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Celebrate Spring’s Arrival with Buffalo’s New Gratitude Garden

There’s no better way to celebrate the approaching season than a trip to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden’s Spring Flower Exhibit. In fact, it’s one of WNY’s favorite spring traditions.

This year, the Botanical Gardens promise to be more uplifting than ever before. The Spring Flower Exhibit is taking on a new dimension, as the Botanical Gardens are being transformed into a Gratitude Garden.

Here are 4 reasons to visit the Spring Flower Exhibit this year:

  1. See 2,000 flags of gratitude

This year’s exhibit inaugurates gratitude flags inspired by traditional Tibetan prayer flags. Since September 2017 the Botanical Gardens has offered gratitude flags to supporters, who have inscribed them with their favorite memories or what the Botanical Gardens has meant to them.

The flags will be strung throughout the exhibit, providing a striking contrast to the plants below. “It’s a visual representation of how and why we are thankful for nature and for our community,” says Dave Swarts, president/CEO for the Botanical Gardens.

The flags bear notes ranging from a name to a story or personal memory. Each room of the Botanical Gardens will feature the flags, which are color coordinated to the flowers and plants exhibited in that room.

  1. Welcome spring with thousands of blooms

Colorful and fragrant spring bulbs and plants will be on display inside the 67-foot tall Main Palm Dome that is the centerpiece of the Botanical Gardens. You can expect to find artfully arranged displays of tulips, daffodils, lilacs, hyacinths and other surprises of all hues.

“Our gardens offer the amazing colors and fragrances of spring, which are a welcome reprieve after a long winter,” Swarts says.

  1. Shake winter’s chill in the iconic Victorian conservatory

After a winter filled with blizzard after blizzard, a visit to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens’ 32,000-square-foot conservatory is a great way to warm your spirit.

The 118-year-old Erie County treasure is filled with everything from fruit trees to cacti. Visitors can stroll from room to room, viewing an aquatic garden that’s home to a koi pond, replicas of Asian rain forest and Panama cloud forest biospheres, as well as collections of medicinal and carnivorous plants.

“You name it and we have it,” Swarts says. “Because we grow the plants in greenhouses, people can visit the gardens all year, no matter the exterior conditions.”

  1. Enjoy the animal exhibit

Besides the glory of the Gratitude Garden, don’t miss this year’s animal exhibit, made possible by a partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension and 4-H program. The farm exhibit promises wholesome fun for all visitors with an array of pigs, lambs, bunnies, chickens, goats and other animals to admire and pet. “Kids will love to see them and interact with them,” Swarts says.

The Spring Flower Exhibit, Gratitude Garden and 4-H Farm are open through April 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $11 for adults, $10 for seniors age 62 and up, $9 for students age 13 and up, and $6 for children age 3-12. Children under age 2 and garden members get in free. The Easter Bunny will visit the gardens March 24, 30 and 31, so be sure to bring the kids for this seasonal tradition.

The gardens are located in Buffalo’s South Park. To learn more about the beautiful exhibits at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, visit or call 716-827-1584.

Photo credit: Ben Read Photography