Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sanssouci Palace garden in Potsdam

We were in Berlin last week and did a Fat Bike Tour of Potsdam, just a short train ride from Berlin. Potsdam is a BEAUTIFUL city -- what's left of it anyway, after WWII. Much of what remained standing were the summer palaces of the Prussian aristocracy.

Having a palace in Berlin was apparently too draining for some of these royals, so to get away from the pressures of daily palace living in Berlin, it was de rigueur to build a summer palace in Potsdam. There was a lot of "keeping up with the Müllers" going on the in the building of these summer homes.

This Rococo-style palace, Sanssouci (1745-47), was built by Frederick the Great. Frederick wasn't trying to outdo the other palace gardens of Potsdam though. His goal was to outdo Versailles' gardens. Germans don't think small.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gardens on TV...

Here's just some of the coverage Garden Walk Buffalo got on the TV during the Walk...

If this post ends up on Facebook (I'm never sure when, or if, it will) you'll probbaly not see the videos -- you'll have to visit

Monday, August 22, 2011

An image-enhancing event

Another great mention in the Buffalo News this year was in columnist Donn Esmonde's article after Garden Walk weekend. The best quote was the opening line. I felt a though he was talking directly to me and the Garden Walk committee and gardeners:

"Stop whatever you are doing and pat yourself on the back. Yes, you. You are leading the community. You are shaping the present and the future. Not the politicians or the power brokers. You."

He goes further to say, "The 1995 brainstorm of Marvin Lunenfeld and Gail McCarthy is a tribute to the communal spirit of folks in a city with a four-month growing season. It has blossomed (heh heh) into an image-enhancing event that — unlike pro sports or cultural attractions — actually brings suburbanites into city neighborhoods. The first-hand look cannot help but dissolve crime-and-grime stereotypes of the city. Some things you cannot put a price on."

Read the whole article here.

Photo up top is of the West Utica Street Community Garden.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The hotels are full, the streets were full, the gardens were full

The Buffalo News' coverage of Garden Walk Buffalo was phenomenal this year. Here's just one -- News writer Anne Neville interviewed me just as the Walk was winding down for the day.

"The 17th annual Garden Walk Buffalo had been over for less than an hour, and already Jim Charlier was musing about how to make next year’s walk better.
“We’re going to need more buses,” said Charlier, who has been president of the garden walk for six years. “The hotels are full, the streets were full, the gardens were full, and our buses were full.”

Read the full article here.

But even better (sometimes!) are the unsolicited comments the online version of the articles get. There were only two here, and here are excerpts:

"WOW!! To much to see in one day. I must go each day next year to try and see it all. The bus was very handy, and almost fun if my legs fit, but it is a garden walk. We are a city that has it to be found by those who dont know. We have a lot of good folks here!!"

"Based on what I saw this weekend, maybe Buffalo needs to call itself "The Garden City." There were thousands of people from all over the country walking around, smiling, talking, having a wonderful time. Though I am a Buffalonian, I took the opportunity to venture outside my neighborhood to see what other gardens and houses looked like. It was inspiring."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's over (for now!)

Forgive me blog readers, for I have sinned. It has been18 days since my last post.

I am still recovering from Garden Walk Buffalo and the National Garden Festival (and doing all the work from my day job that went undone). Garden Walk Buffalo was another big success.

It looked like this solid for two days
(between 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days)
This year the local press for Garden Walk Buffalo was outstanding. Not sure why. We did nothing on our end different this year. It's as though they finally "got" us. But it did help that we had zip code research, from last year, to quantify the out-of-town visitors, and survey results that documents our "little garden tour" has a direct economic impact of $3.6 million on the local economy. If you add the commonly accepted "tourism multipliers" to the $3.6 million, the economic impact is closer to $10 million, but that's harder to quantify.

There was LOTS of coverage from all three local TV stations as well as from the Buffalo News. The News had articles about the Walk from the Thursday before through the Monday after. I'll post some of the articles in the coming days.


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