Flowers, Etc in the Press
BUFFALO NEWS: July 23, 2010

Follow our A to Z guide to enjoy Garden Walk Buffalo and the area’s floral beauty all summer long

By Susan Martin
Published:July 23, 2010, 12:00 AM

It’s been an amazing summer for gardens, gardeners and gardening around Western New York. Weekends have been filled with area garden tours. The National Buffalo Garden Festival exploded onto the scene.

And now it’s time for Garden Walk Buffalo, the self-guided tour of more than 350 gardens, some of which have been featured in national gardening magazines.

Last year an estimated 45,000 people turned out for this wildly anticipated event, which runs 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. Saturday and Sunday. Today’s Garden Notes on Page C2 offer some details, with many more at

And there’s more to come this summer. To get a better sense of Garden Walk Buffalo and upcoming events, follow our A to Zguide.

A is for architecture, what everyone – especially newcomers to Garden Walk Buffalo – rave about when they visit the various Buffalo neighborhoods. It’s not just the gardens that “wow” them. Cottages, Queen Annes, Colonial Revivals and more are all found here.

Bisfor the sixth annual Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens, scheduled for 10 a. m. to 5 p. m. Aug. 7. That evening, the fourth annual Starry Night Garden Tour will run from 8 to 10. No ticket is required. Check out or watch for details in upcoming Garden Notes listings, which run each Friday in this Home & Style section.

Cisforcamera. Bring one to Garden Walk Buffalo and other tours, but it’s polite to ask the permission of the garden owner before taking photos. You may want to bring along a pen and notebook as well, although there will be no pop quizzes as far as we know.

Disforday, as in make a day of attending Garden Walk Buffalo. You can rush through it if you like, but you can also pace yourself, strike up conversations with gardeners and fellow visitors, take a lunch break, stop and smell the roses so to speak.

Eisfor the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers’Market, which will host a special evening market from 4 to 8 Saturday in addition to the market’s regular hours of 8 a. m. to 1 p. m.

Fisfor free. That is the cost of attending Garden Walk Buffalo and many of the other garden tours in the area this summer. Free, free, free. You’ll probably want to bring along some cash for water, lunch, ice cream treats, souvenirs, etc.

G is for garden paths. The paths you see on local garden tours come in a multitude of materials—bricks, pavers, flagstones, slate, pea gravel, mulch, wood, etc., often in combinations. The variety of looks are bound to give you ideas for your own yard. Check out the colors, textures and combinations.

H is for hydrangea. Everyone is talking about them. “The hydrangea are unbelievable. I’ve seen pink hydrangea bushes overwhelmingly in bloom,” said John M. Hochadel, a local florist and longtime Garden Walk Buffalo participant.

I is for idyllic. That’s the word you hear again and again as people step into the backyard sanctuaries on Garden Walk. Honestly, even the sounds coming from waterfalls and other water features are enough to lull you to sleep.

J is for the Japanese Garden, located behind the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. This Japanese Garden, along with the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, Erie Basin Marina Gardens and Delaware Park Rose Garden, are among the attractions garden-lovers should not miss this summer.

K is for the Ken-Ton Garden Tour of more than 50 gardens happening from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. Aug. 7 and 8. The free event is sponsored by the Town of Tonawanda Environment Commission. Booklets will be available tour days at the Veterans Memorial at Kenny Field, Brighton Road and Colvin Boulevard, Town of Tonawanda. Or go online to the Town of Tonawanda Web site at .

L is for lighting. We know what you’re thinking. Who cares about landscape lighting when the garden tours are held during broad daylight (except for the Starry Night tour Aug. 7)? But gardeners know that lighting — whimsical string lights, handsome solar path lights, etc. — can add a decorative addition to any garden, even at high noon.

M is for Mondays, as in Gardening Mondays, the noon to 1 p. m. lunchtime series at the Buffalo & Erie County Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, main floor. It’s free and open to the public.
Upcoming topics include: “Add Impact with Containers” on Monday (Mary Gurtler, of Lockwood’s Greenhouses); “The Art of Flowers” Aug. 2 (Jessica DiPalma, from Albright- Knox Art Gallery); “Bring in the Butterflies” Aug. 9 (Master Gardener Carol Ann Harlos); “Extraordinary Perennials for WNY Gardens” Aug. 16 (Sally Cunningham); “Water, Water, Everywhere?” Aug. 23 (Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers), and “Native Plants and Ecofriendly Landscapes” Aug. 30 (Sally Cunningham).

N is for NationalGarden-, where you will find information from in—and around — Buffalo on garden walks, special events, seminars and photos from the Front Yard Garden Competition on North Parade Avenue. The Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau, Garden Walk Buffalo, Buffalo&Erie County Botanical Gardens, Western New York Nursery & Landscape Association, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and others came together to produce this first five-week festival.

O is for outdoor dining tables. We suspect you have been — or will be — seeing more of them as you tour gardens. And we mean set-up, camera-ready tables, with linens and all. You can only guess who’s coming to dinner.

P is for porches. Don’t get so caught up in the perennials, planters and people that you miss the first-and second-floor porches you’ll come across on Garden Walk. These often are bedecked for the occasion. Expect to be charmed.

Q is for quirky garden art. Gardeners can have quite the sense of humor when it comes to accessorizing their outdoor spaces. In the past, visitors have seen whimsical statuary perched by ponds, gigantic “ants” crawling up a fence, plants growing out of boots and more. Enjoy.
R is for the right plant in the right place. Gardeners often learn this the hard way. Tours are a good place to pick up pointers on avoiding costly mistakes. Question other gardeners. Most love to share experiences and stories.

S is for sunscreen. Be sure to bring some to Garden Walk Buffalo and other tours. Same with hats, comfortable walking shoes and water.

T is for trolley, as in the “hop-on-hop-off” continuous loop trolleys operating during Garden Walk Buffalo. Free. The route will be marked on the map. New this year: Buffalo Tours’ hosts will be on board offering architectural and historical commentary (donations accepted).

U is for umbrella. Garden Walk Buffalo will be held rain or shine. But remember, an umbrella— or parasol—can block intense sun, too.
V is for vegetable garden. Expect to see them on Garden Walk Buffalo. It’s always fun — and informational—to see how some gardeners combine vegetables with herbs and flowers.
W is for weeds. Be nice, and look the other way.

X is for xeriscaping, or creating a landscape that uses little water. Locally, gardeners may be interested in choosing some plants that require less watering than others — once they’re planted in healthy soil and well established, that is. This is a way to conserve water but also to fill dry areas or far-off beds that don’t receive gobs of attention. To consider: sedums and portulaca, to name just two, suggests Rosey Cross, from Mischler’s Florist.

Y is for year, as in you’ll be back next year. That’s what happens to people who get hooked on local garden tours.

Z is for Zinteck, as in the garden photographs by Don and Diann Zinteck. Some are from Garden Walk Buffalo; others are personal favorites taken elsewhere. All are available for sale under the “Garden Gallery” heading at GardenWalkBuffalo. com.

Or come see their work — and others from participating Garden Walk artists — at ZGM Fine Arts, 1045 Elmwood Ave. A garden-themed show, “Crazy About My Pot: Garden Views and Artists’ Vessels,” runs through Aug. 29. Details: .

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