High tea and Hosta happiness…

What a delight.

After a busy morning of garden oggling and riding to and fro on the bus while at Buffa10 in July, we got a wonderful break.

We were treated to high tea in bone china cups, home made scones with clotted cream and jam, and a delightful visit with gardener and author Mike Shadrack and Kathy Guest Shadrack at their home in the woods outside Buffalo.

Mike is co-author of The New Encyclopedia of Hostas, and several other books about hostas. He signed books for those of us who bought them and entertained us with some tales about his life and garden.

This garden was an oasis. Though it was a hot day, the setting there was serene and cool as we were surrounded by tall trees, green ferns and hostas. A sparkling creek trickled below the wooden deck and even flowed under the Frank Lloyd Wright-style house.

Like ladies of leisure (and gents), we sat in the dappled shade and enjoyed our tea and scones, feeling pampered and special on this lovely afternoon. Pam of Digging, Melissa of Houston Garden Girl and I had a great time chatting over tea.

The deck overlooking the creek far below was the perfect spot for relaxing and comparing notes from the gardens of the day.

One of Mike’s specialties is miniature hostas — they look so cool and inviting — I can’t help but wonder if I might not be able to grown them in Texas and just bring them inside in the heat of summer!
The views from all around the property were spectacular.
And more miniature hostas scattered all about. What a fun collection this is.
And the Alliums were staring at me everywhere I turned. You may remember I was smitten with them at last year’s Spring Fling in Chicago. After we returned, I tried for the second time to grow them in my garden, but they fried when the sun really came out. Even these spent blooms were calling me in the garden.
It was hard to know where to look – the beautiful tall canopy of lush trees or the little magical secret gardens that adorned the bases.
I posted many blooms from this garden, particularly day lilies, in my previous post about the flowers that struck me most in our adventures.
And yet more little vignettes of hostas to delight the eyes.
No stone left unturned in this garden – there were little green surprises everywhere.

I jokingly suggested to Jim, one of our Buffalo hosts, that we could spend the rest of the day and the evening under those glorious trees in the shade, and just order in pizza! He laughed, but I could see that he, too, liked the idea of spending more time in this glorious garden.

Favorite Flowers From Buffalo

Buffalo was an explosion of garden goodness – beautiful gardens just bursting with wall-to-wall flowers.

I was so in awe of the waves and waves of plants that each gardener turned into a collage of color.
But in many of the gardens, I was struck by one particular plant – one bloom, one leaf, one, singular item whose beauty, form or color just blew me away.
I’m really not going to try to name these, my favorites. But I do remember that this one above is a twist-leaf Dahlia — yes, a Dahlia. I was shocked, and spent some time with the gardener in Mary’s Garden, marvelling at this plant.
The dark and mysterious lilies drew me in the Shadrock garden.
And I couldn’t forget the amazing Hydrangeas we saw all over — made even more interesting to me because they are too elusive for us in Austin, Texas.

I’m all about the exotic forms, too, especially this pretty little thing at Lockwood’s Greenhouses Garden Center.
And this spicy number really caught my eye at the Erie Basin Marina University Test Gardens.
Loving Tropicals like I do, I was smitten with this orchid at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.
Many of the gardens were dotted with colorful Crocosmia, another of my all-time favorites.
Love the purple foliage on this little orange piece of sunshine at the Urban Roots nursery.
And you’ve seen these before in a previous Buffa10 post, but they are so darn perky I had to give them a second time down the runway!

Zen and the art of umbrella handling

We enjoyed a few dry moments at Buffalo’s Delaware Park Japanese Gardens before the sky opened up again.

But I was intrigued by the rain’s mirror effect on the lake as we took in the beautiful sights.
Many of the private gardens we toured in Buffalo had an Asian theme, perhaps influenced by the lovely structures in this public garden.
There were many different vignettes throughout the garden, offering structure and contrast to the viewer.
And all the structures in the park were designed to flow seamlessly from nature, appearing to have been there for years.
Not to be outdone by the floral explosions in the home gardens of the city, the Japanese garden also had its share of beautiful blooms to complement the lush foliage and trees.
Garden bloggers strolled and took in all the sights – enjoying the serenity of the setting.

Then we all enjoyed a delicious lunch at the French Bistro Rue Franklin, including Marmee of Things I Love, Gail of Clay and Limestone and Frances of Fairegarden .

Such a fun-filled day, it will require two posts to get it all in…stay tuned for more!