Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A funky garden for a mansion

Thanks to the hard work—I suspect blood, sweat, and tears were all involved—of WNY landscape architect Joy Keubler and her team—our Show House garden is completed on schedule and can be viewed through May 17 along with the rest of the 30-plus room mansion.

As I posted here, the idea was to do sort of a demonstration garden, one that includes composting, vegetable-growing, rain barrel-using, and as much re-use of existing materials as possible. It’s the sort of thing that gardeners everywhere are doing, but it’s not the sort of thing you’re likely to see at a Junior League Show House.

So my magazine sponsored this by giving ads to everyone who donated materials or worked on it (almost no cash was spent), and the garden was built. This is more like the show gardens one sees at a garden show, except that it’s outside and remains open for 3 weeks. All the plants are in pots (and it was not easy to find plants for this time of year), and everything has to be returned to its lenders or otherwise repurposed at the end of the period.

The garden shed, pergola, potting and sink area, and cold frames were built almost entirely from deconstructed materials collected by Buffalo Re-Use. This wonderful group makes sure that when a house is demolished it doesn’t just get shoveled into a landfill, and is also involved in local community gardens built on empty lots. Then our co-op gardening center, Urban Roots came in with labor, a compost tumbler, a rain barrel, and a few other things. There are also solar lanterns and a lot of cool vintage items lent by a local store. Two water features are also made from recycled materials and soak into permeable paving.

Is it really a garden as I would use the word? No. But it is a fun space that’s comfortable to hang out in and may raise awareness of sustainable practices to a different audience.

See more images of the garden and the rest of the Show House here.

12 comments:

danger garden said...

I love all the patterns and textures, especially the strong stripes!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I like the little veggie garden. This has some nice elements in it.

Pam/Digging said...

Nice work. I like the blue screen that provides a focal point and the cute potting shed.

vuejardin said...

Very nice landscape and stone arrangement

kate smudges said...

This would be a fun and relaxing place to hang out. Like the table and seating. I love the solar lanterns too. I imagine you had a great time working on this.

Gail said...

Love the re-purposed windows in the garden and the blue panels that look like an old garage door...good idea. gail

Lori said...

Very cool. I like the different paving options and the creative use of repurposed materials. The green roof is pretty cool, too. :)

Commonweeder said...

We can learn something from every garden tour, but it is wonderful to see such a beautiful garden that teaches and inspires.

Jenn said...

It may not be 'a garden' but it sure looks like 'a good start'.

What a fun project!

lisa said...

That's a great way to get the word out about re-purposing as well as good gardening practices. The space sure looks inviting for something that's "just a demo"...very cool.

Susan aka Miss. R said...

I know I sent you a separate msg, but bravo! Intriguing design and great use of materials. I'd love to hear visitor comments--do you have a guest book?

Vicki said...

Very nice. Gardens recycle yearly so why shouldn't their props.