Garden Walk Buffalo 2017 – North American’s Largest Free Garden Tour – is Almost Here!

Explore some of the best urban landscape and architecture anywhere on the continent, in Buffalo, New York’s historic neighbhourhoods – Saturday and Sunday, July 29th & 30th,       10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

An Invite from the volunteer citizens who put Garden Walk Buffalo together

Posted July 25,, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – Now in its 23rd year, Garden Walk Buffalo hosts the largest free garden tour in the country with more than 60,000 visitors coming from all over the states, Canada, and even further abroad.

 A FREE self-guided tour, no tickets required, with over 400 urban gardens in beautiful, historic neighborhoods of the city, Saturday and Sunday, July 29 & 30, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

A chance to see some of the most beautiful and creative urban gardens – water gardens, rock gardens, courtyards, perennial borders, and cottage gardens; anywhere in America

FIVE FREE Shuttle Buses – Follow the orange line on the Garden Walk map for the continuous 30-minute loop, hop-on/hop-off shuttle route.

NEW THIS YEAR– Explore Buffalo docents will be available on all bus to offer commentary on historic sites and architectural landmarks along the route.

  • Map/Guides are available for free:
  • Ahead of time, at select sponsor locations, or
  • Online, visit (does not include garden descriptions).

During the event at one of the headquarters:

  • ·      Buffalo Seminary – 205 Bidwell Parkway
  • ·      Richmond Summer Senior Center – Richmond Ave & Summer St.
  • ·      Evergreen Health – 206 S. Elmwood Ave.
  • ·      1st Presbyterian Church – 1 Symphony Circle
  • ·      West Side Community Center – 161 Vermont St.


Poster from 2016 Garden Walk.

Also, 2017 marks the second year of collaboration between the Buffalo Architecture Foundation (BAF) and Garden Walk. As part of its Building Stories Program, Garden Walk Buffalo visitors will be able to read and see photos of select properties’ Building (or Garden) Story.  By scanning the QR Codes on the signage along the tour, visitors will gain an insiders perspective to these amazing and unique spaces.

The stories collected from Garden Walk Buffalo are available on the Buffalo Architecture Foundation website. Buildings Stories is a multi-media personal history project documenting and sharing profound individual experiences with architecture, construction, landscape and planning.

  More information can also be found at 


Where are the headquarters for the Garden Walk?

On the days and hours of Garden Walk, you can get maps (and visit a restroom!) at two headquarters. Merchandise such as books, magazines, t-shirts, caps, totes and more will be available for purchase.

File photo by Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

The two headquarters are:

  • Richmond-Summer Senior Center, corner of Richmond Avenue and Summer Street
  • Buffalo Seminary School, 205 Bidwell Parkway near Soldiers Circle and Chapin Parkway

We will have three “satellite” sites where you can pick up maps only:

  • First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Circle
  • West Side Community Services, 161 Vermont Street
  • Evergreen Health, 206 S. Elmwood Avenue, 14201

NOTE: The complete garden walk map will only be available for free at our headquarters and satellite locations. In advance of the Walk, they will be available for free at select sponsor locations.

Where is parking for Garden Walk?

Garden Walk Buffalo is a self-guided tour of more than 400 gardens. There are no officially designated parking areas and no designated start or end point. There is generally ample parking along the streets in the area of the Walk.

What is the cost to tour Garden Walk Buffalo?

The signs leading way to each garden on the tour

Garden Walk is a free, self-guided tour of more than 400 gardens. There are no tickets required and no cost for touring the gardens. Even the Garden Walk Shuttle is free. Buses will circulate between the headquarters this year, stopping at select shuttle stops in many of the Walk neighborhoods. Garden Walk Buffalo is kept free through generous contributions of participants and visitors like you, as well as through the generosity of its sponsors.

Where are the gardens?

The Walk takes place in several communities within the city’s limits:

  • Elmwood Village
  • Symphony Circle & Kleinhans
  • The Cottage District
  • Historic West Village
  • Allentown
  • Fargo Estate Nieghborhood
  • Columbus Park/Prospect Hill

The Garden Walk map provides you with a comprehensive layout of the area with gardens plotted, and with descriptions. They will be available at select sponsor locations in early July. They will also be available at two headquarters and two satellite locations, during the days and hours of the Walk.

Look for the yellow Garden Walk sign and go on in!

File photo by Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

What can I expect to see and do on the Walk?

Here are just some of the places and things you’re likely to see during the Walk:

Beautiful gardens: flower, rose, vegetable, herb and organic gardens; Japanese, English and water gardens; butterfly, pocket, espaliers, container and rock gardens; sidewalk and community gardens.

Creative garden structures: multiple-level decks, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, fountains, wall murals, sculpture, koi ponds, waterfalls, potting sheds, carriage houses, playgrounds, playhouses, a tree house, and a putting green.

Art: award-winning urban sculpture, public art, re-purposed and found art, wall murals, and more – .


 Architecture and landscape: Victorian homes, Civil War-era cottages, secret houses hidden from view and turn-of-the-century mansions, homes by Frank Lloyd Wright and McKim, Mead & White, H.H. Richardson’s Richardson Olmsted Campus, and Eliel and Eero Saarinen’s Kleinhans Music Hall, parkways and traffic circles laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Art Deco treasure that is Buffalo City Hall.

History: The Buffalo History Museum, The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site; the spot where President McKinley ultimately died; and the beautiful Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Shopping and dining: unique shopping and dining galore throughout the Elmwood Village and Allentown areas.

When will it be held?

Garden Walk Buffalo is always the last full weekend in July. In 2017, it will be Saturday and Sunday, July 29 & 30. Plan ahead! Viewing hours are 10 a.m to 4 p.m. each day. But, if you see a yellow sign posted in the front yard of a garden on the tour before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., feel free to visit. But only if the Garden Walk sign is displayed please!

Touring Buffalo’s very popular ‘Cottage district’ during Garden Walk

Is there a rain date?

There is no rain date. Garden Walk is the last full weekend of July every year – rain or shine (but quite honestly, it’s rarely a problem!). Watch the weather forecasts and bring an umbrella if needed!

Where can we use restrooms, or get something to drink?

At any of the two headquarters you can use restrooms or find water available to purchase. There are also dozens of restaurants, stores and shops throughout the Elmwood Village that share facilities for customers. There are plenty of stores along Elmwood Avenue and Allen Street that sell water and other beverages.

Visiting from Canada?

Anything you could want to know about visiting from Canada–directions, transportation, cross-border travel and important phone numbers – you can find here.

What about wheelchairs, bikes, baby-strollers and dogs?

That’s entirely up to you. Please ask a gardener if bringing a dog onto their property is okay. Be aware that many yards and gardens have narrow paths or walkways that make pushing a stroller difficult. Some Garden Walk signs, posted in the front yards, may have “no dogs,” or “no strollers” stickers. Please observe the gardener’s requests, if any.

For wheelchair/stroller accessibility, look in the Garden Walk map for gardens with a wheelchair symbol.

Are there overnight accommodations in the area?

There are accommodations from hotels, to Bed & Breakfasts, to Airbnbs in the immediate downtown area. For area hotels, please visit here.

I can’t make Garden Walk Buffalo – any other garden tours on different weekends?

More information can also be found at 

To watch a Video on Garden Walk Buffalo, click on the following link .

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



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