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By Lyn Chimera

T Buffalo has become known as a premier garden tourism destination. Every July for the past 22 years, Buffalo has hosted Garden Walk Buffalo during the last weekend in July. This event has spawned many other gardening events including Open Gardens on Thursdays and Fridays in July and special Garden Tours and events throughout the summer. Information on these events is below. Most events are free except for the bus tours. Get your calendar out and plan on being dazzled by beautiful gardens.

Open Gardens: Every Thursday and Friday from July 6th – 27th, over 75 public and private gardens are open to the public, no charge. The gardens are clustered in 12 groups in both Erie and Niagara Counties. The gardens are usually open either Thursday or Friday mornings, afternoons, or evenings. The Open Garden book is available at The Buffalo Botanical Gardens and various local nurseries and includes excellent maps for all locations. You can get information at these locations as to where the book is available and other information at <https://www.buffalorising.com/2015/07/visit-open-gardens-throughout-buffalo-niagara-starting-this-week/>. You can also download the book from this site. Open Gardens is my personal favorite way to visit gardens without crowds and parking hassles. It’s much easier to photograph without the crowds and you have a chance to talk to the gardener(s) and ask questions.

Garden Walk Buffalo: America’s largest garden tour takes place Saturday, July 29th and Sunday, July 30th. This amazing event includes more than 400 gardens in the city. More than 60,000 people will visit the gardens over this two day period! For information and where to get a map, go to <https://gardensbuffaloniagara.com/events/garden-walk-buffalo/>.

Community Garden Walks: There are now 18 different Garden Walks and Tours in a variety of communities in Erie and Niagara County. These start in June and run each weekend through August. The Open Garden Book has information on times and dates for the various locations. You can also find listings in the Garden Events column in the Buffalo News every Friday.

Garden Tours: There are two bus tours being offered. I have been on both of them and they show you a side of Buffalo you may never have seen before. Both are interesting and enjoyable experiences. Reservations are required and there is a cost which covers the bus and box lunch. For information go to ………………..

Beyond Flowers Tour: Want to see what Buffalo is doing to be green? This tour highlights seven strong environment-friendly approaches to achieving “green responsibility” within the city. Offered on August 5th from 10 am–3 pm, the tour includes the community-based rooftop garden above the historic Broadway market, a million dollar project on Lake Erie, the ecological land revival at the Central Terminal, the reclaimed residential sites that now feature urban farms, neighborhood rain gardens, and the bio-retention cell on the Medical Campus which is helping to save the sewer system. These projects proudly acclaim a solid commitment to environmental improvements and successes and you will get many ideas to use in your own landscape. For more details, go to <https://gardensbuffaloniagara.com/events/bus-tours/event:08-05-2017-10-00am-beyond-flowers-tour/>.

East Side Momentum Tour: Buffalo’s East Side is an area of distinct and evolving neighborhoods. On this tour, offered on August 12th from 9am–1pm, you’ll visit six sites that reveal firsthand the changing cultural presence of this diverse section of the city. Enjoy the Buddhist community center garden developed by newly integrated immigrants. View the family-operated Wilson Street Farm and the Pelion Community Garden at City Honors School. Both serve their local neighborhoods but in distinctly different ways. Touch base with the Farmer Pirates who foster urban farming and learn how the community-based rooftop garden above the historic Broadway market has resolved numerous challenges. Meet the None Like You/We Care community group started by a group of far-seeing women that functions to tie neighbors together and to provide educational opportunities. As unrelated as the various neighborhoods of our city’s East Side are, they continually exhibit enthusiasm and resourcefulness. Join us for a personal visit to adifferent side of Buffalo and hear the project leaders each tell their story. This is another opportunity to learn ways to improve your gardening. For more information, go to………

Once you’ve visited some of the inspirational gardens, contact me for a garden consultation. I can help you make improvements and changes to your gardens. Happy Gardening!