Celebrating its 20th year of gardening extravaganza, the Garden Walk of Buffalo occurred this past weekend- bringing gorgeous weather and thousands of people out to the city. Last year, girl lovebird’s father promised he would come down for the 2014 weekend and that’s just what happened. Her family is in to horticulture in a HUGE way and the family has an extensive landscape design at her childhood home- all done by her parents. So when something like the Garden Walk sprouts up- there is major excitement and exploring to be done.
If you have never attended the Garden Walk, here is a rundown: every year on a chosen Saturday & Sunday in July from 10am-4pm, the city neighborhoods partake in a free, open-to-the-public walk which allows people to view their landscapes in their front, side, and/or back yards. You grab a map from participating sponsors and follow wherever your heart desires. You can walk, ride your bike, or hop on the free shuttle at marked destinations.
Our first stop was Starbucks on Delaware, after the walk from the Hotel Lafayette. We knew we needed to amp up for the day. We then headed to (most likely) our favorite home area in the direct downtown area of Buffalo: Cary St.//Rabin St. We have this insanely healthy jealousy of these homes- mainly because we want one. A small, quiet, well-maintained neighborhood with trees and grass…right around the corner from bustling Delaware and Chippewa. <<hint, hint, people- we need more communities like this to happen downtown!>> The Garden Walk is so friendly because you get to meet many of the home owners- who love to share their stories and some even offer to give you a cutting or plant to take with you!
More info: New Phoenix Theatre
Next stop was the Cottage District- with all of the in between homes along the way. <<this area is slightly north of Kleinhans and is surrounded by Richmond, Connecticut, York, Porter, and Prospect>> Once we arrived at the cottages- we couldn’t stop smiling! This was an area of the city we had NEVER been to before. It humbled us in the sense that there is still so much to explore in beautiful Buffalo! The Cottage District community is strong and the gardens prove that even more- with each 19th century-era home, we observed character, preservation, and growth. Hundreds of people took over Little Summer St. and Ketchum, with icetrikes (the ice cream guy on his bike) riding up and down the streets, homeowners with their own lemonade stands, serving popcorn, banana bread, and water to hydrate their garden guests.
We strolled back to the Hotel Lafayette via Summer St. to Delaware and felt revived, happy, and inspired. The only thing leaving us heartbroken was the fact that the walk ended at 4pm (roughly) and we felt we had a solid four more hours of sunlight to explore! Walking through the pitter-patter of rain, we reveled in the fact that there were so many beautiful back yards that we do not get to see as we drive by. It’s the age of saying of ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. The city life is different than the country- you have close neighbors but you also get to think outside the box when it comes to your landscaping. And with the endless amount of smiling faces, we were once again reminded why this is known as The City of Good Neighbors.
You can thank Gail McCarthy, who began this contagious beautification project with her late husband Marvin Lunenfeld back in 1995.
You can learn more info on the Garden Walk Buffalo website!
There are numerous garden events that take place throughout the seasons in many Western New York neighborhoods- make sure you check some of them out! It is perfect for a daytime date, families, with friends,or going solo.
Many famous Buffalo spots, such as the Mansion on Delaware and Forest Lawn Cemetery, are available to check out at any time other than Garden Walk weekend.
**more pics for you below! we did not post ALL of our shots- and we definitely did not hit all of the neighborhoods, but we gave some great highlights of our adventure!
On Day Two of the Garden Walk, girl bird ventured out solo for an hour to see some gardens along Bidwell, Argyle Park, and West Delavan. <<below pics>>