During the National Buffalo Garden Festival, my friend, and former boss (how many people actually get to say THAT?) Siobhan gave a talk at a symposium held the day before Garden Walk. I showed up at the tail end of her presentation, walking past this plaque on the way in.
Once her slide presentation was over, she had me come up and presented me with this plaque. It was handmade by her and the Garden Fairies of Florida (in and around Tarpon Springs), some of which were visiting for Garden Walk this year. She stated, that since the city of Buffalo hadn’t given me a plaque, they would. She went on to thank me for helping, through Garden Walk Buffalo and the National Garden Festival, to change people’s perceptions of our much-maligned city through its gardeners. Siobhan has lived in Florida for many years, but she was born, bred and buttered here in Buffalo.
I thanked her and the Garden Fairies (and still do) and explained that it’s actually a large committee of 25 or more dedicated people that do all the organizational stuff for Garden Walk, about 80 volunteers the weekend of, and more than 350 generous gardeners. And that for the Garden Festival it’s more than a dozen local garden associations, groups and cultural institutions; and 18 other garden tour leaders & gardeners in the area that make THAT happen.
But I accepted the plaque on their behalf, I mean, we can’t all time share it. And they can all come visit it in my yard two days a year during the Walk. I also mentioned that I think part of Garden Walk’s success is precisely because the city government of Buffalo is NOT involved at all.
Siobhan said she wanted to make sure it was a nice typeface (we’re art directors, after all), and it still needed a coating or two of sealant, which I’ve done. I now have to find a way to mount it, either on the side of my house, or on 4×4 posts, and find just the perfect bell to go with it. Methinks it’s a spring project now, I’ll squirrel this away inside for the winter.
Knowing it’s original art, handmade for me, by bunch of very creative gardeners that appreciate the efforts put into community events (it’s what they do too), it means all the more to me.
More, even, than the generic, laser-printed, Office Depot “Certificates of Appreciation” local politicians mail to all Garden Walk gardeners each year, after having had no involvement, any year, during the sixteen years of the Walk.
Thanks to all the Garden Fairies in Florida and elsewhere!