Feature Friday

Published on March 14th, 2014 | by GrowWNYAdmin

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Feature Friday: The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

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Cacti: up close and personal.

BY: KELSEY SCHAFFSTALL, GROWWNY INTERN

According to Punxsutawney Phil, winter is supposed to be over by now. As most locals know, WNY’s weather may have something else on its agenda. Whether the cold leaves us soon or perpetually keeps us company, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens can offer a unique and enriching escape from the less than desirable temperatures.

The facilities feature 12 indoor gardens housed inside three glass domes and nine greenhouses. Among these gardens are a Victorian Ivy & Herb House, an Orchid House, a Desert House, and a Florida Everglades House. Each room offers different aesthetic and amazing photo opportunities for anyone who is interested in capturing the beauty that is housed within the gardens. Outdoor gardens, including a Rose Garden, a Shrub Garden, and an interactive Children’s Garden are also open seasonally.

Dedicated to remaining the horticultural hub of Western New York, the Botanical Gardens often aim to engage the community in the lives of anything botanical. Interactive shows, attractions, services, and events are offered frequently to the public with the intent of sustaining diverse plant life for our future.

Are you planning a garden this spring? The annual Great Plant Sale is taking place May 17-18 from 9am-4pm. Pre-Orders are due by April 1st and can be placed online. The sale will offer hanging baskets, tree and shrubs, both native and tropical plants, and many more gorgeous options to brighten up your yard this season.

Would you simply like to learn how to plant a garden? Or just learn something new? The Gardens offer a variety of hands-on educational opportunities including a Horticulture workshop series, Medicinal garden classes, and ‘Make-It, Take-It’ workshops which allow you to engage in a project like a flower arrangement that you can take home. One of the most interesting offerings I have come across is a trip to the Chelsea Flower Show in London scheduled for May 17th -24th. The gardens also offer classes like painting, drawing, and yoga among the gorgeous scenery.

More information can be found here.

Would your children/classroom be interested in exploring the Gardens? The Gardens are field trip and child friendly. They also offer classes for children with special needs. Check out the youth art classes, the Annual Easter Egg Hunt or make a reservation for your class (four weeks in advance) to be educated in topics such as plant dissection and identification, terrarium building, and the nutrition.

More information for youth programs can be found here.

Offerings for groups of children with special needs are posted here.

Field trip opportunities are listed here.

The gardens are open Monday-Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm. General Admission (Non-show days only!) is as follows: Adults ($7), Seniors 55+ ($6), Students 13+ with ID ($6), Children 3-12 ($4), and Children under 3 as well as Garden Members are free. The Gardens are completely accessible to the handicapped, and service dogs with the appropriate paperwork are also welcome. Visitors are welcome to park for free along South Park Ring Road or in the Gardens’ own lot.

Save the Dates for upcoming events!

Yoga at the Gardens

March 19, 26 April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7

5:30-6:45pm

$100 per 10-week session, $15 individual class

Medicinal Garden Feature

March 22

10am-2pm

*Included with admission

Saturday Morning Guided Tree Tours

March 22, April 12, April 26, May 10, May 31 & June 7
9-10:30am

$5 per person, per tour

Science Café Innuendo: The Strange Sex Lives of Plants

March 25

6:30-8:00pm

Members $22, Non-Members $25

Spring Flower Show

April 5-27

10:00am-5:00pm

$9 Adults

Below are some photos that I took on my last visit to the gardens:

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A bright and beautiful flower among the cacti.

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I loved the look of this tiny tree!

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This leaf seemed quirky to me.

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This is my favorite shot of my visit.

I also visited the 2013 Night Lights show which gave a whole new (almost magical) perspective on some of the plants that I saw:

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The light hit this plant in a way that intensified every color.

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One of the many varieties of gorgeous orchids housed in the Gardens.

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Another bunch of orchids!

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This is one of my most interesting shots of the night. The colors projected onto this plant constantly changed.

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Part of the Victorian Ivy & Herb House.

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