Garden Walk Buffalo

Flowers do not disappoint

The ability to finally garden has been front page news here in Buffalo and the national news is taking notice of the (delayed) gardening season in articles like this one in the Wall Street Journal: "Cities Invite Tourists to Stop and Smell the Roses". 


It reports on the phenomenon that Garden Walk Buffalo represents in cities across the U.S. Inspired by Buffalo’s, Cleveland is now holding a city-wide garden walk that will include urban farms, vineyards, and orchards—the first one is June 24—and there are many established walks and festivals: lilacs in Rochester; azalea in Wilmington, NC; and lupines in Maine, among countless others.

Last year,  Connecticut geography professor Richard Benfield was in Buffalo researching his upcoming book Garden Tourism. The 16-year-old Buffalo event, which—starting last year—has now grown into a five-week festival including on-going open gardens, a front yard contest, and a speaker/seminar program, now draws 25% of its visitors from out of town. (Keep in mind that the first GWB had 20 gardens and was more like a block party than a tourist event.) Also, the GWB visitors attend an average of 3.39 garden events per year, leaving money behind at each.

The Journal interviewed GWB prez Jim Charlier as well as Benfield, and concluded with the statement I quote in this post title.

Garden Walk visitors will never see my viburnum during this, its finest season. By itself, it’s a fine example of plicatum tomentosum—which is all very well—but the way it embraces this sculpture makes it a real event. It does not disappoint.

Happy Memorial Day!

Posted by on May 30, 2011 at 7:11 am, in the category Garden Walk Buffalo.
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11 responses to “Flowers do not disappoint”

  1. Lya Sorano says:

    Beautiful Viburnum (and lovely sculpture) – so interesting to experience the diverse growing seasons. Our Viburnum blooms are long gone and berries are already making their presence known. Either way, it’s a glorious shrub to have in one’s landscape.

  2. Thanks for the shout out. I’ve just returned from the apex of garden tourism – the Chelsea Flower Show in London. There’s a lot to learn from the folks that know how to garden and how to promote gardening. If I can only get the national networks here to give us an hour a night, during prime time, for a week, like they do in England, then I’ll know I’ve done my job well.

  3. Matt says:

    That is a nice sculpture! I wonder what it looks like in the winter though.

  4. Jen. says:

    As an adopted Clevelander, I’m excitedly anticipating GardenWalk Cleveland! So excited to see a mention.

  5. What a marvelous vignette.

    And what a wonderful way to build community among gardeners and non-gardeners, alike. I think there is something about showing one’s garden that promotes a sense of neighborliness and goodwill.

  6. Mike says:

    Really interesting – I love it!

  7. Elizabeth I would love that sculpture without the viburnum. The sculpture does not disappoint.

  8. Wisdom in the mind is better than money in the hand.

  9. Tara Dillard says:

    This idea should be ‘ranted’ into every hamlet !

    I’m sure it’s like successful local farmer’s markets. The government did a study of them and discovered success relied, typically, on a single person’s effort/idea.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  10. commonweeder says:

    I love the idea of garden tourism. On a very small scale we have a ‘public garden’ The Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls. 81 years ago a group of women turned an abandoned trolley bridge into a thing of beauty for local residents, and in the past decade or two as a destination for tourists. 37,000 people signed the guest book last year April 1 – October 30. No plowing in the winter!

  11. Jim Freeman says:

    You go, Buffalo!

    In Brooklyn, we’re already in the “too hot to step outside onto the porch” season!