The large backyard of Ken and Shirley Haberman of Hamburg is one of many gardens that you can visit during Open Gardens, which are part of the National Garden Festival held in WNY.
Everyone knows about garden walks, but the Open Gardens, which are also part of the National Garden Festival, are less well known.
The Open Gardens are much like garden walks. Amazing gardens are open at certain times and you can visit them for free, but instead of being open on weekends as they are during garden walks, you visit Open Gardens on Thursdays or Fridays.
Open Gardens have some advantages over garden walks. The gardens are open over several weeks, through the end of July, instead of just one weekend. If it rains one day, you have an opportunity to visit when the weather is better.
Garden walks are generally held in the hours around noon, which visitors know are the hottest and photographers know are the worst for capturing a garden at its best. You can visit many of the Open Gardens in the late afternoon or evening.
Perhaps best of all, the Open Gardens arenít as crowded as garden walks are.
The Open Gardens are divided into clusters that include Hamburg, Southtowns Bouquet, Lakeshore and East Aurora/Holland. Details for those clusters are listed below.
Other clusters include South Buffalo, Lancaster, Buffalo-Delaware District, Buffalo-Elmwood Village and Allentown, Buffalo-Parkside, Buffalo-Cottage District, Northtowns East, Northtowns West and Niagara Trail. A number of public gardens around Western New York are also listed. You can get all the details, including descriptions of the gardens and maps, at NationalGardenFestival.com.
Some gardens are open on Thursdays, some are open on Fridays and a few are open both days. The hours that the gardens are open vary as well.
Garden of Daniel and Phyllis Gurnett, located at 4609 John Michael Way, Hamburg; open hours: Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pine Ridge Gardens, the Garden of Gary and Kitty Bannerman, located at 6346 Ward Road, Orchard Park; open hours: Thursdays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but closed July 4
Smug Creek Gardens, the garden of Mike and Kathy Shadrack, located at 8399 Zimmerman Road, Hamburg; open hours: Thursdays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but closed July 4
Hidden Gardens of Eden, home of Marcia and David Sully, located at 3954 Schintzius Road, Eden; open hours: Thursdays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Lordís Garden, the garden of Mary Jane Bolo, located at 9998 Clarksburg Road, Eden; open hours: Thursdays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
New: Whitís End Gardens, the gardens of Barb and Dave Whittemore, located at 33 Sherwood Ave., Hamburg; open hours: Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but closed July 4.