by Connie Oswald Stofko
While only residents of the Village of Williamsville can share their gardens during the Williamsville Garden Walk, anyone can enter the container garden contest that is part of the event on Saturday, July 16. See details below.
If you do live in the village, there is still time to sign up to share your garden. Please complete the form here and return it to the Village Hall by July 1.
Some people think they live in the Village of Williamsville because they have a ZIP Code of 14221, but many people with Williamsville addresses don’t actually live in the village, noted Deb Habes, chair of the Williamsville Garden Walk committee. Here’s a quick way to figure it out: If you have a green garbage tote, you live in the village. If you have a blue garbage tote, you live in the Town of Amherst.
But don’t worry. If you live in Amherst, there are other garden walks on which you can share your garden: the Amherst Garden Walk, Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk or Snyder-CleveHill Garden View. Get more details on those walks here.
Container garden contest
It is free to enter the container garden contest and anyone, not just Williamsville residents, may enter.
Your creation must be small enough for you to carry to the welcome tent near Williamsville Village Hall, 5565 Main St., Williamsville. Entries will be displayed along the sidewalk on “fairy lane” between the village hall and the Williamsville Library, 5571 Main St.
There are two divisions: one for people ages 13 and under and another for those over 13.
Judging will be done by the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the Williamsville Garden Walk. A spray-painted golden gnome (fitting in with the fairy and gnome theme) will be awarded to winners.
However, your entry doesn’t have to be a fairy garden; it might have a beach theme or dinosaur theme or any theme you choose, Habes said. You can get creative with the container and use items such as tea cups, buckets, old dish pans, sand pails and vintage suitcases.
The organizers would like folks to preregister so they can know how many entries to expect. Get an entry form and rules here.
Last year there were 37 containers in the contest.
“A lot of kids and families enter,” Habes said.
If you’re not sure how to construct a container garden, you can learn the basics in a fairy garden workshop at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Mischler’s is sponsoring the contest.
You can choose from morning and afternoon sessions. Morning workshops begin at 10 a.m. and afternoon workshops begin at 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25 at Mischler’s. Each workshop will last about two hours.
The cost is $30 per person per class. The price includes a 12-inch bowl, potting mix, plants, a figurine and bits of nature. When you take the class, you get a 10 percent discount on all items in the fairy nook during the workshop.
Space is limited to 15 participants per workshop. For more information or to register, call (716) 632-1290.
Mischler’s also sells the plants that are proportional for any miniature garden.
Parade of fairies, gnomes and superheroes
The day of the Willliamsville Garden Walk will be kicked off by a fairy parade at 10 a.m. in the pocket park between the village hall and library. Adults as well as children can dress up as fairies, princesses, gnomes or superheroes. You can decorate your wagon or stroller. Don’t forget to take fairy wands as well as horns, cymbals and other noisemakers.
You can also get face painting done with a professional for a fee.
Attending the walk
Maps for the event can be picked up the day of the walk at the Williamsville Village Hall, 5565 Main St., Williamsville.
The tour is free and self-guided.
The walk will feature a mix of 25 to 30 formal English, cottage, urban, organic fruit and vegetable gardens filled with water features and garden art.
The walk will also feature a giant basket raffle that includes a $200 shopping spree.
Raffle tickets will be available for purchase at the welcome tent. Proceeds go to improvements in the pocket park between the village hall and library.
Farmers market and bloomed businesses
While you’re in the area, walk to nearby Island Park, 5577 Main St., Williamsville, to check out the weekly farmers market. It takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
Take a stroll down Main Street and see which business have been “bloomed.” Businesses that have beautified their premises by pulling weeds or installing pots, planters and window boxes get rewarded by a “bloomed” sign stuck in their plantings. It’s a way to reward businesses for making Williamsville more beautiful, said Habes, who is also a member of the Williamsville Business Association.
Also check out the Williamsville Garden Walk’s Facebook page. Those golden gnomes that will be awarded as prizes are kept busy in the weeks preceding the walk. They visit one of the village’s municipal gardens and a photo of the gnome is posted on Facebook. You can guess which garden the gnome is in.
Coming up this weekend
The garden walk season kicks off this weekend with the Lewiston GardenFest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19 along Center Street in Lewiston. It is presented by the Lewiston Garden Club.
A release of butterflies will officially open the Lewiston GardenFest at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18 in Hennepin Park, corner of Fourth and Center Streets, Lewiston. In the event of rain, the release will occur on Sunday, June 19.
The GardenFest is free to attend. See more details here.