Youngstown garden is influenced by Philippines

waterfall in Youngstown NYby Connie Oswald Stofko

“As you can tell, I like the ripple of water,” said Jaime Pabilonia. He and his wife Linda have many water features in the gardens of  “Waterscape,” their Youngstown home.

“I was born in a place with a waterfall,” said Jaime , who is originally from the Philippines. When he moved from the Philippines, he chose to settle in Niagara Falls because the falls is one of the natural wonders of the world.

Jaime and Linda, who have lived in their home for 40 years, started working on their gardens about 20 years ago.

“I’m the maintenance department,” Linda said. “He only notices the flowers; he doesn’t see the weeds.”

Jaime does the designing of the garden. stream and bridge in Youngstown NY garden

“Water is our main focus, so I started with that,” Jaime said.

Jaime dug the pond himself, which you can see beyond the footbridge in the photo at right. While most ponds today are lined with plastic, Jaime’s pond is lined with concrete. The stream, in the foreground in the photo at right,  is also lined with concrete.

The pond is home to six koi, some easily a foot long, that Jaime estimates to be about 10 years old. The pond is deep enough that he can keep it from freezing in the winter, so he allows the fish to stay outside during the winter. While he has lost some fish to the cold, the pond isn’t bothered by herons, perhaps because the couple has two dogs.

view of Niagara from dock in Youngstown 2The waterfall, seen in the first photo, is made of stacked rocks with no cement.

“I collect rocks,” Jaime said. “It’s a hobby of mine.”calligraphy statue in Youngstown NY garden

He’ll pick up rocks around the area as well as when he’s on vacation, and friends will tell them if they see rocks he might use.

The steps to his dock on the Niagara River are built with scavenged rocks and  bricks, too. The street divides the front yard from the river, and it’s a short walk down a hill to the spot where Jaime and Linda can canoe and swim, or just enjoy the view, seen in the photo above.

Sculptures are also an important part of the couple’s gardens. Jaime, who does Chinese calligraphy, created the sculpture at right, which says, “beautiful jade garden with water.” He got the wood from a friend– it’s left over from the Lake Erie ice boom.

weeping Japanese maple in Niagara CountyJaime enjoys Japanese maples, and has ten varieties in his garden. At left is a weeping variegated Japanese maple. In spots, it is already beginning to turn a brilliant red.

Bamboo, which you can see in the photo below right, also adds Asian feeling to the garden, and it grows well in Western New York. It grows so well, in fact, it can be invasive. The sidewalk helps keeps the bamboo from spreading.

Jaime also enjoys unusual plants. In the photo below left, he and Linda are seated in front of a 30-year-old dawn redwood. bamboo and fountain in Niagara County

While so many people have already given up on their gardens for the year, Jaime is still happy to show visitors around his garden.

“A garden should be beautiful anytime,” Jaime said.

To accomplish that, you need a mix of annuals and perennials so that you have something interesting all year around, he said. Right now his garden is very green, “but there are many shades of green.”Jaime and Linda Pabiionia in Youngstown NY

The structures, pathways and statues also add interest, he said.

If you’re just starting, Jaime suggests choosing a theme or focus. He uses water, rocks and an Asian influence, but your garden should reflect your personality.

“It should come out of your interests,” he said. “Just start somewhere.”

18 Comments on “Youngstown garden is influenced by Philippines

  1. Jaime andLinda,

    Thank you for sharing the beauty you have created. It is quite a feat to make a beautiful tropical setting on the banks of the sometimes frigid Niagara!
    We would love to see this in person and we will give you a call in the Spring.

    Debby and Gary

  2. Sorry, I put in an incorrect address. I don’t e-mail myself very often. It’s a good thing I put “Canadian”.
    Now I fit into all of your crazy jokes about us.

  3. I’ve not witnessed yet but can truly see all the love and creativity, not to mention work, that both of you have put into such a wonderful place. I would not have expected anything less. You give back to the world exactly what you have put in. What a remarkable contribution. Congrats and love from a Canadian.

  4. Hi Lolo Jaime and Lola Linda,

    awesome article. Just wanted to say hi. see you soon. love you guys


  5. Very beautiful! Your knowledge and design concept captures the serenity in a garden that one can use when meditating. Great job! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Beautiful! Love the Asian theme.
    Your talent and sensitivity are reflected
    in your work. Very admirable.

  7. Hey guys,
    You two look wonderful. I remember seeing the starts of this many years ago when the family and I came to visit.
    GREAT JOB JAMIE AND LINDA! I will call you soon.




  9. Jamie and LINDA



  10. What a great article. Your garden is lovely and shows all your time and care over the years. All the best! Sue, Erika and Katrina

  11. Hi guys: We are very impressed by your hard work and the amazing results in developing such a beautiful garden. Maybe we will get to see it some day.

  12. Jaime and Linda,

    Simply magnificent! Your waterscape garden is a beautiful, serene area where anyone would feel the comfort of the plants, water and atmosphere that combine to lift your spirit and bring peace to your soul. Always a pleasure to walk through and see the colors and smell the abundance of flowers and mixed greenery. Awesome!
    Jim and Judy

  13. Hey, Dr. P. and Linda this garden is so beautiful. It reflex your personality and culture. I’ve always loved to look at your “Waterscape Garden”

  14. Jaime and Linda,
    You are true gardeners. I’m sure your creativity and sharing has inspired others to make meaningful gardens. I am one of them.

  15. Hi Jamie.
    Love your gardens. I have a Japanese Lantern just like yours. It is called a yuki gata which means “snow lantern.” I went to school in Japan, so that’s how I learned what kind it is. I love your carved kanji on the wood. It really adds to the ambiance of your surroundings. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Hi Jaime,
    You have a amazing garden. It reflects the beauty and creativity of its creators!

    sarah douglas

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