The front of Ron and Marcia Panzarella's home on Camden Avenue in North Buffalo is the first sign that garden-lovers live here. A visit to the backyard confirms it.
A bistro table for two is placed close to the pond installed in 2009 by their son and son-in-law. Lily pads provide cover to the dozen fish, and nearby plants include irises, potted canna, zebra grass, ground cover and more. The 5-foot-deep pond is winterized annually so the fish can live there all year.
It's where the Panzarellas head for their morning coffee or anytime they want to relax to the sounds of the pond's gurgling water - which Ron Panzarella described as "white noise."
"In the middle of the city, it's nice to have a little bit of quiet," Marcia Panzarella added.
The Panzarellas are both retired Buffalo teachers - she taught music, he taught math - and they raised two children in this house.
Their front, back and side gardens are on the 15th annual Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens which kicks off Aug. 2 with a Starry Night tour of gardens from 8 to 10 p.m. followed by a daytime tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 3 and another Starry Night tour that evening from 8 to 10 p.m. These are free and self-guided.
The Panzarellas' garden is on the Aug. 2 Starry Night tour and the Aug. 3 daytime tour. Tour headquarters will be set up at St. Mark’s & All Saints Church, 311 Ontario St., along with a garden market on Aug. 3 featuring items from local crafters and artisans.
Visit the website for information on the weekend's events, including guided bus tours and information on spaces that are a certified National Wildlife Foundation Habitat.
The pond area is only part of the Panzarellas' outdoor space.
The property is about a quarter of an acre and includes a patio with dining table set and umbrella (hardy kiwi and grape vines grow nearby); a back fenced section now enjoyed by their two dogs but where a swimming pool and volleyball court were once found; a garden for growing raspberries and tomatoes; a collection of carnivorous plants, and more.
Garden art provides whimsical touches throughout, including stained glass pieces designed by Marcia. "I take stained glass classes at Gleam & Glimmer (Stained Glass Studio) in North Tonawanda," she said.
Another gathering space is the carport, which they renovated.
The brick structure is great for entertaining. "We can fit 15 or 20 people without a problem," Ron said.
Last July they hosted 40 guests at their daughter and son-in-law's wedding reception in their gardens - with a big tent on the side, a bounce house in the back ... and, of course, the relaxing pond area.