Monday, June 17, 2013

2013 National Garden Festival kicks off June 21st

There was a time when I had two favorite seasons: hockey and outdoor concert seasons. That changed with the introduction of the National Garden Festival, Buffalo-Niagara’s seven-week long garden party, which kicks off on Friday, June 21st throughout the area. For me, that season might just be more important than concerts (but not hockey!). This year’s festival features more than 1,000 gardens in 15 garden walks, seven motorcoach tours, a garden-art sale and a number of special events. 
The Buffalo-Style Garden Art Sale takes place Sunday, June 30th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Parkside Lodge at Delaware Park, the same day as the Parkside Garden Tour. The sale will include more than 30 vendors as well as the Avenue of Plant Societies, where representatives will answer your gardening and plant questions.
Erie Basin Marina Trial Gardens - 2012
copyright Paula Thompson Freelance
One of my favorite parts of the Garden Festival is the variety of motorcoach tours. I don’t think I’ll be going on any this year, but I’ve done three in the past that have similar tours this year: the Southtowns Bouquet (with a trip to Smug Creek Gardens), Gardens and Architecture (which took us to the Erie Basin Marina Trial Gardens) and Flowering Suburbia (with gardens in the northtowns, like my hometown of Amherst). I highly recommend the motorcoach tours as part of your Garden Festival experience.
Smug Creek Gardens - 2011
copyright Paula Thompson Freelance
Garden walks and open gardens highlight the Garden Festival, with open gardens on Thursdays and Fridays leading into weekends full of garden walks. The garden walk schedule kicks off with the Lewiston Garden Fest on Saturday and Sunday, June 22nd and 23rd, and includes walks in Grand Island, Hamburg, Lockport, Amherst, Lancaster and more. There will be 85 open gardens to visit on Thursdays or Fridays for self-guided tours during the festival as well – more information on the open gardens can be found in the Garden Festival directory, which is available for purchase or download at the website listed below.
Flowering Suburbia (last year entitled The Outliers) - 2012
copyright Paula Thompson Freelance
Highlighting the garden walk schedule is Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden tour in the US, on Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th. Garden Walk Buffalo will feature more than 380 gardens. The night before Garden Walk Buffalo, on Friday, July 26th, the first-ever “Evening of Wine and Roses” will take place from 5:15 to 9 p.m., a VIP tour of three gardens never to be included in Garden Walk Buffalo – learn more about the event at
For more information on the National Garden Festival, visit
Portions of this piece originally appeared on

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for covering the National Garden Festival!