Monday, July 18, 2011

Front Yard Garden Competition public voting begins this evening

Beginning at 5p.m. on Saturday night (July 16) and carrying on through Friday, July 22, the public can vote for their favorite garden makeover from the 2nd annual National Garden Festival’s Front Yard Garden Competition.  Ballots can be cast in person on Newman Place or online.

Landscapers have put the finishing touches on an inspiring transformation of 13 front yards along Newman Place, which borders Frederick Law Olmsted’s Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo. The landscapers, who donated their time and materials, began constructing the gardens on July 11. Festival organizers believe it is the only such civic-minded garden competition in the country.

Voting will take place both at physical ballot boxes along Newman Place and online at The Web site features “before and after” photos of the gardens, as well as a blog, which illustrates the progress of the transformation and features profiles of the landscapers and homeowners.

To kick off the voting, National Garden Festival Executive Director Sally Cunningham will give free guided tours of the Front Yard Garden Competition from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., at which point the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will give a free performance across the street in Cazenovia Park, followed by fireworks.
In addition to the public voting, a team of gardening experts will review the gardens and bestow awards in several technical categories to the landscapers.

The Front Yard Garden Competition is being coordinated by the Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association, the New York State Certified Nursery and Landscape Professionals, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Visit Buffalo Niagara, and the National Garden Festival organizing committee.
The following landscapers are participating in the competition:

  • Beaver Landscaping, Inc.
  • Beyond the Basics Property Services, Inc.
  • Chevalier Outdoor Living
  • Dore Landscape Associates
  • Elbers Landscape Service, Inc.
  • The English Gardener, Ltd
  • Murray Brothers Nurseries, Inc.
  • T. O'Donnell Landscaping
  • Restorff's Landscape Service

The competition receives additional support from a continually expanding list of local businesses and organizations, including, but not limited to: Akron Tree Farms, Belgarde Hardscapes, Bradley Tree & Landscaping, Cooper Ridge Gardens, Felber’s Building Supplies, Great Lakes Concrete Products, Lakeside Sod, Lilac Creek, Lockwood’s Greenhouses, Gilson Gardens, International Society of Arboriculture, Russell's Tree & Shrub Farm, Scranton's Thruway Builder's Supplies, Shrub Coat, Unilock and Waterman's Greenhouse.

After the competition is complete, the Newman Place residents can take free training on how to maintain their new landscaping.

The National Garden Festival began on June 24 and runs through July 31. With 14 garden walks (including Garden Walk Buffalo – the largest event of its kind in the country), workshops, nationally-recognized speakers, open gardens, and a series of bus tours, this five-week-long festival has something for anyone with (or without) a green thumb. A full calendar of events and additional information is available at

The National Garden Festival is a collaboration between the garden and landscape organizations of the Buffalo Niagara region. The festival is presented by Visit Buffalo Niagara, District 8 Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Garden Walk Buffalo, the Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association, the New York State Certified Nursery and Landscape Professionals, the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and Forest Lawn Cemetery. Funding is provided by the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, the Western New York Foundation, the Buffalo Green Fund, Catholic Health Systems, and Mercy Hospital. Additional support has been provided by the Western New York Hosta Society, the Buffalo Area Daylily Society, the Peace Garden Project, Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Buffalo in Bloom, the Iris Society of Western New York and Elizabeth Licata. The Buffalo News and LocalEdge are media sponsors.

For more information contact:

Peter Burakowski
Communications Manager
Visit Buffalo Niagara
Office: 716-218-2922
Cell: 716-480-3054

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