While in Buffalo, NY for Buffa10, I posted a little piece on water features and received an email from one of many of Buffalo’s excellent gardeners, inviting me to see his garden and water feature, which was located across the street from our hotel.
Christopher Voltz wrote,
“I have a garden “Hope Blooms” at The Victorian which has been on Garden Walk Buffalo for six or seven years and featured in A&U (Arts & Understanding) Magazine. It is also one of the featured Open Gardens for the First Annual National Garden Festival.
I built an interesting water feature in this backyard garden – a small pond and waterfall – from old bricks and stone we salvaged during the renovation of this 1854 home. It is humble but, I think at least, fitting for the setting.
The garden is called Hope Blooms as it is a garden by and for those living with HIV/AIDS – as opposed to a memorial garden.
If you are staying at the Embassy Suites in the Avant, the garden is almost right across the street at 200 South Elmwood Avenue behind what we call “The Victorian”. “We” are AIDS Community Services of WNY, and my real job is Director of Marketing and Special Projects for the agency.
“Hope Blooms” is my weekend volunteer project. Our clients inspired me to put in this garden. Every week I am able to bring fresh bouquets in to our client service areas and you would think we were giving out winning lottery tickets. There is something therapeutic about fresh flowers.”
On Sunday morning, I walked over to the garden with Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings and Gail of Clay and Limestone and met Chris, sitting by the entrance to the garden, reading the paper. He warmly welcomed us and gave us a grand tour of the garden and a peek inside The Victorian.
We saw blooms…
And the water feature…
And some garden gloves and string hanging on a window grate.
With some tools on the window ledge below.
Chris laughed when we pointed them out and said that some people told him he should put those away when the garden is on tour.
But I liked them there. Seeing them brought back memories of how my Dad also kept a trowel, his pruners, and maybe some string on the window ledge above the hose spigot, within easy reach anytime he was outside.
Maybe I’ll do the same in my garden – keep a few tools on the window ledge – to remind me of the garden I grew up in, and now Hope Blooms, one of many beautiful gardens in Buffalo, New York.