Monday, July 13, 2009

Garden Walk 2009

Up at 6:00am after getting to bed only 4 hours earlier, I was determined but tired. Plans were set in motion the day before to have teams of people putting up the tent, setting out the table, chairs, and complimentary water; hammering in the signs, and checking off the gardens that would be open for public view. Coffee in tow, we all did our part with overcast skies, and crossed fingers ... hoping that the rain would hold off until 3:05, the very minute we'd finish the self-guided tour.

We weren't so lucky. At 10:05 a thunderstorm bringing about 3" of rain came rumbling in with lightening as it's warm-up act. Still, it didn't deter garden enthusiasts from all over Western New York and even Canada, and with umbrellas and rain jackets they walked from garden to garden, smiles on their faces, with nothing but beautiful things to say. You can pick your guide up at the tent above, and let's get going.

Just across from where the tent was placed this year, a neighbor put together this wonderful "Welcome" Garden. A mix of plants that she purchased, and plants that neighbors split, bought, or gifted, this mall garden in the median of our parkway is a great first glance at the riot of color and myriad of beauty the rest of the street beholds.

This graciously curved bed is whimsical, and you've seen it before. Yes, this belongs to my very good friend Melisa, who is a fantastic gardener. We'll do a Share a Garden Sunday on her yard in the coming weeks, but if you open this photo up for a larger view and look to your right, you'll see the Labrador topiary Melisa got for her birthday, sporting all sorts of interesting ferns and succulents.

This two-family home is owned by a floral designer, and the profusion of pink is one that I've witnessed a few years in a row now. It's a great compliment to the greens in the rest of their yard, and one of the favorites among architecture and garden lovers that toured Saturday.

This backyard garden is the work of a Master Gardener and Landscape Designer who lives on our very block! A wonderful resource for garden and landscaping advice, she's the person who so graciously took all of the photos I've posted today! Her garden, if she'll allow - will be a SAGS feature as well.

Here, a taste of what lies beyond in this shaded front yard garden. This homeowner was the creator of our Welcome Garden at the front of the street, and hosted our prayer service the morning of the Walk. A great friend and neighbor, we'll explore more of her garden with SAGS, too.
The entrance to the backyard of my "almost" next door neighbor. So whimsical, with a great cottage feel. Love the white picket fence.

And of course - who could resist taking a picture of Earl?

My backyard garden.

The mayor of Niagara Falls lives on our very street, but believe it or not, this is NOT his house. Those flags sure would make you think differently, though! This garden was beautifully orchestrated last year, and the rooftop planter rounded with the same flow of the porch was an addition this year.

The porch where it all started! This is the beautiful home of our very own "Margaret" who we talk about sometimes here on Color Outside the Lines. Her children, along with neighborhood kids sold Lemonade to benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand to cure childhood cancer. I believe they raised about $130 this year, a wonderful contribution to a great cause. Of course "Margaret's" garden will be a SAGS feature, too.

This year we had another street play along, and this backyard garden is the work of a true artist. The homeowner (a High School Art Teacher, and artist) and his mother, a Master Gardener have been working so hard on this garden, and their artistic touch and hard work shows, doesn't it?

Here the house next door, known as "Higgin's House" has a beautiful backyard we'll get in a SAGS feature soon.

And the front yard and porch of my very good friend Dorothy who did so much work with her husband to get ready for the Garden Walk and make their already beautiful home a stand out on the street. The pathway to the right was a new addition, along with some backyard gardening we'll get to see this coming Sunday!

And finally, the home of another great pair of friends. This garden was made to order, and delivered just 2 days before the walk - just in time, and very beautiful, don't you think?
So there you have it, a pseudo tour of a few of the houses on this years walk. A full link of the houses on the walk will be posted on our Block Club website soon, and as soon as they're up, I'll link over. Hope you enjoyed the short walk ... I'll have a tour of our garden up on Wednesday, and Thursday.


  1. Artie, this is just wonderful! Looks like you all had a great time touring the gardens. Can't wait to see how all your hard work paid off...


    Sheila :-)

  2. OMG!!!Can you hear me clapping,all the way from Florida? I recognize that street!!!! And it's looking
    W-A-A-A-Y better than it used to,in my day.Kudos to you and all your neighbors for bringing some life back to a tired,but beautiful city.Thank you,thank you,thank you from a NF native.

  3. BTW,I could sooo relocate Earl to my florida garden.You'd better hope I never return home,or Earl could end up MIA. :)

  4. Wow! I am fairly new to your web site. But oh man do I love it! Everyone has done such an incredible job! Thank You so much for sharing with all of us. You can all be very proud.

  5. Oh Artie! This is so beautiful! Everyone did such a wonderful job! I must say that your garden has filled in so nicely, too! Earl looks very happy about it. Thanks for taking us on the tour!...Debbie

  6. Artie! What a fantasy town you live in. **swoons** Seriously so beautiful, so "another time" in America. Oh I LoVe! I can't wait till you post pics of all the gardens. Thank you so much for the tour. **kisskiss** Deborah

  7. This is so Americana and I love it...What could be better than neighbors coming together like this? Thanks for sharing...I want to move to your street!

  8. Hi Artieness! Oh, thank you for taking us along on this wonderful Garden Walk! What pretty homes and gardens! It seems to be a very homey friendly neighborhood you live in! I love it!
    Be a sweetie,

  9. Artie, really..really...really pretty. I am so amazed at how green everything is on the east coast! I think the rain only added to the beauty of the day.

    best, kelley~*~

  10. You live on an amazing street Artie. It does my heart good to see these beautiful homes and gardens lovingly cared for.

    Absolutely gorgeous post. I'm looking forward to seeing more.

  11. Wow Artie I just knew this would be a great post and you didn't let me down. The gardens were outstanding and it is great that nobody let the rain spoil the parade... Great job friend!


  12. Just wonderful, all the way through the stroll, even the accompanied music was wonderful!
    Thanks Artie.

  13. These are all so lovely and inspiring. Thank you for shaing.


  14. What a beautiful neighborhood! Can't wait to see more photos!.........Jo

  15. WOO HOO...ARTIE..can you see me smiling all over the place? This is fabulous...just fabulous. Everything looks just perfect and to heck with the not a soul cared. Your garden is really coming into it's own...So pretty.
    I loved this tour....

  16. Artie, I have to say you live on the most beautiful block. Every home is well cared for and their yards are filled with such lovely gardens. I'm sorry to hear about the rains but it sounds like it turned out okay after all. I'm looking forward to your future SAGS posts. ~ Robyn

  17. What a gorgeous tour...and I have no doubt you are wiping your brow that it is over!

    Good work, Artie!

  18. * Thank you for sharing your incredibly warm, beautiful & inviting neighborhood, Artie~~~~ it's a TRUE TREAT nowadays to see something like this~~~ I loved everything you AND all your neighbors have done to "keep America beautiful"!

    Stunning... And thank you again,
    Linda in AZ *

  19. Those gardens are so adorable, Artie. I like your backyard.....Christine

  20. Beautiful pictures! I know I'm supposed to be looking at the gardens but I couldn't help stare at the homes too. What a beautiful neighborhood.

  21. A beautiful garden walk -- we also experienced rain the Saturday of our garden tour -- but true gardeners are determined and will tour under an umbrella.

    I can't wait to see more detail of the gardens on SAGS.

    Yours, Artie, is beautiful -- it has certainly grown and filled out!

    Missed your posts the last few days but knew that you were busy --


  22. All the gardens are so lovely. I love garden/home tours and always try and go on them. We even have two gardens in our neighborhood which are always on the garden tours, as well as other professionally landscaped yards. It is a bit intimidating. My friend keeps telling me I need a water feature.

  23. Too bad it rained so much...but everything looks great! There are too many things to love to begin listing them...

    Thanks for showing us...

    Becky K.

  24. So many beautiful gardens. They each have their own outstanding qualities. Gorgeous!

  25. man, you are a creator of beauty.
    total splendor.

    you've got the touch, Amigo!

  26. Hey Artie!

    What a fabulous neighborhood. The gardens and homes are beautiful. I love love old homes. We live in a very similar neighborhood with lots of Tudor,English and Spanish colonial revivals,craftsman style and even Bungalows. Your garden is perfect. I'm inspired to try my hand at gardening. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Oh Artie, all of the gardens are just amazing, and the street you live on looks so beautiful and charming! You are SO lucky, and obviously have great neighbors too!

    Justine :o )

  28. Artie, it's all just beautiful. I would have been walking your street if I lived close enough. :)