Phlox and oriental lilies add fragrance, color, height & drama to garden

garden on Amherst Garden Walk
Phlox and oriental lilies are not only fragrant and colorful, but they height and drama to the garden. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
Ed Dinki pergola in Amherst NY
This was the first pergola Ed Dinki built in his backyard. He likes separating garden beds with wide swaths of grass. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

“My favorite flowers are phlox and oriental lilies because they’re fragrant,” said Ed Dinki, “and I love the color. Asiatic lilies are nice, but they’re not too fragrant.”

You can get tips like that and see some amazing gardens when you dare to stray from the clusters of gardens at the center of a garden walk map and take a few minutes to visit some of the outliers. The Amherst Garden Walk, which took place July 9, listed the property of Ed and Diana Dinki on McKinley Ave. as a must-see garden, and they were right.

When they moved in eight years ago, Ed said, the only thing in the backyard was the deck. He built the outdoor bar and pergolas. He had put in a pond, but last year had it redone professionally.

He created the many garden beds, doing a bit at a time. He simply shoveled garden mix (soil) on top of the grass. He hasn’t had any problem with grasses popping through because he added so much soil. The beds are 12 to 18 inches higher than the surrounding lawn.

Ed also mulches around the perennials to keep weeds down.

Garden walks coming up this weekend are:

outside bar in Amherst NY
The bar was one of several structures built by Ed Dinki. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
  • The City of Tonawanda Garden Walk  will hold a Friday Night Lights from 8:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. Friday, July 15 and a daytime walk from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16. The tour is free and self-guided. Maps will be available in the mayor’s office, 200 Niagara St.; the Recreation Department, 291 Kohler St.; the senior center, 35 Main St., and the public library, 333 Main St., City of Tonawanda.
  • The Lancaster Garden Walk will be hold a nighttime viewing from 8:45 p.m. – 10:45 p.m. Friday, July 15 and the daytime tour from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17. The tour is free and self-guided. Maps for the event can be picked up at Two Chicks and a Rooster, 732 Aurora St.; Petals to Please, 5870 Broadway, and Simply Italiano, 85 Central Ave., Lancaster. On Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, some gardens will host local artists displaying and selling art as well as working on new pieces.
  • The Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk will take place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16. The walk will feature a night tour called Capen by Night from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday as well. Maps can be picked up at the UB Anderson Gallery, 1 Martha Jackson Pl., Buffalo during the day. After 6 p.m. you can pick them up at St. Andrew’s UHAA Sculpture Garden, 3107 Main St., Buffalo. The tour is free and self-guided.
  • The Village of Williamsville Garden Walk will be held from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16. The tour is free and self-guided. Maps for the event can be picked up the day of the walk at the Williamsville Village Hall, 5565 Main St., Williamsville. The garden walk’s Second Annual Mini Fairy Garden Contest will be open to the public. The walk will also feature a basket raffle and tickets will be available for purchase at the welcome tent.
  • The South Buffalo Alive garden walk will be held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday, July 17. Maps for the tour can be picked up at the Tim Russert’s Children’s Garden, 2002 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The tour is self-guided. Organizers request a $2 donation. There will also be a farmers market at Cazenovia Park in front of the casino from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • The Orleans County Master Gardeners will hold their Garden Path Tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 16. It will feature six private gardens in the Medina and Albion area. Tickets are $10. To get tickets, call (585) 798-4265, email, stop into the Extension office at 12690 State Route 31, Albion, or buy them from a Master Gardener. After you make your payment, you will be given the ticket package, which includes the ticket; a booklet with a few coupons, advertisements and details about the gardens, and a map to the gardens. Proceeds go back to the Master Gardener program, which funds educational workshops, trainings and other various programs.

    waterfall in Amherst NY
    The waterfall was built by professionals, but Ed Dinki did the landscaping around it. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko






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