August 17, 2017
Up Front & Out Back: Buffalo to Austin
Pretty front yard gardens sure take the sting out of Austin’s hellacious traffic. Always, they curb a few grumbles!
I can’t say what traffic’s like in Buffalo’s neighborhoods on a weekday. But this soothing median’s bound to calm down coffee-jazzed meeting-at-8 drivers. Maintained by neighborhood volunteers, it resonates the city’s commitment to parkways and parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
As in Austin’s older neighborhoods, tiny front yard jewels front personable homes, though these in Buffalo were built decades earlier.
Altheas (Rose of Sharon) and coneflowers really pop against this purplish house.
Decorum and architectural garden charisma unite in this front yard where a disappearing fountain complements the home’s turret.
I missed the story on this one, since I lagged behind in awe, but I’d say that a train theme is going on. Sedges and clump grasses contribute “grassy” forms to this no-lawn garden.
In Austin, the curving gravel inserts would serve as rainwater control and retention, and perhaps they are. Big, bold stones contribute perpetual structure and probably a significant story behind their placement.
Here’s an Austin version, designed by Botanical Concerns, as seen on CTG.
This low-maintenance formal raised bed invites neighbors to stop for a chat.
Low fences favor backyard glimpses, and most likely, a friendly voice calling “Come on in!”
Densely planted pollinator plants in this narrow strip guarantee lots of traffic: from bees, butterflies and birds.
In Austin, drivers come to a halt when passing Lucinda Hutson’s passionate purple house basking in pollinator and food gardens.
We repeat our visit to Lucinda’s this week, including a look at her cute Tequila Cantina.
I thought of Lucinda when I visited Buffalo gardeners Gordon Ballard and Brian Olinski in their vivacious garden complete with outdoor pub. Here’s Gordon chatting up design with Dan Benarcik, horticulturist at Chanticleer.
AND, in case you missed it, this week we feature Erika Kotite, author of She Sheds.
In Buffalo, Jim Charlier’s fanciful “Taj-ma-shed” charms up easy access to the family’s garden tools and supplies. Sure beats a metal utility shed off the big box lot! I’m so stealing the terracotta pot lighting idea.
It also blends right in with the house.
An art designer for communication design, Jim took his talent to the tool shed. Painted, reclaimed fence pickets line interior walls.
And instead of hunting for the trowel by flashlight after work, why not turn on your cute chandeliers?
Here, Jim chats with Suzi McCoy and Jourdan Cole from Garden Media Group. These three “diamonds” reflect Jim’s diamond theme from windows to pavers.
Harry Potter even joined us. Jim and his wife went beyond clever to engage their then-young daughter to write her own stories in the garden.
Thanks for sharing the magic with me! See you next week, Linda