A Brief History of Buffalo in Bloom

Buffalo in Bloom was created in 1995 by a grassroots group of volunteers whose mission was to help promote gardening and beautification of the city of Buffalo. The original program was a garden judging contest that involved a group of volunteers going out and judging gardens that were submitted for review. The winning gardens were awarded prizes. The program was modeled on a similar program in London, UK. The format remained the same until 2004. At that time, the group decided they could do more to encourage gardening and expanded the program. Volunteer Scouts were sent to all the neighborhoods, searching for gardeners that took the time to plant and maintain a front yard/street scape gardens. In the first year, volunteers found and "Bloomed: over 700 gardens, which was more than double the number of any previous years.

From there, Buffalo in Bloom took off. The number of "Bloomed" gardens grew every year. Just over 700 gardens were "Bloomed" in 2004, ending with nearly 4000 in 2014. The program became so popular with gardeners, that volunteers were overwhelmed. The success of the program left it unsustainable. Gardeners and volunteers made suggestions to simplify the program. After a brief hiatus, BUFFALO IN BLOOM IS BACK!

The following changes have been implemented:

  • Gardeners will submit photos of their own gardens. As long as the garden meets the basic criteria, it will be posted to the web site.
  • A longer period for submission of photos has been included. This year and going forward, gardens will be accepted for 'blooming" from June 1st – August 1st.
  • Volunteer scouts will stake the submitted gardens within the two weeks following the end of the submission period. They will make sure that the garden is being maintained (watered, dead flower heads removed, weeded, grass cut, bushes trimmed). If it does not meet the criteria, scouts will leave a notice identifying concerns).
  • Buffalo in Bloom Volunteers also plan, plant and maintain the gardens at Niagara Square. The dedicated crew of volunteers meet every Monday, at 5 PM (weather permitting) from late April until late October to help make City Hall's front yard a beautiful, welcoming spot. Master Gardeners, experienced and novice gardeners all unite to share advise and skills.

    Going forward Buffalo in Bloom is looking to continue to support and encourage the beautification of the City of Buffalo. Working together Buffalo in Bloom and all the amazing gardeners will show the world the beauty of Buffalo.