Buffalo’s National Garden Festival was officially launched today with a press conference at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens. We’ll be promoting all the garden-oriented events that already happen in our area, as well as a good number of new events & happenings, under one “great green umbrella.” Hence, the great green umbrellas. At the podium, above, is Sally Cunningham (author Great Garden Companions), She is god’s gift to gardens in Buffalo/Niagara. She is the coordinator for the five-week long festival. And we could not have found a better person for the job. To the right of her is me – in a non-flattering green cast. To the left of her is Neil Stern, president, WNY Nursery & Landscape Association. I believe her umbrella is completely covering up Mike Shadrack. The umbrellas seemed apropos, considering the constant drip & drizzle of the day.
For the press conference, Sally introduced the concept of the festival, which I have posted in previous blog posts (I wasn’t worried about giving too much away — to all three of my readers). Next up was the indefatigable & prominent board member & Buffalo-area booster, Mary Anne Kresse. Next was me and finally, the brand-spankin’ new director of the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau, Dottie Gallagher.
Only two stations showed up for the conference, but I’m told they have, at times, gone through the press conference motions for less. I’m watching WGRZ tonight to see if I made it onto the cutting room floor or not. YNN was also present. On the plus side, The Buffalo News published this great local-section cover article today. You can read it here. Buffalo Rising also gave us some coverage in a post yesterday.
The Festival doesn’t get going until June 17 when the Botanical Gardens is hosting a party for all the active Festival partners & participants — including the gardeners of ALL sixteen garden tours in the area (free with a cash bar – smart idea – they may not realize how much gardeners drink). The public start of the Festival is Saturday, June 19 with Keynote speaker, Stephanie Cohan (author Fallscaping, The Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer and The Non-Stop Garden). Other Festival events include a visit by author Amy Stewart (Wicked Plants), 14 garden walks, seminars, workshops, bus tours, a front yard garden competition, philharmonic concerts and more.
It takes a lot of partners to make something like this happen – especially when we ask groups for help and they jump on board willingly — with ideas and enthusiasm. Just some of the partners (some in photo at left) making this all happen include: Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens; Buffalo & Erie County Public Library; Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy; Eighth District Federated Garden Clubs; Elizabeth Licata, http://www.GardenRant.com; WNY Hosta Society; WNY Daylily Society; Forest Lawn Cemetery & Arboretum; Erie Basin University Test Gardens; Buffalo Citybration; Buffalo Museum of Science; Bidwell Farmers Market; Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and the WNY Nursery & Landscape Association; among many other players.
It’s been a lot of work. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve met lots of new folks and the connections help us all. The crazy part is that all this effort — meetings, marketing, press events, booth sitting, phone calls, ordering green umbrellas, grant proposals, presentations and hundreds of other tasks — is that all we do is talk gardening, and no gardening is getting done. Only a few more weeks….