Hydrangea is also a plant that makes a strong focal point in a landscape at this time of year. This particular plant was scheduled literally for a trip over the 200 foot gorge when I rescued it from a clients property. Yes, it looked dead, but I was not believed that it would flourish with a little care. I planted it first in a pot, then in the only place in my tiny yard that I had left. I searched high and low for someone to adopt it. But, here it stayed.  I think it thanked me for the stay of certain execution because it is not planted in proper conditions due to harsh winter winds. But, it does get a lot of visual exposure since my front door is very near, and perpendicular to the stone path seen here.

Who could pass Zebra Grass and not take a second look. I have this beauty planted for my neighbor’s pleasure.

Like the frogs? I love the little guys. You can hardly see them here, but I have small creatures peaking out from under foliage all over the yard.

Another place that I planted grass was around the lamp-post out in front of my house.

I am off with my friend to Garden Walk Buffalo, map in hand. This is a walk where a map is mandatory. With over 330 gardens to see, one must be somewhat prudent of choice. I am letting my friend, Mary Ellen, choose this year since I am familiar with many of the more popular gardens. I worked for a firm in Buffalo for many years, so I can find my way around fairly well, and if not, my Jeep’s navigation system will get me going in the right direction.

If you want to really see my garden, keep posted. I am scheduling the guys to work at my house in two weeks. Major overhaul to some of the beds. As I mentioned above, if I want to plant more, something has to go. This time it is the grass. No love loss here. This will be my fourth iteration since I moved to the City. Another time, I will show all the different styles that I have designed for this small urban garden.

Wish me luck finding the prettiest or most unusual images to show you next. I will pry like a journalist to get some interesting  stories. Hope they share.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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