July 24 and 25 are quickly approaching as gardeners in Buffalo prepare for Garden Walk Buffalo, a great event in which gardeners share their private sanctuaries and knowledge with others of like mind (gardeners and non-gardeners alike). Recently while getting a sneak peek at some Garden Walk gardens, as we toured around Buffalo I noticed that many areas of the city were less than prosperous having lost the lustrous shine of Buffalo's heyday. But the City of Buffalo is working to turn the town around.
We were taken to a restoration project opposite an old Olmstead water feature that too will be restored. Our hosts likened it to Extreme Home Makeover - Neighbourhood Garden Edition. In this neighbourhood a group of 16 landscape design companies volunteered to do 19 front yard garden makeovers (donating time, labour and supplies) on some tarnished homes, and in consultation with the homeowners they created lovely new landscapes in just 4 days. The public is being invited to visit the neighborhood and select their favourite garden in the National Buffalo Garden Festivals Front Yard Garden Competition. And this is only the first step in the revitalization project. Next the homes will be painted (some already had started being painted). Once the water feature is restored by the Olmstead Conservancy this neighbourhood will have begun to achieve some of its former glory.
The city is hoping that this project is just the first of many, acting as a model that will be repeated over and over again throughout the city bringing Buffalo back to life. Many thanks to the garden industry for working to improve these neglected urban areas.