Weekends are packed with parties, garage sales, barbecues and festivals, but gardeners and nongardeners alike know there are other events that scream summer around here: Garden tours and walks.
Beginning in early June and continuing into August, it will be possible to check out one – or several – almost every weekend. Daytime too busy for you? You’ll find evening tours as well. Gardens under the stars. How lovely does that sound?
Most of the regional community tours listed below are part of Gardens Buffalo Niagara, which consists of 50 volunteers and is committed to making Buffalo Niagara “a premier garden destination.”
Weekend tours are just part of the summer gardening scene. Other happenings include the Open Gardens event, which takes place on Thursdays and Fridays in July. It includes about 70 gardens for visitors to stop by during certain hours.
Gardens Buffalo Niagara hosts and promotes other activities as well – including bus tours and educational events.
A full schedule of events can also be found at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The front lawn is the setting for the Buffalo-Style Garden Art Sale 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 24 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 25, for example.
Most walks are still in the planning stages but this list should get you started. Note: Many are free. Some are walkable. All are self-guided.
COMING IN JUNE
The eighth annual Bikes in Bloom in Clarence Center kicks off June 3 and continues through mid-August in the areas of Clarence Center and Goodrich roads and surrounding neighborhoods. Businesses and residents decorate more than 30 bikes and display them for all to see. Maps can be picked up mid-June at the Perfect Gift, Clarence Center Coffee Co. & Café, Bank of Akron, Yours Truly and other local businesses. The event is sponsored by the Meet in the Center Merchants Association.
The 12th annual Shaw Guild Garden Tour of eight gardens in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and nearby Queenston is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 10. Tickets, $25, are available online. Tickets also are available through the Shaw Festival box office, 800-511-7429.
Lewiston Garden Club will present its 12th annual Lewiston GardenFest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 17 and 18 along historic Center Street. The event includes a free walk of an anticipated 12 gardens, both private and public. Kicking things off at 10 a.m. June 17 is a butterfly release at Hennepin Park by Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm.
Other highlights include daily speakers, demonstrations, a return of the popular container garden contest, soil sample analysis, questions answered by master gardeners and members of the Hosta & Daylily and Bonsai societies and vendors selling flowers, plants and garden-related items.
Volunteers from the Lewiston Garden Club, which is celebrating its 90th year, will create a pop-up garden at the Lewiston Museum on Plain Street. GardenFest brochures will be available at the hospitality booths at each end of the festival on Center Street.
The 20th annual Parkside Garden and Architecture Tour, presented by the Parkside Community Association, is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 25. The starting point is Hillside Children’s Services, 70 Jewett Parkway at Crescent Avenue, where garden map and directory will be available tour day for $5.
New this year: A plan for local musicians to perform from noon to 3 p.m. on neighbors’ front porches. In addition, Explore Buffalo will be offering at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. guided tours of the Fredrick Law Olmsted-designed neighborhood. Cost is $15.
Tourgoers can also explore the site of the future gardens at the Darwin Martin House, where horticulturist Nell Gardner and volunteers will be on hand.
Visit the website for more information and to register your garden; enroll by June 16 to be listed in the tour directory.
COMING IN JULY
Jamestown Audubon’s 2017 Secret Gardens Tour is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 1 on the grounds of the Audubon Community Nature Center, 1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, and half dozen gardens throughout the region.
Presale tickets are available for $12. Cost is $15 on tour day. Order online, under “Programs” heading, where you can also see a list of other locations to purchase tickets. Or call 569-2345.
Springville Concord Elder Network (SCENe) Garden Club is planning its second free Community Garden Walk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 8. Maps can be picked up tour day at Fiddlers Green Park gazebo, North Buffalo and Franklin streets, Springville. More than a dozen gardens are on the tour so far, but new participants are welcome. Residents in the Village of Springville and Town of Concord can still register. Call 864-2015 or 942-3212.
The 13th annual Lockport In Bloom Garden Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 8 and 9. The free, walking/driving tour features more than 40 historic homes and gardens, including public parks, located within one mile of the City of Lockport limits.
In addition, a Twilight in the Garden walk is scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. July 8. Maps/brochures can be picked up tour day at the headquarters at the Kenan Center, 433 Locust St., Lockport. Maps will also be available at the end of June at various local businesses.
The 13th annual Village of Hamburg Garden Walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 8 and 9. Maps for this free event will be available at the Memorial Park Band Stand, corner of Lake and Union streets, Village of Hamburg. Garden vendors will be in the park both days. Village residents can enter their gardens using the application on the website; deadline is June 15.
The second annual Grand Island Garden Walk is being planned for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 9. Residents can register their gardens by June 1; an application is available online. On tour day, maps will be available at the Town Commons Gazebo, 2255 Baseline Road at Whitehaven Road. The event is free and a joint venture of three Grand Island garden clubs and the community.
The 15th annual Snyder-CleveHill Garden View of about 30 private gardens and public spaces is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 9 in the Snyder and Cleveland Hill neighborhoods. Maps may be picked up at Trillium’s Courtyard Florist, 2195 Kensington Ave., Snyder. A $2 donation is suggested. Garden View is on Facebook. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Tonawanda Garden Walk of about 25 gardens is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15. A Night Lights tour will take place from 9 to 11 p.m. July 14. The event is sponsored by the City of Tonawanda Board of Visual & Performing Arts in conjunction with the Garden Club of the Tonawandas. Application deadline is June 1. Applications are available on Facebook and online.
Maps will be available the last week of June in city hall, the police department, the public library, the senior center on Main Street and at local businesses. For additional information, call the mayor’s office at 695-8645.
Garden Walk Niagara Falls USA is planned for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15. It kicks off at 9:30 a.m. at Schoellkopf Park, near Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center on Portage and Pine avenues. Residents can register their gardens online until June 15.
Community institutions will offer free activities for the public. Anticipated activities include a gospel festival, perennial plant sale, kite-making, drum circle and more.
The Lancaster Garden Walk of about 35 residential gardens and business properties throughout the Village of Lancaster and Town of Lancaster is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 15 and 16.
An evening tour of eight to 10 illuminated gardens is scheduled for 8:45 to 11 p.m. July 14. The event is free. Tour-day headquarters include: Two Chicks and a Rooster, 732 Aurora St.; Petals to Please, 5870 Broadway, and Simply Italiano, 85 Central Ave.
The 16th annual Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk of about 70 private gardens and public spaces is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15 in the neighborhoods of the University District of Buffalo, Eggertsville and Amherst. Capen at Night, an evening tour, is planned for 8 to 10 p.m.
Maps and parking will be available at UB Anderson Gallery, 1 Martha Jackson Place, and St. Andrew’s Church University Heights Arts Association’s (UHAA) Sculpture Garden. Free event. Visit the website for information and entry form; deadline is June 20 to be included on the map.
The 14th annual Village of Williamsville Garden Walk of approximately 30 gardens is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15. Residents can register their gardens by July 1 to be included on the map. Go online for entry form. On tour day, headquarters will be outside Village Hall, 5565 Main St., where maps to the free event will be available.
In addition, the public is invited to enter the Tiny Garden Contest. It’s free to enter but preregistration is recommended. For information on the contest and tiny kickoff parade, visit the website. Or call 632-4120, Ext. 3009.
The Black Squirrel Home and Garden Walk is being planned for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15 in the Memorial Park neighborhood of Niagara Falls. Keep an eye on Facebook for details.
The 17th annual South Buffalo Alive’s Tour of Gardens of about 50 gardens will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 16. Maps can be picked up tour day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tim Russert Children’s Garden next to the Dudley Library at 2010 South Park Ave. Suggested donation is $2. Deadline for registering gardens is July 1. Visit the South Buffalo Alive Facebook page or call Marge Ryan, 826-3158.
The 15th annual Ken-Ton Garden Tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22 and 23. The annual Night Lights evening tour is planned for 8:30 to 11 p.m. July 21 and 22. Gardens are located in the Village of Kenmore and Town of Tonawanda; this is primarily a driving tour.
Tour day headquarters is at the Aquatic and Fitness Center, 1 Pool Plaza, Town of Tonawanda. The event is free. Residents can still register their gardens online; applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. June 9.
The West Seneca Garden Walk is planned for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22 and 23. Maps to the free tour can be picked up at Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Road, West Seneca, next to St. Matthews Cemetery.
Those interested in entering their gardens can contact Dave or Sharon Pulinski at 824-3995 or by email: email@example.com. Deadline is June 20.
The 23rd annual Garden Walk Buffalo, called the largest garden tour in America featuring about 400 gardens and attracting some 60,000 visitors each year, is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 29 and 30. The tour is free.
Two headquarters with complete garden walk guides are set up on tour day: Richmond-Summer Senior Center, Richmond Avenue and Summer Street, and Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway.
Maps also will be available at two satellite sites: First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Circle, and West Side Community Services, 161 Vermont St. Visit the website for highlights, history and updates.
COMING IN AUGUST
The 13th annual Riverside Tour of Gardens will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 5 with more than 40 gardens. More than 20 gardens are expected for the Starry Night Garden Tour that evening from 8 to 10 p.m. Tour day headquarters: St. Mark’s & All Saints’ Church, 311 Ontario St.
Maps also will be available at area businesses, by calling Council Member Joseph Golombek’s office before the event at 851-5116 or by downloading them online. New this year: 14207 Day. Tours, live music, arts and craft shows and more will be offered by community organizations, churches and businesses.