Tonawanda News

Features

June 9, 2013

Beautiful gardens don't just grow on their own

Tonawanda News — Summer is almost here, and all kinds of wonderful things are popping out of the ground.

That has a lot of folks looking forward to the annual garden walks that have become so popular in the area. But as visitors stroll through the picture-perfect gardens, they might not realize all the hard work that goes into them.

In Lockport, Marti Schrichte has entered her 8 Wilson Parkway home in Lockport in Bloom for all but two of the last eight years.

But the walk isn’t why she gardens — not even close.

“I’ve always been a gardener. When I’m planting, I’m not even really thinking about the garden walk. That’s not the point,” Schrichte said.

Like most home gardeners, Schrichte tries to have something in bloom throughout the season, but she admits it doesn’t always work out that way.

In early spring, her double lot on the quiet city street was abloom with more than 15 varieties of daffodils and dozens of tulips. An apricot tree was starting to bloom, and some hostas were beginning to point out of the ground. Schrichte also has a bed for vegetables, and plants a few annuals here and there for color.

The plant she gets asked about the most is a crocosmia — a somewhat uncommon plant that grows about four-feet tall and has sprays of red flowers that attract hummingbirds.

“I first saw it in Scotland, and it’s just beautiful when it’s in bloom,” Schrichte said.

Her favorite plant? “The one that’s in front of me.” Her least favorite? Petunias. “They’re sticky and messy.”

Schrichte begins looking over seed catalogs in December, looking for ideas and new kinds of plants to add to her landscape.

She admits that her gardens are “a work in progress” and she never stops adding to them and changing their composition.

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