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Chelsea and Buffalo’s Front Yard Garden Competition

Last year, when we were locked in a room concepting what a National Garden Festival could entail in Buffalo, Garden-meister Mike Shadrack suggested we do a front yard garden competition between area landscapers just like they do at Chelsea. At Chelsea, front yards (really doorways) are mocked up by a few different designers. Below are a few that we saw at Chelsea.


But did we ask landscapers to mock up doorways? Did we envision an HGTV-style weekend makeover of a single garden? Did we pretty up the front of a single house? No, we asked landscapers to completely transform an entire street in just a few days. We don’t think small.

Last year’s competition saw about a dozen landscapers take on 19 homes along North Parade, a street of beautiful homes, that had seen better days, across from the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. With the generosity and talent of the landscape pros, combined the willingness of the homeowners to make a dramatic and significant change to the neighborhood, the Front Yard Garden Contest was unlike any garden competition we know of in the U.S.

And we’re dong it again. 

This summer, the week of July 11, area landscapers will take on 15 homes along Newman Place in South Buffalo, alongside Cazenovia Park, another Olmsted-designed park. Tree trimmers have already bee through to do some much needed spring trimming. Community meetings have taken place. Landscapers will be matched with home owners. The “Before” pictures have been taken. Design and planning starts soon.

Last year’s landscapers are listed below. This year’s line-up will have many of the same, but the list is still being finalized and some new landscapers are expected to sign on. They’re all members of the Western New York Nursery & Landscape Association.
Beaver Landscaping, Inc. (759-7044)
Beyond the Basics Property Services, Inc.
Birch Grove Landscaping & Nursery, Inc.
Dore Landscape Associates
Elbers Landscape Service, Inc.
The English Gardener, Ltd
Johnson’s Nursery
Menne Nursery Corp.
Murray Brothers Nurseries, Inc.
T. O’Donnell Landscaping
Pace Landscaping
S & R Greenleaf Landscaping

I’ll be sure to post about the National Garden Festival Front Yard Garden Contest as time gets closer!

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 “Chelsea and Buffalo’s Front Yard Garden Competition

  1. I have to tell you- I love your blog- I have always wanted to go to Chelsea and now I can- vicariously through your blog!. Great photos on all your blog entries.Kathy

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  2. Kathy C.,Thank you very much! Chelsea was a long-time “bucket list” goal of mine. Put it on your lit too!

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  3. Thanks for all these Chelsea posts. Usually we just get to see the same couple of gardens in all the mags. This was great. And I love that yellow door in the Buffalo image. Our house is that dark greenish brown and I was leaning toward doing a red door based on a post of yours from last summer. But this bright yellow one is great. So energizing.

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