Volunteer Newsletter - May-June

Posted on May 09, 2016 by Erin Grajek | 0 Comments


Check out our latest Volunteer Newsletter!



Gardening Tips & Tricks

Posted on May 06, 2016 by Erin Grajek | 0 Comments

Be Creative - A Lancaster gardener recreated a Japanese garden and tea house in his backyard. It’s elaborate, but it wasn’t expensive.  He used recycled materials. Get inspired on the garden walks and Open Gardens to be held from June through August as part of Gardens Buffalo Niagara, formerly known as the National Garden Festival.

Garden Art - Have a bare spot in your garden? Insert a piece of garden art. It could be a sculpture or decoration created for outdoor display, or some quirky item that provides interest. Writers outside Western New York call this look Buffalo-style garden art. A great place to shop for some amazing pieces will be at the Garden Art Sale June 25-26 at the Botanical Gardens.

Container Drama - Plant annuals in large containers rather than small containers. Large containers look more dramatic than small containers. More important, you’ll save yourself some work. Small containers dry out more quickly than large containers and you’ll have to water them more often.

Host a Shower at the Gardens!

Posted on May 04, 2016 by Erin Grajek | 0 Comments

Wedding season is officially upon us! We are looking forward to seeing all the beautiful couples and watching as they embark on this new chapter of their lives. Before the big day, many brides attend their bridal shower.  The Gardens is a perfect place to hold a shower.

Showers, whether they are bridal or baby, are so special to be a part of because so much love goes in the preparation and execution. Family and friends “shower” their loved one with a day just for them. From the centerpieces, to the food and the favors, everything is carefully thought out in order to make this time most extraordinary.  To see our space or to inquire, contact the events department at 827.1584 ext. 219, ext. 220 or

The Botanical Gardens is a popular venue for private events including weddings, cocktail parties, luncheons and more. One of our favorite greenhouses for private events is Greenhouse 11, the Panama Cloud Forest. Full of exotic plants such as orchids, bromeliads, spanish moss and even a papaya tree, this greenhouse transports you to a luscious rainforest.

A Perfect Space
The Panama Cloud Forest is perfect for a small event for about 25 people. The orchid arbor provides a stunning backdrop for any occasion, especially intimate ceremonies. Spanish moss hanging capriciously off arching trees makes for a wonderful ambiance. For larger events, this room is a great location for dinner stations and dessert bars. Food is set out around the center garden island as the guests discover the various delectable items that await them. For cocktail parties or smaller receptions, this room often holds a bar and high top tables for mingling guests. When the weather is nice, the side doors open to allow guests to explore our Peace Garden.

The Panama Cloud Forest is just one of the many greenhouses that provide natural décor for any event. To inquire about hosting your event at the Gardens, contact the events department at 827.1584 ext. 219, ext. 220 or


Connecting with our Community

Posted on May 03, 2016 by Erin Grajek | 0 Comments

Over the past year, we have been working hard to broaden our volunteer outreach and have engaged many diverse organizations, corporations and schools. Here are a few of the organizations that have been helping us to enhance the Gardens and enrich the visitor experience.
  • Town of Clarence Youth Bureau
  • Sacred Heart Academy Day of Sharing
  • Grand Island High School
  • Baker Victory Work Appreciation for Youth Program
  • Earth Spirited internship for students of Erie Community College and Buffalo State College
  • East Aurora Garden Club
  • Cable Street Community Garden
  • M&T Bank
  • Bank of America
  • People INC
  • University at Buffalo Nursing Program
  • University at Buffalo Honors Colloquial
  • Buffalo State College Anthropology Society
  • United Way
  • Community Services
  • RSVP Erie County
  • Girl Scouts of WNY
  • Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
  • 4-H & Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County

If you or the organization you work for would like to volunteer for one day or on a regular basis. Please contact our Karen Hammer at or 827.1584 ext. 207.

We Are Growing!

Posted on May 02, 2016 by Erin Grajek | 0 Comments

A message from Dave Swarts, President/CEO...

2016 has been a record breaking year in so many ways.  The growth and successes we continue to experience would not happen without the incredible support we receive from our 3,500 loyal members, 250 volunteers, a dedicated staff and thousands of financial contributors. Together, our efforts are making a difference.  Thank You!

Lumagination began in January with a kickoff cocktail party that attracted a record breaking crowd of over 300 guests.  Attendees were treated to a preview of Lumagination while sipping exotic cocktails and enjoying tasty appetizers.  Eleven thousand visitors, another record breaker, experienced Lumagination over the 20 night exhibit.

The Spring Flower Exhibit featured thousands of fragrant and colorful spring flowers in very creative displays.  The horticulture staff and volunteers did a wonderful job with the displays. The spring exhibit attracted over 15,000 visitors. Also, the annual Easter Egg Hunt was another sellout with 300 kids participating in the event.

The Great Plant Sale in May will offer members and the public opportunities to purchase unique annuals, perennials and shrubs to brighten up their gardens and homes.  The pre-order generated a record number of orders and generated extra revenue for the Gardens.  

Construction Update - Erie County’s project to reconstruct greenhouses 2 and 3 should be finished this summer.  When done, the Botanical Gardens Society will be presented with two empty greenhouses.  It becomes the Society’s responsibility to raise the funds to rebuild the exhibits. The cost to rebuild the exhibits is estimated to be $350,000.  
Our staff has been working diligently to raise the funds needed to rebuild the
exhibits, which we hope to open to the public later this year.

The new exhibits will retain the popular Koi Pond and beautiful waterfall.  It will also include a new water feature, a redesigned bridge over the pond, a Moon Gate, a living wall, and new pathways displaying exotic plantings that will enhance the exhibit’s aquatic and Asiatic themes.  We are very excited about this project and look forward to reopening the new exhibits.

We also have many wonderful events planned this summer, including Starry Night in the Garden on June 22.  Tickets can be purchased at  Also, for the third year, we are hosting Botanics and Brews on July 21.  It’s a fun night - great beer tastings, food and music.  Check out our website for more details.

Thank you for supporting the Botanical Gardens, and we hope to see this summer.

Dave Swarts, President/CEO

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