You may be able to visit Northwest Buffalo garden walk in person!

sand by bar and pond in barckyard in Buffalo NY
With water, fish, sand and a bar, this backyard is like a vacation resort. This photo was taken in 2013 during the event now called the Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens, formerly the Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

If all goes well, you will be able to visit gardens in person during the 2020 Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens (formerly Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens) on Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18.

Gardeners who want to share their gardens on the tour have three choices:

  • They can sign up for the traditional tour, which will be held if it is safe to do so. There will be night tours and a day tour.
  • They can participate in a virtual tour by sending in photos of their gardens that will be part of an online presentation. The virtual tour will go forward whether or not the traditional tour takes place.
  • Gardeners can choose to do both.

If you want to share your garden, fill out the entry form here and return it by Saturday, May 23. The deadline to submit photos is July 10. You can also see more information here.

view from deck looking to backyard in Buffalo NY
Sitting on the deck in another backyard, you have a view of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

The traditional tour not only gives gardeners an opportunity to show off their gardens, it can be much-needed therapy for visitors, said Anne McCooey, program manager at BRRAlliance, the group that plans the Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens.

Note that the date for the garden tour was changed over the winter. It used to take place the week after Garden Walk Buffalo, but in previous years gardeners said their landscapes were toast that late in the season, McCooey said. The date was changed to the week before Garden Walk Buffalo is normally scheduled.

closeup of fairy garden in Buffalo NY
Here’s a closeup of a fairy garden seen on the walk in 2016. What looks like a tree is actually clover. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

“I love the fact that some people who couldn’t participate because of (the date change) can still be part of the virtual tour,” McCooey said. “There are a lot of positives to doing it this way.”

One thing they probably won’t have this year is the bus tour they have done in the last couple of years. They don’t want to drop 25 people off at once; they want people to be comfortable and able to keep social distancing.

The Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens is a fairly small garden walk with 50, or at most, 75 gardeners, McCooey said. It’s in its 16th year, and many of the gardeners have been participating for years.

“Because we’re such a small garden walk, we can play things by ear,” she said. will work to keep you posted on garden walks and other events. See our Events page.

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