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This year’s Garden Walk Project

A toast to the wisteria.

Knowing that the five weeks leading up to Garden Walk Buffalo were going to be filled almost every day with some sort of gardening event by the National Buffalo Garden Festival, I kept this year’s project simple — no multiple-weekend-long-complicated structures, no new perennial beds, no ladders, paint, digging, masonry, nails or hard labor — just some plumbing supplies and a coupla’ bottles of wine.

Torching the clematis.

I made these torches to hang from the uprights on my deck. Not everyone noticed them, unlit, they are subtle, especially green bottles against greenery. I got the idea here, which includes a nice shopping list of the plumbing parts needed. I purchased enough hardware to make eight of these and it came to around $40, minus the wine bottles (that cost depends on your wine budget). I like the blue bottles used in the photos at the link, but not sure I’d like wine that comes in blue bottles. Though I’ll now keep my eyes open for them. Or make a trip to Pier One (they still exist, right?) to see if they have blue bottles that’ll work.

Vino for the porcelain vine. I may never light this one. Or may have to cut back the porcelain vine.

Though in actuality, considering I made them, they’re more like Molotov cocktails strapped to the deck. True to form, I completed them about 9:30 a.m. Garden Walk visitors started arriving as I finished them.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

0 comments on “This year’s Garden Walk Project

  1. Anonymous

    this looks amazine…I especially love how you have added features for the climbing wall and ice bucket!!! totally ingeious…makes me wonder what I could do in my little garden!!

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  2. This does look really good. It looks like you have curtians around your door. What type of fabric did you use and are they holding up well?

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  3. You are so clever! I just love it. Green with envy over here. 🙂

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  4. allotments4you,Totally ingenious!? I may have to print this out, have it notarized and hand it to my wife. She's just glad I'm keeping busy.Catherine,Thank you.Foy and Jeff,They are holding up well. They've been outside for three years, inside during winter (though they spent this past winter outside). The color stays fast & bright & not sun-worn. The only place where they look only slightly worn is where they drag on the ground. We won't leave them out for another winter again. We started looking at Sunbrella Fabrics. Criminy they were expensive! We settled on this non-name-brand outdoor fabric from a fabric store. Even went out and bought more of the same fabric for a tablecloth (THAT is looking used) and roof-top covers for our daughter's jungle gym. It's important to coordinate things, you know.Amy,Well it's raining today, so no grouting will get done. If you stop by during garden walk, don't touch the grout, it could be just added that morning. And aren't you Greenan with envy?

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  5. I LUV it !Practical, economic, stylish and with great panache. Bravo !

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  6. DeviantDesigner,High praise coming from such a great garden designer. And yes, it was economical. It was done for just a few dollars over $200.

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  7. I can't wait to drink something from out of your bucket…

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  8. Teddy's Mom,You're on my bucket list.

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  9. It looks wonderful and I'm glad you shared it here. I'm quite sad that I'll miss GW this year. I hope you have great weather!

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  10. wow … these are phenomenal! I may just copy the idea and tell my wife I came up with it.

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  11. I like this idea too. My problem is, I am going to have to be a trash picker, but at least I know the wino's in the neighborhood. My husband is a plumber, so mine could almost be free. You post was funny, I enjoyed your finishing them as the crowds rolled in. You are right about people, I was a visitor on Sunday, and did not notice them. I am sorry about that since it probably took some time and a little drinking to get them done.Donna

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  12. Very nice! Although I have to admit the comparison to a Molotov cocktail is true, and a little disconcerting.

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  13. I like them a lot Jim~very clever and they look terrific. gail

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  14. Dirt Digger,Steal away! I won't tell your wife.Donna,I didn't see you over the weekend. This was the first time I wished I'd married a plumber myself, but really the benefits are better marrying a flight attendant! And in creating them, the drink was the easy part.Danger Garden,It'll take some time before I'm complete;y comfortable wtih them lit for long periods of time. First time I had the fire extinguisher with me, that's how much I trust myself.Gail, I had originally planned to have them up when the bloggers were all here, but ran out of time. Another thing you missed…

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  15. A great idea! I'm sure they are lovely in the evenings.

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  16. Another great lighting idea from The Art of Gardening. No wonder I kept calling you Art. I'll try not to show this to my husband till he completes a few (thousand) other projects he has going.

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  17. Helen,Art was my granddad, the only other person in my family to garden extensively, he was my Art of Gardening. There are almost as many Arts in my family as there are Jims (they weren't too original with names). Best luck to your husband on his thousands of projects, but really, couldn't you have him move this one up higher on the list?

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  18. Those look very nice! I also like the lovely purple plant tags you have. Where did you get those?

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  19. Jean,The plant tags are printed on coroplast (same stuff realtor's signs are printed on — that corrugated plastic stuff). They are printed with the same inks & process as billboards. It is an expensive process for small signs like these. But I ganged up about a dozen small signs, and all my Harry Potter Garden signs, and they've been outdoors pretty much for two years with no visible degradation. I'm “in the business” and received a discount, which made them affordable. Any printer that can print on hard, thick surfaces can generally handle something like this, but it does require specialized equipment.

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  20. Great idea; I laughed at the molotov cocktail comparison!

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  21. OK, those are just the coolest lighting ever and I want some! Heaven knows I have plenty of wine bottles to choose from. When friends discovered Sun Garden Riesling, and I saw the gorgeous turquoise bottles, I bought enough bottles of wine for my bottle tree, then sold it at a discount to my Riesling drinking pals on the condition they return the bottles to me. I'm bummed that the bottles turned out to be painted: they've faded so much I have to replace them. Guess it's time to bribe my pals again!

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  22. Cindy,Sounds like a party. Don't mix alcohol and torch fluid though!

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  23. Anonymous

    🙂 Very cool but the bottom photo looks like a high fluent cross burning.

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  24. Wow, hello weekend project for my husband. I love these!

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