When it comes to gardens, there are no political boundaries.
"You want regionalization in Erie County," said Marvin Lunenfeld, "turn it over to the gardeners."
"A petunia grows the same way in the suburbs as it does in the city," Lunenfeld noted, "and gardeners, wherever they are from, speak the same language."
Lunenfeld will demonstrate his point Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when city and suburban dwellers mingle during the third annual "Garden Walk" through Buffalo's West Side.
There will be 60 private gardens to admire, 20 more than there were last year.
"About 8,000 walkers are expected," Lunenfeld said, "as compared to the more than 6,000 we had last year. And I must tell you, most of them were from the suburbs.
"They saw a whole other side to living in the city, as compared to what they see on TV."
The porch of Lunenfeld's Victorian home, at 231 Norwood, will be the stage for some of the several musicians who will perform at various sites on Lexington and Elmwood avenues.
Last year, Don Schreiner watched the parade of people from his enclosed gardens.
This year, Schreiner will have his garden gate open for visitors.
"Last year, some of the people came to the gate and asked about my garden," Schreiner recalled, "and I told them I wasn't part of the walk. But everyone seemed so nice and everyone seemed to have such a good time, I decided this year I want to be part of the walk."
Over on Norwood Avenue, Arlan Peters and Dom DeFillipo are looking forward to making more new friends from the suburbs. Peters showed off a giant milk thistle grown from seed that Matthew Cryan gave to him.
"Mr. Cryan was from North Tonawanda," Peters said, "and came into the city for the walk. He liked our gardens and invited us to North Tonawanda to see his, and when we left, he gave me the seeds."
"See what I mean about gardeners' talking the same language no matter where they live?" said Lunenfeld, who, with his wife, Gail McCarthy, originated the Garden Walk.
It will be a busy weekend on the West Side.
Half-hour tours of the magnificent English LucasVarity Gardens on North Street will be held from 1 to 2 p.m.
In addition to the Garden Walk, there is the Lexington Street Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
The walk extends from North Street to Cleveland Avenue and from Richmond to Linwood avenues with an extension down to Rabin Terrace behind City Hall. Free parking is available at several nearby lots, and maps of the tour may be obtained on the Lunenfeld porch.