At Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest self-guided garden tour in the United States, nearly 400 Buffalo gardeners open their yards to the public on the last weekend of each July. Thousands of visitors from across the U.S. and Canada converge on Buffalo and stroll through scores of orchids, sunflowers, petunias and other floral wonders on a sun-dappled midsummer weekend. If you ask any Buffalo gardener about the roots of their passion, it’s about more than an interest in horticulture.
Homeowners have banded together to transform Buffalo’s neighborhoods one garden at a time, raising property values and spurring additional investment in the process. Since starting Garden Walk 20 years ago, these urban pioneers have helped change Buffalo’s image from a rust-belt town to a green city.
Garden Walk builds off a proud legacy of parks and gardens in Buffalo. Frederick Law Olmsted designed the nation’s first interconnected system of parks and parkways here, and within one of those parks are the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The gardens are one of only two Lord & Burnham designed conservatories set within an Olmsted park (the other being San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park).
Other horticultural events such as the weekly Open Gardens, the Garden Art Sale and a summer long series of motor coach tours are contributing to Buffalo’s growing reputation as one of America’s great garden cities.