Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Alpha-Buffalo: B is for Botanical Gardens

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, located at 2655 South Park Ave. in Buffalo, New York, is part of Buffalo’s Frederick Law Olmstead Park System, which also includes Delaware Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Front Park. South Park, home of the Botanical Gardens, was created between 1894 and 1900 on 156 acres of land.

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens 2013
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
The original park included a conservatory for tropical plants, an arboretum, a pinetum, a bog garden and a shrub garden. The construction of the conservatory was based on the Crystal Palace and Kew Gardens Palm House, both in England. Today, many of the original buildings have been renovated and additions have been built to create 12 different sections featuring a wide variety of plants and displays, as well as four outdoor garden spaces.

The Palm Dome, the original 67-foot high conservatory, is filled with tall fruit trees and majestic palms. The Gardens also house Victorian Ivy, orchids, begonias, carnivorous plants and a selection of “dinosaur topiaries” – not old topiaries, but shrubs cut to the shapes of dinosaurs. Outside the Gardens, visitors will find the Children’s Garden and the Rose and Perennial Gardens, along with the beautiful front entrance garden during the months of March through October.

NIGHT LIGHTS at the Gardens 2013
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
Throughout the season, the Botanical Gardens hosts a number of plant shows, including the Chrysanthemum Show, the Poinsettia Show, the popular NIGHT LIGHTS at the Gardens display, Coleus and Color and many others. Many of these shows (excluding NIGHT LIGHTS) are free to Garden Members; memberships start at $35 for seniors (55 years and older) and students (with ID), and $45 for individuals.

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and limited hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $4 for children 3 to 12 and free for children under 3 and members; flower show admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, $5 for children 3 to 12 and free for children under 3.

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