Friday, February 20, 2009

Gardening Crowds


I just ran across this photo that was taken by Ellie, of the line of people packing in to see her alley during Garden Walk Buffalo, '08. This is in reference to my previous post, Ellie's Alley.

This is Ellie's one-way, dead-end Ally they're cramming themselves into.

I wasn't kidding when I mentioned it was a popular stop on Garden Walk each year. Most of the houses in her neighborhood have waiting lines to get into them, most of each day of the tour.

They easily get multiple thousands of people in their yards for the tour. The tour attracts tens of thousands of people to Buffalo the last weekend of July each year. We estimate 40,000 to 50,000 people, but that's just a guess based on the number of maps handed out and number of maps downloaded from the website.

My front yard during Garden Walk.

The self-guided tour of 300 gardens is absolutely free, no tickets required. Visitors get a map and start where ever they want. So there is no way to accurately measure attendees. Last year, my neighbor estimated about 2,000 came through our yards in two days.

This photo, taken by Garden Walk photographer/committee member Don Zinteck shows a crowd around a recently-built 800 sq. ft. modern "cottage." The garden takes up more room than the house on this tiny lot.

Fortunately my yard is accessible, and viewable, from a driveway, patio & deck, so there is no damage to the yard itself. Many gardens get terrible wear to their grass. But, hey, it's grass. in a few weeks it has self-repaired.

My driveway during Garden Walk. It's like this all day for two days.

If anyone's interested in coming to Buffalo for Garden Walk this summer, please let either myself, or Elizabeth (Garden Rant/Gardening While Intoxicated) know. We'll have some sort of get-together for visiting bloggers. We can help you see the best gardens – and avoid some of the crowds!

6 comments:

  1. Wow! It's a biiiig crowd! If each person could bring a can of food, they would make some food banks happy!
    I was wondering about damage to the lawns, but found the answer at the end of the post. I'd love to see Buffalo gardens.

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  2. Odd thing yesterday I was going through my bookmarked posts, and I had bookmarked your post on Ellie's garden. It is stunning, how wonderful that you can get that many people inspired, and excited about gardening.

    Too bad Buffalo is that far away from White Rock, I would sign up for sure.

    Jen

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  3. That's a lot of people! It must make you proud to have a garden that people will wait in line to see!!

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  4. Tatyana,
    I'm afraid teh only non-profit we're interested n supporting is ours! Even though it's entirely free–even the shuttle bus that takes people around–we take donations. Between that and some newly-formed corporate sponsorships, it's all we have to use to promote & host the event. But we do give out $4,000 in beautification grants each year to block clubs and community groups for gardening projects in the area of the Walk. We're proud of that.

    MBD,
    The post on Ellie's Alley is worth a visit - but so is her garden!

    Catherine,
    It is pretty impressive to have thousands of people visit your yard with compliments. I'm sure there's plenty of folks that visit that don't like what they see, but they are mercifully quiet.

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  5. That looks like so much fun...when I win that lottery, I'll get to go on all these tours I've so far managed to miss out on.

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  6. Oh how I would love to come for Garden Walk in Buffalo. I wish you were just a little closer!! I'll have to search the classifieds for "WANTED: garden tourist. We will pay you to tour every garden you have ever dreamed of visiting." That would be perfect!

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