Philharmonic & fireworks. We don't do gardening small...

The National Garden Festival kicked off its Front Yard Contest yesterday. It's a friendly "contest" between member landscapers of the WNYS Nursery & Landscape Association. Nine landscapers take over a neighborhood this week -- for FREE -- along Newman Place in South Buffalo, across from the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Cazenovia Park. It's also hosted by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and coordinated by Festival Director Sally Cunningham, and Otis Glover of the Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Ed Dore & crew start their day.
Not only do homeowners get a make-over, they get personal and group consultations with Sally, our area's top garden guru, among others. We're trying to make gardeners here, not just gardens. And we also have the side benefits of promoting the professional landscape & nursery pros in the area (this is sort of like one big ad!), improve a city block, and increase home values. No one really looses in this contest. With 14 homes being landscaped, it's a "Win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win" situation.

Last year the National Garden Festival (mostly the landscapers) created 19 new gardens, along an entire block, on North Parade, near the Buffalo & Erie County Science Museum. I have to get over there and take some pictures a year later, but I'm told the gardens are gong strong. Last year the contest was also covered in the Better Homes & Gardens publication, Country Gardens magazine. You can read that article here (look for the blue text link in the left-hand column).

As I was driving in, trucks of trees were
filling the roads in front of me.
There's also a daily blog set up starting before even yesterday. You can follow along with the garden progress here.

After the gardens on Newman place are finished, by Saturday, voting and judging begins. Judges from different professional garden groups will choose winners in many categories, and the public will get to vote on their favorite garden make-over, on site or online here.

And to kick off the public voting on Saturday, July 16? The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will play  concert in Cazenovia Park (7 p.m.), followed by fireworks after dusk. We do gardening BIG here in Buffalo.

This year's competitiors:
Beaver Landscaping, Inc. (716) 759-7044
Beyond the Basics Property Services, Inc.
Did I mention they started, for the second year in a row,
on the hottest day of the year, to date?
Temps were expected to reach 90.
Supplies providing free materials include:
Belgarde Hardscapes
Cooper Ridge Gardens
Felber’s Building Supplies
Great Lakes Concrete Products
Lakeside Sod
Lilac Creek
Lockwoods Greenhouses
Gilson Gardens
Russell's Tree & Shrub Farm
Scranton's Thruway Builder's Supplies
Shrub Coat
Waterman's Greenhouse
For news coverage of the event, visit these links: 

Anne Neville of the Buffalo News, interviews
a recipient of a Front Yard makeover.

Sally Cunningham, National garden Festival Director emcees
the press conference for the launch of the event.
WNYSNL spokesman, Neil Stern humbly thanks the landscapers
and suppliers generously donating of their time, talent & treasure.
Thomas Herrera Mishler, President & CEO of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
addresses Buffalo's enthusiastic garden culture and bountiful beautiful green spaces.


  1. Building gardens is terrific - encouraging people to become their own gardeners is the best. I was watching a show from Britain where people were all excited about getting a house with a garden - rather than a counter-part real estate show from N.A. where the folks say, "Well, that's a lot of work, better find another house."

  2. From blogs last year, I was under the impression that one could designated neighborhoods all summer. Once we got there this past week, we realized it was weekends. We were sorry to miss backyards but were pleased with all we saw just in FRONT yards. Next year, I hope to attend the "official" walk! Best wishes for a grand one this year.

  3. Barbarapc,
    Better the North American couple find a house without a garden if they cant keep it up. Can't force people to garden. Different gardens require different kinds of commitments! When we sold our last house (and garden) the owners were not gardeners but became hardcore gardeners!

    If you're referring to the bloggers that visited here last year - and their posts on Buffalo - they were given organized private tours during the week. There are garden tours every weekend here and Open Gardens for select gardens throughout the region on Thursdays and Fridays. And a few private bus tours independent of those. But just a tour of front yard gardens in Buffalo is better than some entire garden tours I've been on in the past.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts