“I figured we weren’t going to stay long,” Carl said, “but we did.”
Over the last 10 or 15 years, areas that formerly were used by the children and grandchildren for playing ball are becoming gardens, and the Swans have developed different gardening styles.
Carl’s style is neat, rectangular and orderly, as you can see in the first photo, a spacious area that is just part of their front yard.
“Everything has its place,” he said. “I like to think about it before I plant.”
Carl starts with one plant that serves as a centerpiece for the bed, then plants around it. Above left, a blue spruce is the centerpiece for this bed in the backyard.
Doris tends to the area around the front door, and as you can see in the photo above right, there aren’t any straight lines there. She favors a cottage-style garden, with rounded clumps of colorful flowers.
More colorful flowers and hanging baskets decorate the area around the pool in the backyard.
There are deer in the area, but the Swans don’t have any problem with them.
“I have a dog,” Carl said. (Her name is Hayley and she’s a shepherd.) “The fence keeps the dog in, and the dog keeps the deer out.”
Carl has a very long potting area, which you can see at right, where he can work and keep his potted specimens organized.
When creating a new garden bed, Carl starts with a compost pile. He builds a compost pile where he wants the new bed to be. By the time the compost is ready, the grass in that spot is dead. He rototills the compost into the soil and he’s ready to plant.
He tops off his beds with mulch from the Town of West Seneca. Mulch is available for free to residents of West Seneca with ID.
“It’s nice to come out here,” he said. “It gives you peace of mind, and quiet.”
Garden walk next week:
Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Photos by Connie Oswald Stofko