What They're Saying About Buffalo
"…Buffalo was, well, terrific. And I learned a whole lot, in one long hot summer day, about a concentration of some of the most interesting, funkiest, colourful, imaginative, made-on-a-shoestring gardens you can see anywhere. Oh yes, they’re beautiful, as well…
"Each garden is different, reflecting the sites and the inclinations of the gardeners. From serene meditation gardens to exuberant tiki bar party gardens, native plantings to really weird exotics, there are ideas for everyone." – Carol T. Bradford, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.)
"Most people wouldn't think of Buffalo as an epicenter of American horticulture, but it looks like gardening may be their official pastime."
"I want to be surrounded by gardeners with more imagination than I can conjure up. I need motivation–and company. It was not until I experienced the extraordinary Garden Walk held in Buffalo, New York, that I realized that some people live in neighborhoods in which everyone gardens. Plants get traded over the fence, and there are garden parties that last long into the evening, with gardeners drunkenly sharpening their Felcos and stumbling into the perennial border, cocktails in hand, to finish the weekend's work. It sounds dangerous but thrilling."
“I was knocked out by the flowers and all the people on the streets and the general atmosphere... the architecture is something to behold.”
“Buffalo’s got the greatest concentration of beautiful residential gardens I’ve ever seen!”
“It’s more than a tour,
“It's free, inclusive, and noncompetitive. No judging. None of the elitism that's been associated with the gardening world for too long.”
“It’s unbelievable. Do you know what you have here?”
“An instant makeover can be much more than a reality show gimmick when it's done like it was last summer in Buffalo, by a group of local landscapers and homeowners as part of a five-week garden festival culminating in the city's annual garden walk. For this ambitious Front Yard Garden Competition, 19 good-size front yards were relandscaped over four days, with new paved areas as well as plantings. Even better, after the competition was complete, residents could take free training on how to maintain their new landscaping.”
“You can't hear enough about Buffalo's crazy month-long gardening extravaganza, can you? As an outsider, I must say: Buffalo is way hipper than you might think it is. It's like Austin with snow. Maybe better. And these people really know how to celebrate summer. Everybody's out in their gardens having a good time. It's quite a heady experience, being in the center of such a happy garden frenzy.
And now I'm off to join them. If you're in the area, I'll see you Saturday, June 26, 2:00, at the Buffalo Public Library.” Click to listen to a podcast of Amy's talk in Buffalo
“Go to gape. Stroll by century-old brick cottages painted in Lilly Pulitzer brights, back yards decked with whimsical birdhouses and Adirondack chairs just begging for a book. Take in the blossoms. And wish it were all yours. Because the 340 gardens on the 15th annual Garden Walk Buffalo don't belong to mansions with professional landscaping crews but, rather, to regular people.”
“In recent years, too, Buffalo has become a site of the triumph of imagination over physical reality in two ways that have caught my heart. The first is the inkpool spread of neighborhoods that have gone mad with gardening. Really. Gardening, like happiness and obesity, is contagious, and urban pioneers on the West Side have inspired neighbors to garden and so attracted new urban pioneers. Call it clear, grow and build. The movement has been driven in large part by the mind-blowing Buffalo Garden Walk, America's best event of its kind, held the last weekend in July.”
“The Buffalo I discovered when I finally made my first trip there this summer was a pretty and vibrant place. The annual Garden Walk filled the city’s more gentrified residential neighborhoods with throngs of strollers determined to drop in on as many luxuriant backyards as possible. A newly opened Gwathmey Siegel-designed museum, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, displays the work of extraordinary western New York artists in airy, sunlit galleries. Buildings once abandoned have taken on new lives.”
“My weekend in Buffalo was fantastic, I can speak about it only in superlatives. It was one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve been involved with during my time with the magazine, so forgive me for gushing!”
“Urban renewal is coming to this old industrial center on Lake Erie, and with it a rejuvenated green scene, inspired in part by Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest event of its kind in the nation. In just 36 hours, you can appreciate much of what’s happening.”
“Imagine a neighborhood garden tour where every house on the block is on the tour. So many people want to see the gardens — thousands, actually — that parking spaces are in demand and the sidewalks filled. Imagine low-income gardeners on the tour who speak not a word of English but who gesture excitedly at the outrageous tropical shrub they smuggled in from Vietnam, and who employ a kind of universal gardener’s sign language that says, “Would you like a cutting?” to their well-heeled suburban visitors. Imagine a garden tour that charges no fees or ticket prices, runs on a modest budget and still has money left over to give beautification grants to community groups to help further its mission. Oh, and it’s so popular that it sells a slick coffee-table book and a DVD documenting its success...Garden Walk Buffalo takes place on the last weekend of July, and this year more than 260 gardens participated. Based on the number of maps distributed, organizers estimate that more than 40,000 people descend on Garden Walk every year.”