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Garden Tour a blooming success

KENMORE - Last weekend, residents welcomed hundreds of visitors to their yards for the 11th annual Ken-Ton Garden Tour. On July 20 and 21, 54 gardens bloomed during the morning and afternoon, while 22 were open at night for the “Saturday Night Lights” tour. According to participants, both events were successes.

For all of the gardeners who showcased their work, the weekend was a chance to add their own unique flair and characteristics to their gardens, as well as a way to showcase their skill at their craft. The homeowners also weighed in on the turnout, which was high in spite of nearby construction on Delaware Road.

Vicki Miller, a resident of Nassau Avenue, in Kenmore, said this was her second Garden Tour. While admiring her garden, a visitor commented on the live music accompanying the flowers. Miller’s son played in the yard with his quartet from UB Summer Strings, called the Open Air String Quartet.

While she said “last year was much more busy,” Miller stated the feedback from this year’s event was “very positive.”

For Denis Uminski of Columbia Boulevard the Garden Tour was a chance to not only show off his garden in his first Garden Tour, but also to show visitors something many had never seen. His showcase was a roof garden, courtesy of Menne Nursery and Garden Artistry in Amherst.

When asked about the turnout, Uminski said he had gotten “at least 100 people, probably 150.” He added that a tour bus with 40 passengers stopped on Saturday night “specifically because they wanted to see the roof.”

According to Uminski’s neighbor, Lynn O’Connor, the turnout was not overly affected by the construction and she had a nice, steady stream of people.

“I did hear that someone who lived on Delaware Road decided not to do it because they were afraid of the construction. I think that didn’t help, but we’ve had a huge turnout this year…it doesn’t seem to stop people,” said O’Connor, adding that her family had “literally hundreds of people in our yard.”

Shelly Martin, also of Columbia Boulevard, said she did not feel the construction affected the turnout, and cited only a few weather problems.

“Other than that, everything has been excellent. The organizers did a great job, and we’ve really had a good turnout,” she said.

In O’Connor’s opinion, the large turnout for the Garden Tour is likely due to Buffalo’s relatively short season for warm weather, and people “need the color and need to be outside.”

She noted the simple pleasure of nature, as well.

“Every year it’s building, and I think that people see gardens…people come back here and say ‘it’s so relaxing, it’s so serene,’” she said. “We all work during the day, and how wonderful is it to come home and sit down in a garden, with the birds and the squirrels and the bunnies?”


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