Why hide your gardens? Amherst gardener has seven in front yard

seven gardens in front yard in Amherst NY
Four of the seven gardens in Jim Bardot’s front yard are, clockwise from bottom left , the Remembrance Garden, an Asian garden, the first garden that replaced a stand of pines, and the Entrance Garden. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
replica of Winged Victory statue in Amherst garden
A replica of Nike of Samothrace, also called Winged Victory of Samothrace, is the focal point in one of seven gardens in the front yard of Jim Bardot. The original ancient Greek masterpiece is housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Frank Lloyd Wright admired the sculpture and installed a large replica in the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Jim Bardot used to relegate gardening to his backyard until he realized: “I’m the only one who sees it. What’s the fun of that?”

Now his gardens—seven of them—are displayed in his large front yard for the world to enjoy.

“Why hide it?” said Bardot, who lives on busy French Road in Amherst. “It’s a thrill when somebody stops because they see me out there. One person said, ‘Thank you. For years I’ve been watching it grow and grow. I always slow down to look at your gardens.'”

There is a lot to see, and visitors got a closer look at Bardot’s gardens during the Amherst Garden Walk in 2021. I will show you more of Bardot’s gardens in future articles.

Bardot built the gardens over 16 years. When he moved into the home, all that was in the front yard was a group of 20-foot tall pine trees. The trees blocked the sun and the entire area underneath the trees was bare. He removed the trees and started his first garden in that spot.

You might think Bardot came to gardening early because his father had a commercial greenhouse. While Bardot did help out with with the family business, he recalled that it wasn’t fun doing chores such as transplanting flats of teeny weeny marigolds.

“I hated it,” he said. “I hated every plant.”

And now he loves gardening.

“I guess we just kind of evolve,” Bardot said.

first garden in Jim Bardot's front yard in Amherst NY
The first garden created by Jim Bardot is influenced by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who was in turn influenced by Asian art. The large statue of the woman toward the left is a reproduction of a sprite statue designed by Wright for the Midway Gardens in Chicago. At right is an Asian-inspired heron. In the center is a stone piece that reflects Wright’s architecture as well as Asian culture. A weeping evergreen also adds to the Asian feel. Notice the low-growing evergreens and mounds of grasses that carpet the garden. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
Frank Lloyd Wright statue in Amherst NY garden
A small replica of a statue by architect Frank Lloyd Wright stands in the first garden created by Jim Bardot. Annuals add a pop of color to the garden. Although they’re expensive, “Annuals serve a purpose and have a place,” Bardot said. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
planters along driveway in Amherst NY
Planters along the driveway reflect the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

16 Comments on “Why hide your gardens? Amherst gardener has seven in front yard

  1. As I drive past I appreciate it even more after having a personal tour with our garden club. Thanks again Jim

  2. Can’t wait for spring to see what will be new. Love the Frank Lloyd wright influence too !! Beautiful

  3. Eva, you might not be able to replicate someone else’s entire garden, but you might get one idea from that garden that you can use in your yard. And of course, just looking at these horticultural masterpieces is fun!

  4. The gardens are beautiful and well planned. Loved looking at the pics but could not say “I can do that”. Don’t have the skills required.

  5. Thank You for your hard work and planning of these gardens! They bring enjoyment and beauty to so many!

  6. I love his red Mandevilla plants wrapped around tall spikes instead of climbing a trellis. Clever and showy.
    Everything is amazing and gorgeous. I think some of Jim’s nursery upbringing has come to the surface.

  7. Whenever I drive by I slow down to enjoy Jim’s gardens. Thank you, Jim Bardot! They are just beautiful! Hope I see you out there sometime soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *