National Garden Festival Runs June 23 - July 29, 2012

For Immediate Release
Peter Burakowski
Communications Manager
Visit Buffalo Niagara


Buffalo’s 3rd annual festival features 14 garden walks, workshops, open gardens, a Buffalo-Style Garden Art Sale, a Front Yard Contest and more

BUFFALO, N.Y. – June 12, 2012 – The third annual National Garden Festival will take place from June 23 to July 29 in Buffalo, N.Y.

The five-week-long festival offers something for anyone with (or without) a green thumb:
  • 14 garden walks and tours throughout the Buffalo Niagara region, totaling more than 1000 private gardens. The festival culminates in Garden Walk Buffalo – the largest free garden walk in the country – on July 28 and 29. Garden Walk Buffalo has been featured in more than thirty national publications.
  • Open Gardens: on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the festival, 77 private gardens throughout the Buffalo Niagara region will be open to visitors. Locations, dates and times can be found at The festival is also offering an Open Gardens book for a donation.
  • Buffalo-Style Garden Art Sale: Many out-of-town visitors have commented that Buffalo has its own style of gardening, in which gardeners mix brash combinations of flowers with art and funky found objects. For the first time, the National Garden Festival is giving the public the chance to incorporate this style into their own gardens by purchasing unique and whimsical garden items from more than 20 vendors. The event will also include Plant Society Avenue, with members from WNY specialist plant societies, Erie County Master Gardeners and the Botanical Gardens on hand to answer gardening questions. This free event will take place on Sunday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 pm at the Parkside Lodge in Delaware Park (84 Parkside Ave.).
  • A series of luxury motorcoach tours, operated by AAA Western and Central New York’s Horizon Club Tours. Expert gardeners will provide behind-the-scenes tours of some of Buffalo’s finest gardens, from secluded private yards to the Olmsted Parks. The tours each include a sit-down lunch. Dates are as follows:
  • June 23: The Art of Buffalo Gardens
    June 29: Buffalo’s Historic Gardens & Architecture
    July 6: The Outliers: Superior Northtowns Gardens
    July 13: Southtowns Bouquet
    July 20: Great Buffalo Gardens
    July 21: Grassroots: Community Gardens & Urban Agriculture
    July 26: Wine & Flowers: Scenic Southern Tier
    July 27: Plant Lover’s Tour
  • Front Yard Contest: A block of front yards on Crowley Avenue in Buffalo’s Riverside neighborhood, facing the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Riverside Park, will receive makeovers by professional landscapers, who will donate their time and materials and compete for public recognition. Construction of the gardens will take place from July 9 to 13 and the public will be able to vote for their favorite yards from July 14 to 20. This event, which is the first of its kind in the United States, is coordinated by the Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association, the New York State Certified Nursery and Landscape Professionals, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Visit Buffalo Niagara and the National Garden Festival organizing committee.
  • Day-long seminars at local garden centers, including Lockwood's Greenhouses in Hamburg (“Native Plants Day,” July 7) and Menne’s Nursery in Amherst (“Fairy Day,” June 23 and 24, noon to 4 p.m.).

“Buffalo is quickly becoming a gardening mecca,” said National Garden Festival Director Sally Cunningham. “The National Garden Festival is a great green umbrella that brings together five-weeks of walks, tours, speakers, open gardens and special events – like the new Buffalo-Style Garden Art Sale. The festival is bringing thousands of visitors to our region and helping to transform our image.”

Additional information is available at

The National Garden Festival is a collaboration between the garden and landscape organizations of the Buffalo Niagara region. The festival is presented by Visit Buffalo Niagara, District 8 Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Garden Walk Buffalo, the Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association, the New York State Certified Nursery and Landscape Professionals, the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and Forest Lawn Cemetery. Funding is provided by the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, the Western New York Foundation and the Buffalo Green Fund. Additional support has been provided by the Western New York Hosta Society, the Buffalo Area Daylily Society, the Peace Garden Project, Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Buffalo in Bloom, the Iris Society of Western New York and Elizabeth Licata. The Buffalo News is the festival’s media sponsor.



Saturday, June 23 & Sunday, June 24
10 a.m. to 5p.m.
Lewiston GardenFest

Sunday, June 24
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Parkside Garden Tour
$5 suggested donation

Saturday, June 30
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Village of Williamsville Garden Walk

Saturday, July 7 & Sunday, July 8
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lockport in Bloom

Sunday, July 8
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Snyder-CleveHill Garden View
$3 donation

Saturday, July 14
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk (University Heights neighborhood in Buffalo)

Saturday, July 14
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Grand Island Garden Tour
Presale tickets ($12) are available by calling 716-773-2421 or 716-773-4946.
Tickets ($15) and maps are available the day of the tour at Historic Trinity Church,
2100 Whitehaven Rd, Grand Island.

Saturday, July 14 & Sunday, July 15
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk

Sunday, July 15
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
South Buffalo Alive

Saturday, July 21
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Amherst Garden Walk

Saturday, July 21
Historic Niagara Falls Garden Walk

Saturday, July 21 & Sunday, July 22
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Lancaster Garden Walk

Saturday, July 21 & Sunday, July 22
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Ken-Ton Garden Tour

Saturday, July 28 & Sunday, July 29
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or as long as the yellow sign is out
Garden Walk Buffalo
This free, self-guided tour includes more than 370 Buffalo gardens, making it the largest event of its kind in America. Featuring styles spanning from Japanese gardens to a manicured putting green, the walk has been hailed as “a must-see event” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “the best event of its kind” by
Pick up sites: Richmond Summer Senior Center, corner of Richmond Ave. and Summer St.; Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway; Evergreen Health Services, 206 S. Elmwood Avenue, corner of Chippewa St., Buffalo, N.Y.

Saturday, August 4
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens and Starry Night Garden Tour

Every Thursday and Friday throughout the festival (June 28 & 29, July 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27)
Times vary by date – see for schedule

Open Gardens
Throughout the course of the National Garden Festival, the public can visit 77 private open gardens across Western New York on Thursdays and Fridays. A map of locations and a list of times are available at


AAA Western and Central New York’s Horizon Club Tours will present a series of bus tours throughout the National Garden Festival. Each tour includes round-trip motorcoach transportation and a sit down lunch. For times and more information about any of the following tours, call AAA’s Horizon Club Tours at (800) 242-4244 or visit

Saturday, June 23
Buffalo-style Gardens: Artist’s gardens of Buffalo
Join us for the opening weekend of the National Garden Festival, and see our now-famous private gardens featuring art. Found art, folk art, abstract art, architectural remnants, anything goes – even bowling ball art. Also tour the Albright- Knox Art Gallery, see the Museum District and shop in the Elmwood Village. Rochester pickup available.

Friday, June 29
Buffalo’s Historic Gardens and Architecture
Sample Buffalo’s astounding architectural and historic heritage, including the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Delaware Park, the Japanese Garden, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin Complex, Forest Lawn Cemetery, and Millionaire’s Row – homes of the great industrialists of the 1900s. Picnic lunch in the Delaware Park Rose Garden near Hoyt Lake. Rochester pickup available.

Friday, July 6
The Outliers: Superior Gardens of the Northtowns
Garden Walk visitors often miss some of the best private gardens that just happen to fall a bit farther out on the map in suburban areas. This tour focuses on Amherst, and we’re bringing back three of the popular gardens from last year’s tour on Berryman, Darwin and Sargent, as well as adding three new gardens. You’ll see four sunny, flower-filled gardens of the sort that everyone wishes for, as well as two beautiful, multi-green shade gardens that are the reality for many of us. The gardens range, too, in size from a small suburban plot to a surprising one acre in the heart of Amherst, where you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. The tour will be led by Master Gardener Mary Van Vorst.

Friday, July 13
Southtowns Bouquet, with the Shadrack Garden
Led by international hosta author and raconteur Mike Shadrack, this tour includes superior gardens of the scenic southtowns, including the Shadracks’ Smug Creek Gardens. Other private gardens include a rare conifer and topiary collection, and a garden of 1,000 named hostas. Catered luncheon at Lockwood’s Greenhouses; shopping and guided tour by garden author Sally Cunningham. Rochester pickup available.

Friday, July 20
Preview Tour – Best of Buffalo Gardens
“Most people wouldn’t think of Buffalo as an epicenter of American horticulture, but it looks like gardening may be their official pastime.”
– Stacey Hirvella, Martha Stewart Living.
Garden Walk Buffalo is America’s largest garden tour, and this is your chance to see some of the best private gardens – including some you can’t see on the Garden Walk Buffalo weekend – without the crowds; hosted by Jim Charlier, president of Garden Walk Buffalo. Rochester pickup available.

Saturday, July 21
Grassroots Community Gardens
Buffalo’s gardening movement isn’t just about the flowers – we’re strong on urban gardening and green living too. Tour dynamic community gardens with Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo; see an urban working farm, green roof garden, a straw house, and even a fish farm. Includes organic and locally-grown picnic lunch. Rochester pickup available.

Thursday, July 26
Southern Tier Scenic Tour: Flowers & Farm Gardens
The popular and entertaining international hosta expert Mike Shadrack will show you one of the best private perennial gardens in the region. Your tour will also include visits to the all-natural Someday Maybe Farm, the Burton Garden and Farm in Stockton, and Eagle Bay, a rare conifer and hosta nursery owned by hybridizer Ran Lydell. Rochester pickup available.

Friday, July 27
Gardens for Gardeners: Plant Lover’s Tour of Buffalo and Northtowns
Sally Cunningham is known as a plant expert and will host this tour for people who want to know more about the plants they are seeing. Guests will receive a handout of some unusual plants found in each of the specialty gardens chosen, and during the tour Sally will identify plants and help guests understand how and where to grow them. Stops will include Northtowns and Buffalo gardens with large perennial borders, mixed shrub and flower beds, large yards featuring unusual trees, Alpine plants and other specialties, and one enormous display of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. The trip will conclude with a guided stop at the Marina Trial Gardens to see dramatic planters and display beds featuring new offerings from the plant industry. Rochester pickup available.


Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24
Noon to 4 p.m.
Fairy Day at Menne Nursery & Garden Artistry
Children can create fairy masks, wands and dish gardens and search for hidden fairy houses.
Menne Nursery & Garden Artistry
3100 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst, N.Y.
$7 per child or $6 per child for two or more children

Sunday, June 24
10 a.m. to 6 pm
Buffalo-Style Garden Art Sale
Parkside Lodge in Delaware Park (84 Parkside Ave.)
More than 20 vendors will sell unique and whimsical items for your garden. The event will also include Plant Society Avenue, with members from WNY specialist plant societies, Erie County Master Gardeners and the Botanical Gardens on hand to answer gardening questions. Park in Delaware Park or throughout the Parkside neighborhood

Saturday, July 7
Time to be announced
Native Plants Day at Lockwood’s Greenhouses
A panel of experts, hosted by the WNY Land Conservancy, will ask the question: How can we use native plants in our landscapes--and how can we get more of them into our garden centers and nurseries? Regional experts include landscape architect Joy Kuebler, Tim Fulton and Sally Cunningham. Special guests will include visiting author Joan Calder (“Airplanes in the Garden—Monarch Butterflies Take Flight”), who will talk about gardens for butterflies, and Ken Parker, creator of Canada's largest native plants nursery, who will discuss Western New York native plants, garden design and restoration of natural areas.
Lockwood’s Greenhouses
4484 Clark Street, Hamburg, N.Y.
Fee to be announced

Sunday, July 8
1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Natural Garden & Habitats Tour, hosted by WNY Land Conservancy The self-led tour will include stops at a selection of Land Conservancy member gardens and properties that represent the diverse benefits of native plant gardens & habitats. It will include locations in Amherst, East Aurora, Tonawanda, Amherst and Lockport. For more information, directions and reservations, visit, by calling (716) 687-1225 or e-mailing info@wnylc.
Suggested donation $10 advance, $12 day of event

Sunday, July 8
Noon to 4 p.m.
Iris Show
Eastern Hills Mall
4545 Transit Rd, Buffalo, N.Y.

Friday, July 13
6 p.m. to 11p.m.
Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s 10th Annual Frederick Law Olmsted Gala Guests will have the opportunity to stroll, or take a ride in vintage automobiles, through the park’s well-groomed grounds, while catching up with friends over cocktails and an array of fine foods including appetizers, dinner and desserts. After dinner, there will be dancing and fireworks.
South Park, Buffalo, N.Y.
To receive an invitation or to make a reservation, contact the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy at 716-838-1249 x11 or
$175 per person

Visit Buffalo Niagara sells and markets our assets and attractions to visitors outside of the Buffalo Niagara region as a convention, tourism and leisure destination for the economic benefit of the community.
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