Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Garden Walk Buffalo

Ever heard of it? I had, but until this year had made no plans to visit. Buffalo seemed so...off the map.

If you don't know, Buffalo is in New York State, far, far west, between Lakes Erie and Ontario, where it is very snowy and cold. The beech hedge that was planted this summer on Mr Anderson Cooper's roof came from Schichtel's Nursery in Buffalo. The fact that the beeches had made it through winter there made me fairly confident that they could make it through a New York City winter on top of a tall building.

So. Why am I visiting two weeks before the Garden Walk?

In a link, Garden Bloggers Buffa10. It is the annual garden bloggers get together, two weeks before the Garden Walk proper (July 24-25), so in a sense, a sneak preview. The dates are July 8-11th.

I'm going to see how the idea of the Garden Walk developed, how it can be exported, and to make le blogging about it of course! Shelterpop will be running my updates and pictures live; I'll post here, obviously, and I hope to come away with good stories of people and plants.

Last year it was in Chicago, a city famous for its green initiatives, and I think I was just too shy to go. I like talking and chatting and dinner parties with nice people, in theory. When it gets down to the nitty gritty of getting out the door and meeting new people, I tend to panic. Invisibly. I don't come across as the panicky type. I have also never liked the idea of clubs and cliques and societies, and break out in hives at the thought of organized socializing. But after giving talks early last year to the Cape Horticultural Society, and to the Constantia Garden Club, my feelings started to mellow. I realized that the resource of a wealth of collective knowledge is the reward for hanging out with like-minded humans. And that gardeners don't bite. They just stab you with a pair of Felcos: quicker and cleaner.

A special rate for garden bloggers attending is being offered at the Embassy Suites, at $129 a night per room, and the details are on the Buffa10 blog. Bloggers interested in sharing rooms can contact each other via the blog, too. The rate is valid for bookings until the end of April, then will go up. It is not a boutique hotel, it's huge. Despite its hugeness it's in the middle of the garden walk area. There is a free happy hour, and breakfast. And, most importantly Internet. It will be an adventure.

Not sure how I'll get there. Plane? Nah. Train? Maybe...car? Probably. I'm quite sure there will be sharing and pooling, too.

So. Who's coming?????

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  1. hmmm, the road trip alone could be (pardon the play on words) fruitful. There are some "Places of Interest" en route (Seneca Falls, epicenter of the 19th-Century Women's Movement) leaps immediately to mind) and nearby East Aurora was a center of the America Arts & Crafts movement.
    hmmm. . . .

    btw, my kitten Stella (inspired no doubt by your big guy Estorbo) is clamoring for her own blog. (see her recent post at the croft.)

  2. You could "shuffle off to Buffalo." No, perhaps you're too young!
    I think a road trip, with, maybe, a side trip or three...

  3. Don't forget Buffalo's finest: sausage. Polish sausage, red hots. smoked polish sausage. Whenever a friend returns to Buffalo, I always beg for sausage. I've even had my long suffering vegetarian friend bring me some back. Gardens and sausages, sounds better and better doesn't it?

  4. Marie, for some reason, reading this post reminds me of the many beautiful gardens on Mt Desert Island in Maine. Have you been there?

  5. I went to Chicago last year. I had trepidations about meeting so many people that (mostly) all knew each other from the year before in Austin. But I wanted to host in Buffalo, so I forced myself to go. I found the group to be extremely open & friendly. Only a couple of them bite.

    The hotel looks big, but the top four floors are 28 residences and another floor is a law office. It's a brand-spankin' new multi-use building, quite nice, and centrally-located. Taste of Buffalo will be going on that weekend, so there will be a lot of people and great energy downtown, just steps from the hotel.

    If you want a boutique hotel, one of the best in the country is walking distance, just up the street. The 1867 Mansion on Delaware is not inexpensive, but is a AAA four-diamond, top-five in service and #13 in top small hotels (according to Zagat). It was featured in Architectural Digest when it opened. Visit http://www.mansionondelaware.com/

    On the way up here (or back), if you have the time -- if it were me, I would do some of the wineries along the Finger Lakes. Specifically Dr, Konstantin Frank for a great quality wine and Bully Hill or a tour you won't easily forget. Canandaigua has Sonnenberg Gardens (not in its prime, but elegant none-the-less). While up here, there's Niagara Falls, Wright's Martin House, the Roycroft campus and the beautiful Canadian town of Niagara on-the-lake, a gardener's destination in and of itself.

  6. Melanie - I'm becoming aware, fast, of much there is to see up there! Ad perhaps you could get Stella a paw pilot so she can post wherever she is?

    Dinahmow - I know it, but of course...

    flwrjane - sausages! I had no idea. flowers and sausages indeed. Nothing better.

    Karen LR - no - I blush to admit I have not been to Maine yet. On the list.

    Hi Jim - thanks! What a helpful comment, and thank you so much for hosting, and all the trouble you have gone to. Yes, Finger Lakes wine is definitely attractive :-)

  7. i doubt i'll tag along. i like the idea of traveling -- and myself as a traveler -- much better than i like the fact of traveling. especially in the summer. but i will ponder whether i could marshal sufficiently not to be a drag on the proceedings.
    hmmm. [did i say that already?]

  8. I respect your thoughts on joining, I think I recall your thoughts on joining the blogade in a previous post. Although I do not id with blogging, so much as planting so this does seem a different affair.

    I only bite when cornered, but still, I like the fair anonymity of the blog and personal gathering seems still, oh, ahhhh! I've been thinking of this of late, too, as I prep my proposal for Ft. Tilden.

    But onto other things. Buffalo! Well, Niagara of course, and as Jim said, Konstantin Frank wines can be quite nice, although the winery is a ranch house and most upstate are like that (think grand nappa, no way!) I went in winter on some friend's advice, stayed in Naples (finger lake area) at a B&B: http://www.moniermanor.com
    Betsy loved the deep tub in the bath, very comfortable.
    Stayed here this summer:
    on Route 5, about midway to Buff. Great guys run the place, although unattractive roadside location.

    I say, take a car, stay off the highway and enjoy the slow trip. I highly recommend Letchworth State Park, east of Buff:

    Also, Buff has some great victorians, painted ladies as they say.

    a keyboardful!!

  9. Oh, yes, and people in western ny call their location:
    Western NY. Not upstate, oh that'll kill em.

  10. Hey Frank - yeah, the blogade. Brooklyn bloggers all in a room...no thanks. The attraction of the Garden Walk is the drawcard, and I admit to getting the heebie jeebies at the mention of a Bus. I do not like to be bussed. I hear sheep baahing and cows mooing when I see busses of tourists. The en masse idea of enjoyment - I just vant to be alone...

    Maybe one does have have to get on the bus.

    Thanks for your great recommendations for Western New York!

    Ellen - yeah - whaddaya think?

  11. Greetings,
    My Mom lives in Fort Erie, Canada which is right across the Niagara River. If you get time, take a drive on "Niagara on the Lake" the Canadian side. One of the most beautiful dives in the world. It follows the river right to the Falls. Just pasted the falls is the Ontario Agricultural College. It is absolutely beautiful, and can be toured on foot or in horse drawn carriage. The graduates of the program create the finest landscapes and gardens in the world. They also have a indoor butterfly garden with a waterfall, plants, trees and butterflies to many to count. It is not to be missed

    dmb )O( <3

  12. If you make it to Buffalo be sure to check out: 1) the miles-long park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, 2) the Elmwoood Farmer's Market for locally grown plants and produce, 3) Urban Roots Garden Center co-op.


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