Check out this article to get ideas for your own yard, and make a note to visit this year’s Front Yard Contest, which will be held on Newman Place in South Buffalo. Work will take place from Monday, July 11, through Saturday, July 16. Voting will take place from Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22.
In last year’s contest, the front yard at 2 North Parade offered a great deal of space to work with. The house is situated on a corner lot with the front door facing Northhampton. (See photo at right.) The frontage continues to the left beyond the house to a patio area. In addition, the right side of the house is on North Parade, creating a wraparound front yard.
The house has lovely architectural details, but one treasure, the lovely arch that’s part of the brickwork facing North Parade (see photo at the beginning of this article), was hidden by a tree and large bushes. Yet the homeowners had reservations about doing away with a healthy tree and shrubs.
“I’m a tree lover,” explained Beverly Dove-Hampton, shown in the photo above left with her husband, Raymond Hampton, as workers toppled the tree. “I wanted to preserve as much of the shrubbery as possible.”
Birch Grove Landscaping, who did this makeover, first addressed the issue of what to do with the space where the tree and shrubs had been. They created the English garden shown in the photo at the beginning of the story. That was a bold move for Beverly as a gardener, but she was ready to make the change.
“I’m going to take a step beyond perennials and trees,” Beverly said. “It will keep me busy.”
Aware of how the homeowners felt about shrubs, Birch Grove Landscaping kept the taxus trees, which you can see near the front steps in the photo of the homeowners.
In the photo above right, you can see the great shape of one of the taxus trees, which were groomed to look like bonsai trees. To the right of the tree is a custom-built rose trellis, which was installed to give the feel of an old English garden and accentuate the Tudor architecture of the home. This view is to the left of the front steps.
The front yard continues from there past the end of the house to a fence along the patio area (see photo at left).
Remembering the homeowners’ feeling about shrubs, the landscapers installed a garden along the fence that includes maroon ninebark shrubs, which flower in spring and and give the homeowners privacy while they sit on the patio.
For this makeover, Birch Grove Landscaping received second place in the People’s Choice category for large gardens, first place for large gardens from the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, honorable mention for Best Use of Humor from Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens and the Plant Selection Award from Niagara County Community College. It tied in the large garden category for the Media Choice Award.