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Here’s an update on an interesting front garden concept I introduced last year.  (I promised to follow up!) This project by a local curator, artist, and designer is called Territory of Collaboration. Organic shapes and plants suggested by the artist were combined with the ideas of the designer; another overriding intent was to echo in some ways the circular turret and painted arch found on the Victorian structure.



Curator Claire Schneider is a friend of mine who’s mainly interested in food gardening at her own house. But for this property, which she also owns, she wanted to do something different for passers-by to enjoy. It is in a pretty part of Buffalo, along Bidwell parkway, one of several thoroughfares designed by Frederick law Olmsted for Buffalo’s park/parkway system. Schneider worked with artist Al Volo and designer Matt Dore.


After over a year, the perennials (mainly grasses) and small shrubs have filled in a bit. There is a succulent mound that’s coming in well, and the corresponding depression behind it is surrounded by spiky forms that contrast well with all the rotundity.  I also like the cultivar repetition between the spaces on ether side of the sidewalk. This works particularly well with the fountain grass.


On the other hand, it’s probably more formal than I would ever go for, but, then, everything is. (If it were me, I’d likely have the big tangle of tall cosmos I saw down the street—that is, if I didn’t have my maple plantation.)


Overall, I say well done, and look forward to seeing it next year.

Posted by

Elizabeth Licata
on September 1, 2015 at 8:07 am, in the category Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens.


  1. I like the echoes of the architecture in the bed shapes. I’m curious, how will that succulent mound fare over the winter? Will it have to be replanted in spring? I wouldn’t expect them to be able to take your winter temperatures.

  2. From my view of the succulent garden, they all appear to be hardy and likely to come back in spring. You could also try “hens & chicks” (sempervivum) which come in many colors and styles!

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