Buffalo Garden Book Give-Away and My Best Buffalo Shots


It had to happen – a book about the Buffalo-Style Gardens that have become the talk of the gardening world, especially among garden writers.

And it had to be the work of Buffalo’s most vocal promoters of Buffalo gardens – the writer Sally Cunningham and the writer/photographer Jim Charlier, published by St. Lynn’s Press in Pittsburgh.

To Enter the Give-away

Just leave a comment here or on GardenRant’s Facebook page about:

  • Buffalo. Have you visited lately? Have you been to Garden Walk Buffalo?
  • The gardens where YOU live. Is there anything distinctive about them or are you jealous that Buffalo has its own style and your city doesn’t?
  • Or whatever you’d like to say.

Comment until close of business next Friday (2/15). I’ll pick one at random a week from today and email the winner.

I’ve browsed Buffalo-Style Gardens enough to see a few familiar gardens and even some familiar faces, which just made me want to see more.

Buffalo Memories

My times in Buffalo begin when the the four original or almost original GardenRanters had our first meet-up there, having decided to all attend and promote the 2007 Garden Walk that’s we’d loved reading about in Elizabeth’s posts. In fact it was her writing about the Walk that prompted us to ask her to join us just six months after the blog launched.

I love the photo above with, from left, Amy Stewart, Elizabeth Licata, me, and Michele Owens in Elizabeth’s garden but as for details about the partying that went on that weekend, what happens in Buffalo should probably stay in Buffalo. 

On a more professional note, we hired a real photographer – K.C. Kratt – to do some official group portraits. This one ran on the site for a long time and illustrated an article in a Washington Post called “Feisty Women Win Raves for Their Rants.” (Good times!)

Now for some of my favorite Buffalo garden shots from my three visits to Buffalo, all in mid- to late summer. Yes, I returned every chance I got to hang out with gardeners there – for the garden Blogger Fling in 2010 and the Garden Writers Association’s big annual conference in 2017.

Above, one of the most photographed gardens in the city, in the heart of the Cottage District.

I’ve used this photo countless times to illustrate the mid-summer glories of Russian sage, Rudbeckia and groundcover sedum.

This view of Jim Charlier’s garden is almost as famous as his shed, which in the forward to this book he claims to love almost as much as he loves his daughter (but don’t ask by how much).

 Above and below, the garden at a hospice facility, if memory serves.Having seen it in 2007, during the 2010 Fling I dragged bloggers Gail Eichelberger and Frances G. to the garden, cocktails in hand. They loved it, too.

Above and below, it’s hard to believe these gardens are in the middle of a city.

My favorite thing about Buffalo gardens? They’re jam-packed with plants, water features and spots for socializing.

As I remember it, this garden has a bar, Tiki torches and protection from sun and rain. So despite summer showers, the partying goes on. That’s Jim Charlier in the very center, cocktail in hand.

Lordy, these photos are making me long for summer and for the garden parties that Buffaloans do best.


  1. I have followed Jim’s post about this wonderful event for a long time and have it on my bucket list! I just want to see it all in person. So many wonderful gardens with a Style all their own! Love it that Jim’s fabulous garden is on the cover of the book!! Hope to see you this year!!!

  2. I aspire to have a Buffalo-Style garden, but my space is wide, the droughts are deep and the transformation is slow. Maybe this will the year that everything comes together.

  3. We Buffalo people Love our summers and our gardens. I enjoy the creativity and personality of each and every garden I visit. You just have to do the Garden Walk every year for Inspiration from viewing Buffalo Style Gardens. It’s contagious! Thank you Jim & Sally for capturing the phenomenona in your book! Can’t wait to see it!

  4. I’ve been to Buffalo twice to see the gardens, once for the Fling in 2010 and then a return in 2017 with GardenComm (formerly GWA). I would return again in a heartbeat to visit those gardens. City jewels! (I have the book, so don’t need to win another copy. Yes, I am a bit jealous that Buffalo has a garden style and Indianapolis, well, we have a car race to kick off our summer…

  5. Did you see the April issue of Garden Gate Magazine, their Sr Photographer says Buffalo Gardeners are the most passionate he’s ever met and notes we have a great garden walk.

  6. Word is I make a cameo appearance in the new book because my garden has Buffalo kind style. That qualified me for copy of the book I hope arrives any day now.

  7. Buffalo gardens are second to none! I always loved gardening and going into the city from the suburbs where there was an abundance of beauty! Everyone was so welcoming in our city of good neighbors. Unfortunately I came down with a rare disease and can no longer do this. This book would be a great way for the gardens to come to me. Not quite the same but certainly would be an uplifting treasure. To all the dedicated gardeners, keep up the fantastic work for those who can make this wonderful event each summer!

  8. Visiting these garden has been on my to do list for some time. The book would provide hours of inspiration which can always use.

  9. Was was part of a group of Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio) who visited Buffalo as part of an educational trip in July of 2018. I fell in love. The excitement of the hosts was contagious and their generosity of spirit in sharing what they love was memorable!

  10. I love the freedom of the gardens — no acres of boring grass, but full on enthusiastic color, texture, whimsey, inventive use of space.

  11. Inspiring photos! I have a densely planted and wild/crazy garden here in Bonny Doon, California (the Santa Cruz mountains). Love to see these gardens in person some day!

  12. My husband was born and grew up in Buffalo and yet, even though we live a little ovwer an hour away, I have never made it to Garden Walk. Not sure Rochester has a garden style, but we are famous for our Lilacs and are known as the Flower City.

  13. Would love to do the garden walk. Have seen a couple of the gardens when visiting students at the university. It is on my bucket list to do someday, they are lovely

  14. I am a big fan of of British garden shows (think Monty Don) where they showcase the Brit’s love of gardening.
    I think Monty needs to cross the pond and check out Buffalo. I know I do.

  15. I think perhaps the “distinctive style” of gardens here is a vegetable garden in the back corner of the back yard. I wish that more people around here conjured images of trees, shrubs, annual and perennial flowers in addition to the kitchen garden when they hear the term “garden”.

  16. I live in Milwaukee. While there are beautiful gardens here there are not nearly enough. I would love to see more people get creative and turn their small city lots into beautiful gardens

  17. My sister has lived in Buffalo for the past 15 years or so…these photos are making me want to try harder to plan a visit during the Garden Walk!
    I moved to central NC recently and haven’t yet noticed a distinctive local style–certainly not like Buffalo.


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