Saturday, July 31, 2010

Garden Walk Buffalo - first stats are in

Crowds like this were consistent for two days at this intersection, the appropriately-named Summer Street.
Garden tourism expert, Richard Benfield, Professor of Geography at the University of Central Connecticut, was here for Garden Walk Buffalo this year. He's got a forthcoming book, titled Garden Tourism, that makes him a leading authority on this unheralded aspect of tourism in the U.S. -- 'cause no one else has a book on it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Anyone read Chinese?

Yes. That's my house. In a newspaper. In Chinese. Some gracious garden visitor dropped this off to one of headquarters during Garden Walk Buffalo this past weekend. Apparently it is from a Cleveland area Chinese-language newspaper. I have no clue as to what it says. In the left column, it does say in English, "Buffalo," "Garden Walk Buffalo," and other descriptors -- like rain garden, cottage garden, and rock garden. It mentions Marvin Lunenfeld (founder of Garden Walk Buffalo),  and the Elmwood Village. Other than that, it's greek to me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

MMC at MSL in NYC & THX to GWB Committee

Here's Margaux Meursault Charlier, with Stacey Hirvella, Senior Associate Garden Editor, Martha Stewart Living, rooftop, at the Martha Stewart Living offices in NYC this morning. Wife & daughter are in NYC and Long Island for a week as I get back to doing work that pays bills, as opposed to the garden event stuff that's occupied a majority of my billable hours for the last five months.

Garden Walk this weekend was another smashing success. I'll be posting about the Walk over the next couple weeks. I've talked to a few of the GW committee members already today and we're all sort of hung over, but jazzed about the weekend.

Everybody in Buffalo should be thanking the Garden Walk committee members, that work year round, for hosting an event that is really starting to make an impact on how Buffalo is perceived by out-of-towners (and in-towners for that matter). This is no longer a small garden tour, it is a national tourism draw. Buffalo's rustbelt/snowbelt image will not be changed by any politician, it will not be changed by an ad campaign or clever tagline, and it will not be changed by the national media. It will be changed by these people:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Garden symposia, contests, parties, dinners & mega tour

Wild week continues.

Garden Symposium
First up, a Garden Symposium, this Friday, July 23 at Forest Lawn Cemetery as part of the National Buffalo Garden Festival. Speakers include Professor Richard Benfield, speaking about the great botanic gardens of the world, he is author of the forthcoming book, Garden Tourism. Landscape Architect Virginia Burt on how to create sacred spaces. Sandra Sparks will speak on the Women and Gardens of Forest Lawn.

Monday, July 19, 2010

First, 60 garden bloggers, then a photo shoot, then 2,000 visitors. Oy.

I've had just about the busiest (and best) time over the last two weeks. Not moments after I help plan, plot & shepherd 70 garden writers and bloggers around the country to Buffalo's gardening sites & institutions, I then have to focus on having a good-sized photo shoot in my garden for this coming Friday. Then, there's this little thing of helping throw the largest garden tour in the country, taking place on Saturday and Sunday. We're expecting 50,000-plus people for the tour -- 2,000 of which will plod through my garden. Can you imagine prep work? And my angst?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Posts on Buffalo gardens...

 "We all know I love buildings, but in Buffalo I swooned." - Susan Cohan, NJ, Miss Rumphius' Rules

"Who knew that Buffalonians were so serious about gardening?" - Helen Battersby, Toronto Gardens 

"Greetings from Buffalo, one of the best-kept secrets among garden cities in the country!"
Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun

"There is an energy surrounding Buffalo which is palpable to gardeners in particular." - Layanee, RI, Ledge and Gardens

"One of the richest cities in America at the turn of the 20th century, Buffalo has Frederick Law Olmstead-designed parks and Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings to spare, as well as charming neighborhoods and the most attractive housing stock of any city I've ever visited.  Getting "oohs" and "aahs" out of even jaded gardeners in the midst of this 18-carat setting would probably not be hard under any circumstances.  But Buffalo's gardeners are an amazingly high-spirited, playful, and brave group.  One of my favorite gardens cheekily mixed a David, a Diana, a stone Buddha, and a big honking garden gnome." - Michele Owens, Saratoga Springs, Garden Rant

A single post may appear under many categories, depending on images and mentions within the post.
Categories are divided into Allentown Gardens, Cottage District Gardens, Lancaster Avenue, Lockwoods Greenhouses, Urban Roots, National Garden Festival Front Yard Garden Contest, Erie Basin Marina Trial Gardens, Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, Olmsted's Delaware Park's Japanese Garden, Shadracks Hosta & Daylily Garden, ACS Hope Blooms Gardens, 20th Century Club, Bird Avenue Ballard/Olinsky Garden, Comments on Buffalo, Garden Walk Buffalo, Cary Street, North Pearl Licata/Bigelow Garden, Lancaster Avenue Charlier Garden, Niagara falls and Photo Collections.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Listen up. I'll be on Martha Stewart Radio tomorrow morning.

I'll be on, live, around 7:30 a.m. (EST) on the "Morning Living" program, hosted by Kim Fernandez and Betsy Karetnick. They're interested in sharing info on Garden Walk Buffalo with their listeners. I'm expecting deep probing questions, like, "When did Garden Walk start?" and, "What can people expect to see?"
You can read their RadioBlog here. Stacey Hirvella, Senior Associate Editor for Martha Stewart Living is an occasional gardening contributor to the blog. She visited Garden Walk Buffalo last year and is an ardent supporter of the Walk.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It may be the only garden tour to ever get a standing ovation...

It was just the Allentown gardens that are on Garden Walk Buffalo...

Drinks in the garden of my co-coordinator for the weekend, Buffalo Spree Editor, contributor and GardeningWhileIntoxicated blog writer, Elizabeth Licata...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Garden Bloggers to take over Buffalo!

A year in the planning, and here I am, the night before, making name tags. Over the next four days, 72 garden bloggers, from 23 different states and Canada, are arriving for a visit to Buffalo's great gardening sites and private residential gardens.

The prevailing hope is that they'll have a good time, have some good meals and blog about our gardens & hospitality in a positive light. And provide an unprecedented amount of PR for Buffalo's great gardens & gardeners.

Here is a list of the blogs of the gardeners coming for a visit. Check them out over the course of the next four days (and beyond) and see what they have to say (and show) about the Erie Basin Marina Test Gardens, The Cottage District, the Delaware Park Japanese Garden, Urban Roots Community Garden Center, Lockwood's Greenhouses, the Shadrack hosta garden, the Front Yard Garden Competition, the Botanical Gardens and the Lancaster Avenue gardens. If you agree, or disagree with something in a post -- leave a comment -- bloggers love getting comments.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Buffalo's Front Yard Garden Contest off to a great start

Back in December, it was a dozen of us sitting in a room. We're brainstorming ways to leave a permanent legacy of the National Garden Festival. Permanent over-sized planters for all the host sites for events? Killer baskets of annuals for Bidwell Parkway (like you'd see in Niagara-on-the-Lake)? An awesome community garden in a very public spot? The idea was to keep in the spirit of what Garden Walk Buffalo has done with their Beautification Grants by improving a neighborhood or common area.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Eastside Garden Competition, the changing of a neighborhood, starts tomorrow

I started a garden blog so that I could promote Garden Walk Buffalo and Buffalo's gardens. You know, take a nail out of Buffalo's coffin by letting the rest of the world know that rustbelt/snowbelt isn't all we have going on here (actually that rustbelt/snowbelt thing is all in the minds of people that DON'T live here). I could not be happier that we're getting there, and this week could be a turning point.

This week, it seems, is the culmination of all the efforts of the National Buffalo Garden Festival. It's the busiest garden week in Buffalo! 50,000 visitors for Garden Walk Buffalo in two weeks will be a walk in the park compared to this week.


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