Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens

Buffalo’s Garden Walk – the Event, the Book, the DVD

Some things I love about GardenWalk Buffalo, the book and DVD:Gardenwalk

  • It’s gorgeous, classy, and very personal, with looks at real gardens – the best of the 260 – and interviews with real gardeners.
  • It’s written by fellow gardenblogger Elizabeth Licata.  Our modest friend is outed in the first photo in this article about the book.  No need for that tiny, shadowy profile photo, Elizabeth – you’re looking good!
  • The DVD – how 21st Century! – reminds me of my favorite (long-gone)
    gardening show, "Gardener’s Diary," with Erica Glasener introducing us
    to inspired, passionate gardeners with wildly individualistic,
    sometimes quirky gardens.
  • The book includes encouragement and step-by-step help with starting GardenWalks in other cities.
  • Residents of 16th Street brag about having 17 gardens open to visitors in one block.
    After all, they treat participation in GardenWalk as "part of living in
    the community."  Also this:  "We have a strong and active block club
    and we donate a garden to one of our neighbors each year," which is
    then maintained by 84-year-old Joseph Hopkins  "The gardening on our
    street is great because we all do it together."  Can I come live on
    your street next summer?
  • The DVD begins with a participant’s reaction to the event:  "How
    many weekends can you be complimented all weekend long?"  I think I
    could withstand a few myself; isn’t that a gardener’s dream?
  • Participant David Bender, whose back yard was once
    concrete-and-turf, describes the results of his garden makeover:  "It’s
    another way of living.  It’s a plane of being that puts television to
    shame.  There’s nothing on television I’ve ever seen that compares to
    what goes on in the garden in terms of quality of image, shape,
    liveliness and excitement."  He wishes he’d done it 20 years ago but
    hey – just do it!  In fact, "You need to do it soon.  Don’t bother to
    buy that SUV; buy a garden instead."
  • Great photography, great writing, insight into great neighborhoods in a city that seems to be on the upswing.
  • Buy either or both here.

So now I’m asking myself:  Could D.C. ever have a GardenWalk?
Maybe, if these winning promotional pieces are put in the hands of the
right people.   And I suppose some neighborhoods already have garden
tours as fundraisers and wouldn’t appreciate the competition, while
others could really use the boost.  Maybe open gardens could even be
combined with arts, crafts and performances, the way it’s done in
Chicago.  Nice!

Posted by on December 9, 2006 at 1:03 pm, in the category Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens.
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3 responses to “Buffalo’s Garden Walk – the Event, the Book, the DVD”

  1. Pam/Digging says:

    Wow, what a great concept! I’d love to see something like that take root in Austin. Of course, it would have to be held in April or in October here, not July.

  2. Gloria says:

    A garden walk that does not charge and is not a competition sounds like a great way to spent a day.Have there always been many avid gardeners in Buffalo or has the walk encouraged more gardeners? I can see where living in an area that has a large gardening community would be a draw.I wonder how this would work on a smaller scale on a very local level? Questions that buying the book might answer?

  3. Eliz. says:

    Hi Gloria,

    It really came about as the result of a pair of gardeners with a prominent garden wanting to encourage better neighborhood gardens and more positive visibility for the neighborhood. So they talked their nearest gardening neighbors into taking part and paid them back with a party.

    The walk has encouraged gardening much more than the other way around.

    Any community, large or small, can do this. There are actually about 12 other walks in the Buffalo area (urban and suburban) besides Garden Walk, which is the largest. Basically, you secure the gardens, set the date, and publicize it. It can be as simple or elaborate as you choose.

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