By Guest Blogger Elizabeth of Gardening While Intoxicated
In July I attempted to entice other garden bloggers into attending Garden Walk Buffalo, and failed miserably. Fine. I’m over it, and now I have a new challenge: why not start your own walk? Garden Walk Buffalo was started as much to show off city living to a suburban audience as it was to show off our gardening prowess (or lack thereof) and now it is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the local summer calendar.
We’re not talking about a guided tour for eighteen ladies from the local garden club (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Buffalo’s garden walk is free, advertised throughout Western New York and beyond, and is self-guided. Participating gardeners have the choice to open their back, side, and front yards—or any combination thereof—to the public for the last Saturday and Sunday in July between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. We started with twenty gardens in 1995 and now we have 260 plus. The gardens are not juried; anyone may participate, as long as their garden is within the roughly three-mile radius of the walk.
The event has received tons of newspaper, TV, and radio coverage, and we’ve found that housing values have routinely risen after a certain block or neighborhood joins the Walk.
It is truly a blast. My husband was leery at first, but after his first experience of sitting in our back yard basking in the interest and compliments, he looks forward to it as much as I do.
Clearly, most of the players in this particular corner of the blogosphere have some element of exhibitionism in their make-up. Many, I am sure, participate in garden tours. Starting a garden walk is a great way to get friendly with your neighbors and a wonderful reward for all your hard work. The time to begin organizing one for next summer would be—yeah, right around now.
P.S. Though the Walk is technically free, we get so much revenue in donations that we have started a funding program for community gardens and are publishing a book/DVD this fall.