PHOTOS COURTESY JIM CHARLIER / JCHARLIER . COM
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At least 1,000 labeled hostas are the focus of Mike and Kathy Shadrack ’ s garden . They have published numerous books about hostas with Timber Press , including the Encyclopedia of Hostas ( with Diana Grenfell of London ).
which country would they occupy ? Ultimately a hillside in the woods and a house built over a creek ( sometimes called “ Fallingwater Two ”) won — and we won . Their vision and labor has produced a showplace garden you won ’ t want to miss .
The garden contains more than a thousand hostas in the ground and in pots , including some rare and pricey treasures ( one cultivar is registered as ‘ Mike Shadrack ’). All are labeled , as are the 300- some daylily cultivars . Kathy has planted more than 100 Lilium cultivars as well , mostly in pots that she moves in and out of the garden as they bloom since animal pressure is severe in those woods .
Much of the garden spans a hillside terraced with stacked-rock beds that Mike built , but these two admitted plantaholics didn ’ t stop there . Mike ’ s created a miniature hosta garden , which you ’ ll find along a path in the woods . Behind the house are extensive beds filled with many perennials , specimen trees and shrubs .
While hostas and daylilies were the impetus for this garden showcase , Kathy noticed a gap when tours started to be scheduled through August . “ We needed to focus on what blooms later . Phlox paniculata seemed to be stars . Now I have quite a scattering throughout the terraces , mostly in lavender , white and pinks . They ’ ve self-seeded here and there over the years . Recently I ’ ve added newer cultivars to bring in dark purple , magenta and coral shades . The phlox colors paint the late summer garden with a lovely watercolor effect ,” she said .
SOLOMON ’ S SEAL COLLECTION
The newest garden feature is Kathy ’ s Polygonatum ( Solomon ’ s seal ) collection , including many natives and newer hybrids mostly from Japan (‘ Tiger Stripes ’, ‘ Kon Chiri Shima ’, ‘ Goldilocks ’ and ‘ Fireworks ’). There are talls , giants , dwarfs and minis for garden writers to discover .
Although some collectors ’ gardens are mostly about the collections , with labeled plants all in a row , this garden is not that . The Shadracks ’ designer brains took an overgrown woodland hillside and carved out an unforgettable garden . They have added art as well : Don ’ t miss the 5-foot dinosaur or the bronze mouse sitting among the ‘ Mouse ’ hostas . Some art is whimsical , some elegant and some daring . You may have to search to find some of the statuary and carvings , as they ’ re often hidden around a turn in the path . The art is just another reason to visit this special garden .
Stay tuned for more about the Buffalo area ’ s other gardens and attractions . Mark your calendars : August 4 through 7 or 8 , 2017 .
Sally Cunningham is the GWA Local Arrangements Chair for Buffalo 2017 . She says this is written with deep appreciation for organizers , helpers and for you — who won ’ t want to miss this one !
March 11 , Making Brooklyn Bloom :
Connecting the Drops , at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden . BBG ’ s newly opened Shelby White and Leon Levy Water Garden inspired this year ’ s conference theme . With a day of workshops , panel discussions , films and more , “ Connecting the Drops ” will give special attention to water wisdom , interconnectedness and citizen action .
March 22- 26 , The Boston Flower & Garden Show
offers everything from garden displays created by renowned landscape professionals and some of the top local nurseries , to lectures and demonstrations by well-known garden writers and industry experts as well as a market offering thousands of plants along with the latest in gardening products .
REGION III Plan to visit flower and garden shows this winter . Complimentary press passes are available at many shows if you register in advance . See show websites for details .
• March 2-5 , West Michigan Garden Show , DeVos Place , Grand Rapids , Michigan .
in Wilmette , Illinois , holds garden seminars at 11 a . m . Fridays and Saturdays . Upcoming topics include “ Couples Terrarium Workshop ,” February 17 and 18 ; “ Winter Tree & Shrub Trimming ,” March 10 and 11 ; and “ Spring Garden Care ,” March 17 and 18 .
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