"Every gardener has a strange and romantic tale to tell, if you can worm it out of him - of blue flowers that came up yellow, or of a white lily that sinned in the night and greeted the dawn with crimson cheeks. In the strong heart of every gardener some wild secret stirs."
Beverley Nichols, 'Down the Garden Path'
It's the middle of summer and what better time to take a break from your own garden chores and check out the gardens of others. This past weekend my husband Peter and I joined 70 other garden bloggers in Buffalo to get a sneak peek of Garden Walk Buffalo 2010. This is an annual program where 350 homeowners throughout the Buffalo area open their private sanctuary up for other gardeners to take a peek. This year the event will be held July 24 and 25.
We had a lovely time swapping garden stories and advice, and getting a load of inspiration and ideas. Most of the gardens we had the opportunity to visit where small urban gardens and I was surprised to see the amount of plant material that can be packed into a tiny space and the ingenious ways people incorporated summer living areas into small spaces graciously adorned with plants. I certainy loved all the jewel box gardens we viewed.
My husband, the tool and project guy, got great inspiration from the many water features he saw, like the one in the photo above, if only he could find three large rocks predrilled with a hole in the centre. He was also busy checking out water features with water falls as that is his next planned project.
As the plant person of our gardening duo I was impressed with the many beautiful window boxes combining unusual plant combinations and obviously loving tended as you can see by the overflowing abundance. The tiny cottages and historic homes in all their coloured glory gave one a glimpse into Buffalo's prosperous past.
So don't get so caught up in the work of your own garden that you don't take time out to visit others. July is the month when many areas host garden tours and you don't have to go far afield. You will be surprised to find how many fabulous gardens abound in your own backyard. And the benefit is that you can make friends with local gardeners with whom you can share advice and potentially plants. Check out your local horticultural society for the date for your local garden tour.