After a long, cold, hard winter in Western New York, residents are now able to head outside and enjoy their yards and gardens. “Enjoying,” for avid gardeners, means cleaning things up and getting their hands dirty in addition to enjoying the beauty of the flowers and gardens – as well as fruits and vegetables to harvest later in the season.
In the Buffalo-Niagara region of Western New York, gardeners have the opportunity to enjoy other people’s gardens as well as their own, thanks to the National Garden Festival, in its fifth year of operation in the area. The National Garden Festival, which runs June 21 through August 2, features more than a dozen garden walks and tours in towns and villages throughout the region as well as seminars, motor coach tours and a garden art sale among other things.
Garden walks and tours are the highlight of the National Garden Festival, and the biggest show of the Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27 – Garden Walk Buffalo, a two-day self-guided free tour featuring more than 400 gardens. Garden Walk Buffalo is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014, and in honor of the anniversary, a number of the region’s most significant buildings and landmarks will be lit up in green at various times throughout the weekend.
The schedule of garden walks and tours during the six-week long Festival:
Lewiston Garden Fest – June 21 and 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days
Parkside Garden Tour – June 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk – July 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Town of Amherst Garden Tour – July 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lockport in Bloom – July 12 and 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days
The Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk – July 12 and 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days
Snyder-CleveHill Garden View – July 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Village of Williamsville Garden Tour – July 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
KenTon Garden Tour – July 18 and 19, 8:30 to 11 p.m. both nights, July 19 and 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days
Lancaster Garden Walk – July 18 – 8:45 to 11 p.m., July 19 and 20 – 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days
West Seneca Garden and Home Tour – July 19 and 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days
Garden Walk Buffalo – July 26 and 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days
Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens – August 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to these garden walks and tours, local gardening expert Sally Cunningham will guide nine motor coach tours during the duration of the Festival, visiting gardens featured in Garden Walk Buffalo as well as outlying towns and some of Buffalo’s best architecture.
As part of the Parkside Garden Tour on Sunday, June 29, the Delaware Park Lodge will serve as the host of the Buffalo-style Garden Art Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will also feature Plant Society Avenue, where experts can answer your gardening questions, a Chinese auction and live music.
So put on your gardening shoes and get ready to be wowed by some of the best gardens the Buffalo-Niagara region has to offer.