Bridges stretch over ponds filled with koi, dinosaurs crafted by masters of topiary cast a watchful eye amid spectacular colors that are found everywhere you look. These are the many houses of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.
Interview: "This jewel in Buffalo is historically significant, it was open to the public in 1900 and it was designed by world famous greenhouse architects Lord and Bernum and it is located on an Olmsted Park. It's one of only two remaining, Lord and Bernum greenhouse designs on an Olmsted Park in the United States. One is in Buffalo and of course the other is in San Francisco."
Interview: "There aren't many like it in the United States, it's modeled after the Q Gardens in London. It's Victorian in design, it's similar to the New York Botanical Gardens which was also designed by Buffalo residents Lord and Bernum. It's give people a sense of this beautiful architecture combined with an incredibly wonderful collection of plants from around the world."
It is that very collection of plants that draws thousands here each year. From banana trees that tempt the passing visitor to exotic desert plants and fascinating ecosystems that stretch all the way from the Florida Everglades, this is one place where you'll never run out of new greenery to discover.
Interview: "Over 22,000 plants reside here in the Botanical Gardens. Without the volunteers, our staff wouldn't be able to maintain the residents of this facility, the plants. Awful lot of work involved whether its pruning, watering, fertilizing, transplanting, propagating all sorts of plants happen. Whether its in the bonsai collection or the ivy collection or the herb collection or in the cacti collection. All of these plants require a different kind of attention."
As you stroll through the various houses, this attention to detail by the dedicated volunteers quickly becomes apparent. Regardless of which direction you turn, every plant has been taken care of and appears to be in perfect health. You'll also notice several interactive displays throughout the Botanical Gardens as well as the Wegman's Family Garden that encourages children to learn about their world.
Interview: "Well this is a place for children particularly and adults as well. To touch, to feel, to sense, to smell. And all of these senses are critically important to develop a better understanding of why and how plants play such a critical role in sustaining life on this planet. Learning about the various types of plants, and the variety of plants and the various types of species that exist here."
Interview: "It's an opportunity for kids to get hands-on, to touch and to feel and to understand and develop that relationship. It's a very worthwhile experience."
Gorgeous fountains welcome you into new areas and are blended nearly perfectly into their surroundings alongside marvelous statues and visions of the future.
Interview: "Walking into the Palm Dome is absolutely majestic. It's 67 feet tall, it is absolutely beautiful, it is a peaceful place, it is a place where you can get a sense of tropical plants and palms from around the world. It's emotionally healing for people."
Here at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, the staff and volunteers work hard to showcase the world's most fascinating plant life in an educational and inspirational way that will always be appreciated by those who visit.
Interview: "For me, it's a wonderful attraction, it's off the beaten path a little bit but its only 15 minutes from downtown Buffalo, its an absolute treasure to view and I think it would be a worthwhile trip."