by Connie Oswald Stofko
Great lighting set the mood for a Moroccan-themed garden during the nighttime garden walk of the Ken-Ton Garden Tour held this past weekend. The event also included a daytime garden walk.
Richard Levy of 122 Pickford Ave., Tonawanda, chose a Morrocan theme because his father’s family is from that part of the world. His grandparents were born in Istanbul.
At left, a gazebo was draped with rich-looking colorful fabrics. He looked at 100 or 200 photos on Pinterest to get ideas for that tent.
Levy uses creativity to add interest to the gardens. The lantern above isn’t stained glass; it was white plastic that he painted to give it that ornate look.
“Almost everything is a cast off,” he said.
He took a junky door that he found by the side of the road, painted it and added carvings to give it a Turkish feel. It breaks up the blankness of his garage wall and provides a backdrop for his plants.
Levy started added lighting to his garden so that he could display it on Ken-Ton’s nighttime garden walk. He realized that in the first few years he was too timid with the lighting. He had accent lights, but the garden just wasn’t bright enough.
“You need to light up the background,” he said. He uses floodlights to do that.
Tip: Levy suggests placing plants in front of the flood lights so visitors don’t notice the flood lights and so they’re not blinded by the glare.
Levy is experimenting with different stones in his gardens. He uses polished black pebbles in one area and crushed gravel in another for different looks. A strip filled with river rocks gives the impression of a dry stream bed.
Levy teaches adult education and encourages gardeners to be brave and just try new things in their garden, even if not everything turns out the way you might like them to.
“People struggle with aggressively trying new things,” Levy said. “I’m not afraid to try things. The way to learn is by doing.”
Upcoming garden walks:
Garden Walk Buffalo 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27
Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens on Saturday, August 2 from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for the daytime walk and 8-10 p.m. for the Starry Night Garden Tour