First garden walk held for Town of Amherst

inside front garden Amherstby Connie Oswald Stofko

The gardens of Lois Weinstein, master gardener, were among those displayed Saturday, July 17, in the first Amherst Garden Walk.

Weinstein initiated the walk because while Eggertsville, Snyder and Williamsville are represented on garden walks, the rest of the Town of Amherst had no garden walk.  Her husband, Barry, who is town supervisor, encouraged the idea–as long as it didn’t cost the town any money.  (It didn’t.) There were 32 houses on the garden walk.

Amherst front yard gardenLois’s landscaping is designed in an English garden style, which she said is defined by “just the fact that it is totally disorganized and you grow everything you love. To me, it’s disorganized beauty.”

For their 40th wedding anniversary, the Weinsteins traveled to Europe, where they visited artist Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny. The weather is similar to ours, so Lois decided to use the same plants that appear in Monet’s garden . She added nasturtiums, but found she already had many of the same perennials. She also toured the gardens at the cottage of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife, which are similar in style to the Weinsteins’ gardens.

vegetable garden in front yard AmherstThe Weinsteins’ landscape foregoes a traditional front lawn. The first photo was  taken from inside her front yard looking out to Culpepper Dr. Paths meander through mounds of perennials. Immediately above is a view of the gardens from the street.

The last vestiges of a traditional landscape disappearedgarden patio in Amherst this spring when Lois pulled out tall shrubs that grew below the windows on each side of the front steps. The shrubs were replaced on one side with a vegetable garden, seen in the photo above left, and a patio on the other side, seen in the photo at right.

The Weinsteins can sit on the patio in the evening and enjoy the pond, which you can see below. The sound of the waterfall helps block noise from nearby busy Maple Rd. They keep a net over the pond to protect the fish from herons.

pond in Amherst front yardBarry has converted the Maple Rd. side of their lot into a huge raspberry patch. The Weinsteins can pick fruit for their breakfast, and joggers along Maple Rd. stop for refreshment. Barry, whose family practice medical office is attached to the home, offers patients plants since they spread so easily.

His patients also enjoy strolling through the gardens before and after their visits because it’s so calming and peaceful, Lois said.

“It’s great therapy for all of us,” she said.

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