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Step inside some glorious Western New York gardens

Summer is in full swing and so are the garden walks and tours. There are self-guided weekend walks, including some in the evening. There’s the Open Gardens event in which residents welcome visitors to their gardens during certain hours on Thursdays and Fridays in July.

And there are guided bus tours. The Buffalo Beyond Flowers: Sustainability in Action tour on Aug. 5 and the East Side Momentum Tour on Aug. 12 will take participants to rooftop gardens, community gardens and more.

Gardeners have been busy and it shows. The News photographed several stunning private gardens in recent days – in Hamburg, Lockport and Lackawanna. You can view the photo gallery here.

As anyone who has spent a few hours visiting gardens knows, the people who tend them are a friendly lot. They enjoy talking about plants, sharing tips, explaining how their love of gardening keeps growing.

Linda Monaco said she started gardening 14 years ago on a 200-foot-deep lot that had one maple tree and two rhododendrons. Today, her Lackawanna garden has a waterfall, a 4-foot deep koi pond (which she dug herself); sun and shade perennials; ornamental grasses, and a pergola and farmhouse table crafted by her husband, Chris.

“You go into Lockwood’s and see one flower, and then some more flowers and then before you know it you’re on a hydrangea kick,” laughed Monaco, describing how her love of gardening took off.

Now retired, she said she spends about five hours a day among the flower beds, beginning at 8 a.m.

She also shared something one often hears from seasoned gardeners.

“I’ve learned a lot from going to other people’s gardens. You get talking to people and they pass along what works and what doesn’t,” said Monaco, a participant in the Open Gardens event.

Gardeners and non-gardeners alike can learn more this summer, too. It’s not too late. See below for a list of the remaining regional garden walks which, along with Open Gardens and other gardening events in the area, are part of Gardens Buffalo Niagara. See details at

The garden of Linda Washut and Kathleen Kelkenberg in the Village of Hamburg. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

In case you missed it, Great Gardening columnist Sally Cunningham wrote about three gardens she visited during the Buzz Around Hamburg garden walk July 8-9.  One of them, the Washut and Kelkenberg garden, is also featured in the photo gallery. You can read her column here.

Garden walks and tours

The City of Tonawanda Garden Walk of 36 gardens is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15. A Night Lights tour of 15 gardens 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. Maps are available in city hall, the police department, the public library, the senior center on Main Street and at local businesses.

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. 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 Discover Niagara shuttle will provide free transporation to the various sites.

The Black Squirrel Home and Garden Walk is planned for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15 in the Memorial Park neighborhood of Niagara Falls. Maps will be available at 458 Memorial Parkway.

The Lancaster Garden Walk of 35 gardens in 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 13 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.

(Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

The 16th annual Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk 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, until 4 p.m. and St. Andrew-University Heights Arts Association’s (UHAA) Sculpture Garden, 3107 Main St., until 10 p.m. Free event.

The 14th annual Village of Williamsville Garden Walk and Tiny Garden Contest are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15. Headquarters will be outside Village Hall, 5565 Main St., where maps to the free event will be available.

The Pendleton Petal Pushers tour of three gardens is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15. The gardens are located at 6670, 6791 and 6987 Bear Ridge Road, Pendleton.

The 17th annual South Buffalo Alive’s Tour of Gardens will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 16. Maps can be picked up 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.

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.

The West Seneca Garden Walk is planned for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22 and 23. Maps to the free tour will be available at Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Road, West Seneca.

The 23rd annual Garden Walk Buffalo featuring about 400 gardens is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 29 and 30. The tour is free. Five free hop-on/hop-off shuttle buses with guides from Explore Buffalo will run both days.

Garden walk map/guide can be picked up at: Richmond-Summer Senior Center, Richmond Avenue and Summer Street; Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway; First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Circle; Evergreen Health, 206 S. Elmwood Ave., and West Side Community Services, 161 Vermont St. Or visit for locations to pick them up ahead of time or to download an abridged map.

The 13th annual Riverside Tour of Gardens will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 5 with about 40 gardens. More than 20 gardens are expected for the Starry Night Garden Tour that night 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 at 851-5116 or by downloading them online.

New this year: 14207 Day with historic tours, live music, crafts and more. Visit for map and other information.



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