The ability to finally garden has been front page news here in Buffalo and the national news is taking notice of the (delayed) gardening season in articles like this one in the Wall Street Journal: "Cities Invite Tourists to Stop and Smell the Roses".
It reports on the phenomenon that Garden Walk Buffalo represents in cities across the U.S. Inspired by Buffalo’s, Cleveland is now holding a city-wide garden walk that will include urban farms, vineyards, and orchards—the first one is June 24—and there are many established walks and festivals: lilacs in Rochester; azalea in Wilmington, NC; and lupines in Maine, among countless others.
Last year, Connecticut geography professor Richard Benfield was in Buffalo researching his upcoming book Garden Tourism. The 16-year-old Buffalo event, which—starting last year—has now grown into a five-week festival including on-going open gardens, a front yard contest, and a speaker/seminar program, now draws 25% of its visitors from out of town. (Keep in mind that the first GWB had 20 gardens and was more like a block party than a tourist event.) Also, the GWB visitors attend an average of 3.39 garden events per year, leaving money behind at each.
The Journal interviewed GWB prez Jim Charlier as well as Benfield, and concluded with the statement I quote in this post title.
Garden Walk visitors will never see my viburnum during this, its finest season. By itself, it’s a fine example of plicatum tomentosum—which is all very well—but the way it embraces this sculpture makes it a real event. It does not disappoint.
Happy Memorial Day!