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Open Gardens in Western New York

Southtowns Bouquet   |   Buffalo-Delaware District   |   Buffalo-Elmwood Village & Allentown
Buffalo-Parkside  |  Northtowns East  |   Northtowns West  |   Hamburg  |   Lancaster
Niagara Trail |   East Aurora/Holland   |   Buffalo-Cottage District & Kleinhans   
  South Buffalo   |   Lakeshore   |   Public Gardens

Our Open Gardens project is modeled on the successful, long-standing tradition of Open Gardens in England. 
Private gardens are graciously made available to the public on a particular day at a particular time. 
Visitors are allowed to simply drop by.  Our Open Gardens are listed below by neighborhoods. 
Please note the specific day and time that the garden is open.


The original brick cottages on “Little” Summer and Union Streets were built in the 1870s by English immigrant Lydia Cox, who was inspired by the village architecture of her native land. Intended as a workmen’s neighborhood, “Coxtown” is now a secluded and delightful mixture of the original cottages interspersed with turn-of-the-century wood frame houses. The cottages, for the most part, belong to the Italianate architectural style, with their rounded windows and front gables. This section of Buffalo usually comes as a shock to visitors, many of whom had never known that the neighborhood existed.

Named after the world-famous Kleinhans Music Hall, this area is a semi-circular cluster of gardens fronted by Symphony Circle and the Eliel and Eero Saarinen-designed concert hall, built in 1940. The streets – Orton, Pennsylvania, Porter, Plymouth, Normal, St. John’s Place, Wadsworth, Hudson and Jersey – are filled with historic properties, ranging in date from 1850 to 1895. The public gardens of Symphony Circle are another highlight of the neighborhood.

Want to see more gardens today? Head over to Route 5 and travel along the lakeshore. Four more fabulous gardens await you there. Open from 5-8pm. See page 51 for these listings.

    Dorritie Garden
  • The Garden of Ellie Dorritie:
    415 Summer Street, Buffalo NY 14213

    Open Hours: Fridays, 2-6
    Closed July 4

    The tiny front cottage garden is jammed to overflowing with perennial flowers, especially those that smell good and are attractive to birds, butterflies and bees. There’s summer phlox, bee balm, Russian sage, black-eyed Susans, lilies, campanula, everlasting, liatris, delphinium, coneflowers, mallow and even herbs. This “hellstrip” has taken over “the city’s property” so outrageously that it was featured in the Wall Street Journal. The tiny back garden is built entirely on top of the pavement. All the soil had to be brought in to create containers enclosed by stone walls, curving around a narrow brick path to make it seem bigger. Here are “potted” full-grown crabapple, triple-trunk white birch, blue spruce, barberry, roses, chokecherry, laceleaf Japanese maple, flowering dogwood, rhododendron, azalea, holly, hydrangeas, juniper, hostas, ferns, coral bells, sedum, astilbes, Solomon’s seal, porcelain berry vine, clematis and of course, annuals, a rain barrel, a composter and even a tiny water feature!

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    Hopkins-Dunlap Garden
  • The Garden of Scott Dunlap & Joe Hopkins:
    84 Sixteenth Street, Buffalo, NY 14213
    (Near York St, in the ‘Cottage District’)

    Open Hours: Fridays, 2-6
    Closed July 4

    The garden features a lush mixture of annuals and perennials. Here, the gardener uses his home as a blank canvas on which to create an ever-evolving piece of living art. Vibrant colors and unique textures create a series of vignettes, which seamlessly flow from one to the next. Visitors are encouraged to relax in one of the many seating areas while taking in the sights, smells and sounds. The garden has been featured in the Buffalo News, Backyard Solutions Magazine and on the cover of Buffalo Spree, as well as Channel 2 News and two live broadcasts on Channel 4. It appears in several gardening blogs, including the Martha Stewart Living Radio Blog. Visitors number well into the thousands annually during Garden Walk Buffalo. We look forward to seeing you during Open Gardens 2014.

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    Herrick Garden
  • NEW! The Garden of Kitty Herrick – a honey bee’s paradise:
    402 Summer Street., Buffalo 14213

    Open Hours: Fridays, 2-6
    Closed July 4

    A unique cottage garden tucked in with an on-roof apiary, the original property stone wall, and loads of bee-lovin’ color. Window boxes and potted perennials surround a serene side porch complete with porch swing and vibrant hanging begonias. Perennials mostly in shades of red and orange are the rule and if you concentrate you can hear the hum of the busy bees as they fly from flower to flower doing their work -collecting pollen and making honey in the hives above the garden shed. Climbing hydrangea adorn the side wall while clematis, ferns, hostas, astilbe, crocosmia, and the bee’s favorite-bee balm, create a serene space to contemplate nature’s beauty at its best. Stop by and enjoy my little urban slice of heaven. I look forward to seeing you. We think we’ve succeeded.

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    Lemke Garden
  • The Garden of David Martin Lemke:
    378 Summer St. Buffalo 14213

    Open Hours: Fridays, 2-6
    Closed July 4

    Entering my backyard is like entering another world populated by rolling mounds of lavish greenery and exotic trees, punctuated by tapered shrubs and statuary that act as exclamation points. It’s a world of contrasts: secluded shade and radiant openness, Asian ambiance and European charm. There are picturesque groupings of plants, miniature trees, Japanese pagodas, and Renaissance sculpture. You’ll find Japanese maples, several evergreen varieties, and a towering Japanese larch tree. You’ll also find bleeding hearts, yellow moonflowers and a vine-covered back wall of English ivy.

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    AIDS Community Services/Voltz Garden
  • The Garden at The Victorian Evergreen Health Services:
    200 S. Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14201 (near Chippewa)

    Open Hours: Fridays, 2-6
    Closed July 4

    Built in 1854 “The Victorian” features the Hope Blooms garden, an eclectic mix of Victorian and Cottage style gardening. Hostas and a vast array of lilies reside with 100 varieties of perennials adorned with treasures salvaged from the home, creating the setting for a unique koi pond and waterfall. Located right in the heart of Downtown Buffalo, Hope Blooms is the only Therapeutic, or Healing Garden for people living with HIV/AIDS in the nation, and has garnered national attention as such. A Therapeutic Garden is an outdoor space that has been specifically designed to meet the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the people using the garden as well as their caregivers, family members and friends.

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