10 Places to Stop and Smell the Flowers

Although our wintry reputation often precedes us, Buffalo is one of the great garden destinations in the United States. In fact, Buffalo may have more horticulture events, experiences and sites to offer visitors than any other city in North America. Here are ten top garden spots to stop and smell the flowers this summer.

Niagara Square
In the very heart of downtown surrounding the monument to President McKinley you’ll find a spectacular array of perennials lovingly tended by a cadre of Master Gardeners.

Erie Basin Marina
One of the summertime centerpieces of Buffalo’s bustling waterfront is the garden adjacent to the Hatch restaurant. This is a “test” garden where different varieties of annuals are grown and evaluated. It’s also a perfect spot to grab and ice cream cone and ogle the Buffalo Lighthouse just across the river. Eriebasinmarina.org

Buffalo Central Library Plaza
Located at the other end of Court Street from Niagara Square, the Central Library garden is an expansive plaza lined with a dizzying array of perennials and flowering trees set amongst some of Buffalo’s most beautiful architecture. When you’re done, walk across the street to Public Espresso for an ice coffee. Buffalolib.org

Delaware Park Rose Garden
The visionary genius of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted shaped the Buffalo we know today and one of the best places to experience that genius is in the Rose Garden in Delaware Park. Stop, smell and then take a walk around Rumsey Woods. Bfloparks.org

Charlier Garden
One of the most photographed stops on Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the United States. What’s the story, morning glory? Well, it’s all about the shed and the Harry Potter garden. See for yourself on Garden Walk Weekend, July 28-29, or during Open Gardens Thursdays from 2-6 pm during the month of July. GardensBuffaloNiagara.com

Smug Creek Gardens
This private garden, expertly designed and cared for by homeowners Mike and Kathy Shadrack, is simply spectacular. The highlight of this large, wooded property, located in the town of Hamburg, is the astonishing collection of hostas of every shape and size. Smug Creek is open to the public as part of Buffalo’s annual Open Gardens event on Thursdays and Fridays during the month of July from 10 am-5 pm. Info: GardensBuffaloNiagara.com

Shakespeare Garden
Flowers, herbs and trees featured in the works of the Immortal Bard can be found in this pretty patch of literary whimsy on Buffalo’s West Side. Located in front of the Karpeles Manuscript Museum on Porter Avenue, the garden is a fitting entry into the world class collection of manuscripts and documents found inside its walls. Rain.org/~Karpeles

Silo City
The towering grain silos along the Buffalo River are now complemented by a garden of wildflowers designed to attract the bees and butterflies that keep an ecosystem healthy. Check out the iconic Elevator B-Beehive, the creation of a group of architecture students from the University of Buffalo before grabbing a cold one at Duende, Silo City’s newly-opened bar and restaurant. Open Thursday through Sunday. Silo.city

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House
The city’s lovely Parkside neighborhood is home to the largest Prairie House ever designed by the great Frank Lloyd Wright. A courtyard located between the main house and conservatory bursts with blooms all summer long. Come for flowers, stay for the tour. martinhouse.org

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens
No tour of Buffalo’s horticultural delights would be complete without a stop at the “crystal palace” conservatory in South Park. Perennials, annuals and trees bloom all summer long around the periphery of this spectacular Lord & Burnham building. Buffalogardens.com