Garden Walk Buffalo celebrates 25 years this weekend with special features

front garden on Summer Street Buffalo NY
The grassless front yards are a favorite on Garden Walk Buffalo. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden tour in North America, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28.

This is the 25th anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo and you’ll see some new features.

About 435 gardens will be open to the public. The event is free and self guided, and no tickets are required.

What’s new in 2019

  • Expanded footprint of the walk. Garden Walk Buffalo now includes the Park Meadow and Parkside neighborhoods, which are neighborhoods on either side of the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Delaware Park.
  • Tour the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Martin House. This architectural gem is now on Garden Walk Buffalo. You can walk around the yard and gardens to enjoy the historically restored gardens including the “Floricycle” garden of continuous blooms.
  • Docents on shuttle buses. Docents from Explore Buffalo will be on each Garden Walk Buffalo shuttle throughout the weekend, pointing out significant architecture and historic sites. You can ride the shuttle buses for free.
  • Butterfly Release. To kick off the walk, the Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm and the Pollinator Conservation Association will release butterflies at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 27 at Bidwell Parkway at Elmwood Avenue. You can also visit green groups on site to learn more about environmental conservation efforts in the region.
  • Buy Buffalo-Style Gardens. Get tips on how you can make your garden look like the ones you see on Garden Walk Buffalo with the book Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs by Sally Cunningham and Jim Charlier. It will be sold at the three main Garden Walk Buffalo headquarters. The book features many gardens that you can see on Garden Walk Buffalo.
  • Commemorative floral mural. This mural was created by artist Cassandra Ott at 831 Elmwood Ave., between Lafayette and Lancaster Avenues. The mural celebrates the 25th anniversaries of both the Elmwood Village Association and Garden Walk Buffalo.
  • New street designation. Garden Walk Buffalo Way is the new street designation (as of Friday, July 26) given by Buffalo Mayor Brown to Norwood Avenue, between West Utica and Summer Street. 
  • Honor to founders. A granite marker will be placed at the corner of Norwood Avenue and West Utica Street in front of the former home of Marvin Lunenfeld (1934-2012) and Gail McCarthy, founders of Garden Walk Buffalo.
  • Pollinator House auction. The Pollinator House Competition and silent auction entries will be on display Saturday, July 27 at Elmwood and Bidwell. Visitors can bid on unique and creative bird, bat, bee and butterfly houses. Proceeds support The Buffalo Architecture Foundation and Garden Walk Buffalo.
  • Garden mural. A visitor-interactive garden mural project will be initiated by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery during this year’s walk.

Maps and more

Maps can be found ahead of the walk at select sponsor locations throughout the region. For a complete list of garden centers and shops with free maps, or to download an abridged map online, go here.

Maps can be found at Garden Walk Buffalo headquarters only during the days and hours of the walk, not before.

The three main headquarters, with maps, merchandise, and restrooms, are:

  • Evergreen Health, 206 S. Elmwood Ave., corner of Chippewa Street
  • Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway near Soldiers Circle and Chapin Parkway
  • St. Mark’s Church, 399 Woodward Ave., in the Parkside area of Buffalo

Garden Walk has four satellite locations where visitors can pick up maps only:

  • First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Circle     
  • West Side Community Services 161 Vermont Street     
  • The Martin House 125 Jewett Parkway     
  • The Buffalo History Museum/Japanese Gardens, corner of Elmwood Avenue and Nottingham Terrace

What you might not know

During Garden Walk Buffalo, an estimated 60,000-70,000 people visit from around the United States, Canada and beyond.

Many gardens that you can see on Garden Walk Buffalo have appeared in magazines such as This Old HouseFine GardeningHorticultureGarden GateReal GardensTraditional HomesCountry Gardens and dozens more. Many have appeared on TV and in newspapers and have been written about on travel and garden blogs from around the country. 

Garden Walk Buffalo is produced by Gardens Buffalo Niagara, which promotes the regional garden tours, which will continue for two more weekends, and produces Tours of Open Gardens on Thursdays and Fridays in July. It also produces the Buffalo-Style Garden Art Sale, which was held in June.

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