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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.


To most Buffalonians, “Elmwood” means not just a street lined with boutiques, restaurants, parks and homes, but also the many small neighborhoods on Elmwood’s surrounding blocks. There truly is a village-like feel to this lively community, where neighbors see each other daily as they shop, push baby carriages and walk dogs. The Elmwood Village is roughly bounded by Forest and North Streets.

The Elmwood Village residential blocks are generally densely built with wood frame houses. The architecture is often Queen Anne style, with its porches, pediments, gables and bay windows.

Just north, visitors can see Buffalo’s Museum District, with the world-class Albright-Knox Art Gallery; the Buffalo History Museum; and the Burchfield Penney Art Center, founded to honor Buffalo’s most well-known artist, Charles Burchfield.

As Buffalo’s oldest and largest preservation district, Allentown has some of the most historic and distinctive neighborhoods in Buffalo. Bounded by Main Street, Symphony Circle, North and Edward Streets, Allentown’s highlights include the oldest house in Buffalo (the Coit House at 414 Virginia, built in 1820), the magnificent Midway row houses on Delaware, the Tifft row houses on Allen, the Butler mansion, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site (Wilcox mansion) and many other Buffalo landmarks. The streets of Allentown contain a textbook of Victorian domestic architecture. Allen Street, the central artery of the neighborhood, is well-known as Buffalo’s Bohemia, a fun, funky corridor of galleries, shops, bars and restaurants.

    Ballard/Olinski Garden
  • The Garden of Gordon Ballard
    & Brian Olinski:
    604 Bird Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222

    Open Hours: Thursdays, 5:30-8:30

    Lovingly called “the finest tropical urban garden oasis in the nation,” this unforgettable garden was just a patch of grass in 1995. Now you’ll find meandering paths, many sitting areas (the tiki bar most fun of all), hundreds of unusual perennials, vines, grasses, and tropicals in exotic containers. Includes a large koi pond, whimsically decorated vertical space, and a giant rock garden that replaces the former 3000 gallon pond. Notice also the propagation area and vegetable production, using Earth Boxes. Often featured on Buffalo area television and print media, a host for tour buses, and pictured in the Garden Walk Buffalo book and DVD. Walkways uneven; not wheelchair accessible.

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    Eight Paths Garden
  • The Eight Paths Garden:
    278 Baynes, Buffalo, NY 14213
    (off of W. Delavan at Dorchester)

    Open Hours: Thursdays, 5:30-8:30

    Enter a secret garden and retreat to a place of peaceful contemplation in the center of the city. Semi-formal on the sunny side and casual on the shady, this small space provides many perspectives.

    This secret garden should surprise,
    decidedly different from what you’d surmise.
    If a dreamer on a midsummer night should arise,
    Angkor not Athens is what he spies.
    Many a vine entwines in Shiva’s lair,
    where the changeling fair
    might chance to be ‘neath Daphne’s tree.
    Goddess Ganga guards the Koi.
    The flute is ‘ever Krishna’s toy.
    Siddhartha serenely surveys the scene.
    He picks the pathway, not Titania the queen.
    But other divas don’t despair,
    Puck too plays there.

    You should suppose to find a rose,
    perhaps a color the English chose.
    Hellebores and hostas fight ferns for place of pride,
    while heucheras rest contently on the side.
    Brugmansia whispers in the elephant’s ear,
    as the canna and banana strain to hear.
    But what tale has she spun?
    Eight paths are one?
    Some shall keep searching until the leaf turns.
    Hosta hunters will find fog among the ferns.
    The seeker may find the pathway if he learns.

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    Flynn/Goldstein Garden
  • The Garden of Mitch Flynn & Ellen Goldstein:
    257 Highland Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222

    Open Hours: Thursdays, 5:30-8:30

    The garden surrounds a hundred year-old house complete with porch and hanging plants. Say “hi” to Rusty, the metal dog guarding the front yard, and give the gurgling bowling ball fountain a glance. Then make your way down the driveway through a bower of ancient lilacs, and you’ll find yourself transported to a backyard of floral and artistic delights. Lilies, roses, tomatoes, echinacia, helenium, daisies, hosta and much more abound in a playful yard of original sculptures and pots of fragrant posies. Begun more than 20 years ago, the front, side and back gardens have been evolving to accommodate the neighborhood trees and a complete redesign of the front and back yards within the past 10 years. Pots of annual and tender perennials complement the English garden style plantings.

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    Bigelow/Licata Garden
  • The Garden of Alan Bigelow and Elizabeth Licata:
    56 North Pearl, Buffalo, NY 14202

    Open Hours: Thursdays, 5:30-8:30

    On this property, a series of garden beds, containers, water features, sculpture, and other hardscaping embraces an 1870 Italianate Victorian residence. There is a front shade garden featuring several unusual perennials (many native), along with side beds featuring more perennials and shrubs. NEW this year: the front easeway has been redesigned and planted with perennials and tropicals. In the back, there is a colorful and scented array of Oriental lilies, roses (in June), annuals in containers, and vines. A small pond and fountain provide the essential sight and sound of water, while around the corner a large contemporary sculpture shares space with a venerable sugar maple. The co-owner of the garden wrote the Garden Walk book and writes the popular garden blog Garden Rant (along with 3 other Ranters). She hopes you’ll be raving, not ranting, about this garden, but regardless, be sure to stop and say hi. Visit www.GardenRant.com and www.GardeningWhileIntoxicated.com.

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    Grobe Garden
  • NEW! The Garden of Gretchan Grobe:
    68 Irving Place, rear house, Buffalo, NY 14201

    Open Hours: Thursdays, 5:30-8:30

    Welcome to my little bit of paradise. The rear garden at 68 Irving Place is filled with color, texture, statuary and sounds. There is a wonderful water fountain that was a gift from a neighbor’s garden and even a small piece from the Pan American Exhibition of 1901. Walk thru the arch and be surrounded by peonies in the spring, and the rest of the season bee balm, cone flowers and poppies. Shasta daisies, hydrangeas in several colors, State Fair zinnias, cosmos, gladiolus, and Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’s Tongue’ line the walkway. And at the back of the space are many large ferns. As you look around bumble bees hum, cardinals sing, humming birds buzz by and if you are lucky you just might see the praying mantis. I invite you to stop and take a look for yourself and see my bit of Heaven.

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    Martinez/Weiland Garden
  • NEW! The Garden of Dennis Martinez and James Wieland:
    165 Mariner Street, Buffalo NY

    Open Hours: Thursdays, 5:30-8:30

    You will find this tiny garden space tucked away amid the Victorian architecture of Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood. A cool and shady spot awaits you just up a gravel path from the street. This path wedged between two houses built in the late 1870s once served as a narrow driveway for Model T Fords and is now planted with black eyed Susan, lady’s mantle and sweet violets. A clematis vine clings to a trellis. Pots filed with colorful impatiens and coleus contrast with the dark ferns, hostas and coral bells in raised beds. The low murmur of a bubbling fountain is heard and the pointed hats of garden gnomes peek out here and there. The whimsy is continued with crystal mushrooms and a froggy trumpet player. This garden which had been neglected for many years has been a part of the Buffalo Garden Walk since 2010 and has received recognition from the Buffalo in Bloom project each year during the same period.

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    Timlin Garden
  • The Garden of Barbara & Jim Timlin:
    163 Park St., Buffalo 14201

    Open Hours: Thursdays, 5:30-8:30

    This is a small urban garden but it is truly a peaceful get-away from the hustle and bustle of the city – a cool, secluded, tranquil green-space and our “secret garden”. Featured are sunny perennial beds and shady corners. There is a three-tiered antique fountain and a Fairy Garden that is popular with young garden visitors! Our historical home was built circa 1874. It was featured on the 2006 Secrets of Allentown house tour and as The Buffalo News “Home of the Month in September 2006. The garden is only accessible though the garage and conservatory.

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    Kaminski Park Gardens
  • Kaminski Park, The Gardens of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute:
    Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263

    Open Anytime

    Roughly 2.5 acres, Kaminski Park was constructed ten years ago on the site of the previous RPCI hospital. It is an evolving garden that contains numerous planting areas with trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials, sculptures, memorial brick walkways, seating areas, garden paths and a fountain. The park is used by patients, staff and visitors, and is the centerpiece of the RPCI campus as well as the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park Cancer Institute is the oldest cancer research center in the United States, and its mission is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Roswell Park was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. Easy access, wheelchair accessible.

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