Have you ever visited a garden taken from the pages of a book? I recently had the rather unusual experience of reliving one of my favorite book series while walking through a truly unique garden.

Over the past couple of posts, I’ve been sharing the adventures of my latest garden travels which took me to Buffalo, New York. During the week that I spent in this lovely city, I had the wonderful opportunity to tour many gardens, and a few stood out, but none as much as this one.

I was in Buffalo for the GWA (Garden Communicators) annual conference and part of our time was spent touring a variety of fabulous gardens.

Our bus pulled up in front of a beautiful Dutch colonial home, whose owner is Jim Charlier, noted area gardener as well as graphic designer. 

While the beauty of the front landscape encouraged further discovery, I was not prepared for what awaited us as we passed through the back garden gate.

A picturesque garden shed stood sentinel in the side yard painted with purple and orange accents, however, it was what surrounded this small structure that was attracting the most attention.

A storybook garden invited visitors to explore the plants from the pages of Harry Potter.

Using his imagination, Charlier, used his artistic skill and gardening knowledge to select plants to represent the magical plants from the books.

The ‘Mirror of Erised’ from Book 1.

A ‘Portkey’ from book 4.

Neville’s pet toad ‘Trevor.’

Window boxes contained lovely plantings, including English ivy that trailed over the edges.

If you think that this garden would attract kids, you’d be right. Charlier’s inspiration for this storybook garden was to get his daughter interested in gardening. 

Although this Harry Potter garden may have been initially intended for his daughter, it was fun to see how many adults exclaiming over the originality and artistry, including me.

After visiting the garden, I had the strong urge to begin reading through the Harry Potter series again.

Have you ever seen a storybook themed garden?


Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."