Bowling Balls, Tubs and Busts Find Their Places in WNY Gardens | Home & Garden
Your perennials have grown. Your porch pots are planted. The fence is freshly painted, the terrace stained and the outdoor furniture in place.
But as many gardeners – and garden visitors – know, art and accents are what complete this outdoor space and make it memorable, unique and personal.
Visitors to Buffalo Niagara Gardens saw the creativity: a wall of colorful bottles; a collection of glass flowers; foam wig heads turned into planters; signs of all types; a vertical sculpture made of bowling balls and much more.
“Many of the most photographed gardens attract attention because of the art and collections. ‘they were perfect for this garden. They are all very personal,” write Sally Cunningham and Jim Charlier in “Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs” (St. Lynn’s Press, $24.95) Cunningham, the Great Gardening columnist for The Buffalo News, and Charlier, freelance graphic designer at JCharlier Communication Design, feature garden art throughout their book.
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At this time of year, in addition to shopping at greenhouses, specialty retailers and garage/estate sales, people have other opportunities to make new finds locally. An Event: Buffalo Style Garden Art Sale is scheduled for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 25 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 26 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave. (See details of this and a few other events below.)
Sharon Russell-Moore and Mike Moore are passionate about garden decorating because gardening “is not just about planting plants”. Their garden will be on the Tonawanda City Garden Walk on July 23 (night tour July 22) and is one of the “open gardens” that visitors can visit at certain times on Thursdays or Fridays in July. It has also been featured in The Buffalo News’ “Outdoor Spaces” series.
“We just went to the Allentown Art Festival and I picked up a piece of garden art. It’s a stainless steel spike that you place in the garden that looks like a flower, but the center of the flower is actually a plate of Depression glass,” Russell-Moore said by phone earlier this week.
Another recent purchase at an antique store was a metal mannequin that now sits in their backyard.
These join other objects they have collected over the years. Fish baskets (originally used to hold fish in water after being caught), a vintage bathtub and a life-size dalmatian placed next to an old fire hydrant are just some of the strong points.
“We go antiquing every spring to try to find things for the garden. Often these are not things meant for the garden; they just caught our fancy and end up working in the garden,” Russell-Moore told the Buffalo News in a gardening story earlier this year.
• Search your garage, basement and attic for old items that can find a new home in your yard. Ladders, old picture frames, window frames, mirrors, doors, watering cans and even old bicycles can make interesting additions to the garden. Depending on your style, keep reused items weathered or add a fresh coat of paint.
• Don’t overdo it. Too much can seem cluttered. You don’t do garage sales.
• Think about placement. “There are tricks you can use for placement. If you have something tall, place it towards the back of the garden so you can see it from a distance. Or set it up so you can see it through the window you look out most often,” said Charlier, a board member of Gardens Buffalo Niagara and the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens and longtime attendee. at Garden Walk Buffalo.
Another tip: if you have a small yard and larger artwork, placing the artwork on the diagonal from which you enter the garden will make the yard look larger. “There seems to be a greater distance between you and the artwork,” he said in a phone interview.
• Collections of things have more impact than a single item, he says. Imagine, for example, a collection of old, empty, freshly painted frames hanging from a fence instead of a single frame.
• Consider using a spotlight on a fountain or statue to make it extra special after dark.
• Finally, if you fall in love with a room, but it’s big, heavy and/or oddly shaped and can’t safely stay outside all winter, ask yourself if you really have a place to put it.
Some events for shopping
Lewiston GardenFest is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 18 and 19. Vendors will be set up on Center Street. Presented by the Lewiston Garden Club, the event also includes a free walk through residential gardens, a container garden competition and children’s crafts. Visit lewistongardenfest.com.
The Buffalo Style Garden Art Sale is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 25 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 26 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave. Vendors, mostly local, will sell nature-themed items. suitable for garden display including sculpture, ironwork, paintings, woodwork, architectural remains, found art, ceramics and planters. The event is free. Visit gardenartsale.com for a list of vendors, information on food trucks and live music, and other details.
Vendors will also be set up in Memorial Park during the Hamburg Garden Walk, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 9 and 10.