Ever bemoaned your lack of space? Felt uninspired by a tiny urban lot? What do other gardeners do with small, urban lots? In Buffalo, they move right our of the backyard and into the front using verticality, hanging baskets, side yards and even creating beauty in the hell strip when they’ve run out of growing area.
Do you think your garden is too crowded? Naah.
For this Oklahoma gardener whose planting area encompasses about an acre and who has seven and half more to expand (if only I weren’t human), it was humbling to see what the gardeners of the Buffalo Cottage District could do do with their postage stamp sized lots.
I bow to their ingenuity and sheer ability to pack in yet one more container and create such a delightful effect.
As Pam from Digging pointed out while we walked into a miniscule backyard of one of the gardens, the diagonal paths made the gardens seem larger and more spacious.
Repetition of color and color echo were other ways to draw the visitor’s eye around the lots. The gardeners we met were very proud of their gardens, neighborhood and fair city. They asked us to spread the word that Buffalo needs to be known for more than snow.
We met several of the gardeners, and two from the cottage district in particular were very interesting. They were both women, and one had two daylily clumps in her front bed which were the largest clumps I’ve ever seen. They were surrounded by a boxwood hedge she trims with scissors because she’s unable to lift power tools. We chatted, and she said her husband planted the garden nine years ago before he passed away. After his death, she humbly said she became its caretaker. She is so much more.
The second woman was the retired postmistress. I’m not sharing her name because she might not want that. Her garden was an exuberant mix of cottage style plants and tiny, artistic details like these containers. Because Garden Walk Buffalo is such a popular tour every year (opens in two weeks for those visiting then), she’d mounted a “before and after” board which showed the garden and her home’s progress.
Oh, and if after seeing these, you want to paint your house a vibrant color, I say go ahead if your partner and your homeowner’s association agree. Life is too short not to express oneself with color.
It was all so charming just like a cottage district should be.