About Olmsted’s Specialty Gardens
Each major Olmsted Park features a specialty garden that is unique to their park.
While maintaining the integrity of every garden’s original design, the Conservancy also incorporates native plantings into flowerbeds. Currently, most specialty gardens fall under the care of Emere Nieves, Specialty Gardens Manager.
Bog Garden in South Park
The original planting plan for the Bog Garden dates back to 1895. In 2001, a restoration of this garden was completed. Over 100 varieties of herbaceous plants, woody shrubs and trees were chosen from the original plan and were planted or revitalized. However, due to a long history of neglect and other factors, maintenance remains to be challenge. Over the last few years, volunteers have assisted the Conservancy in the mechanical removal of Phragmites Australis, a prolific invasive species.
Best time to visit: In the summer
Japanese Garden in Delaware Park
The Japanese Garden in Delaware Park spans over 6 acres and is placed between the foothill of The Buffalo History Museum and Mirror Lake. The idea for this garden came out of the United States Sister City initiative and groundbreaking began in 1962. This garden is one of its kind throughout any Olmsted-designed park in the nation, and is also host to the annual Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival in early May.
Best time to visit: At least once every season!
River Rock Garden in Riverside Park
The River Rock Garden is a reinterpretation of the minnow pond that was originally designed by the Olmsted Firm. Meandering flower beds with native plants form the perimeter of the garden. The inner border of the garden beds is outlined by small boulders that meet a continuous pool of pebbles toward the center.
Best time to visit: In the fall to enjoy the autumn foliage
Rose Garden in Delaware Park
The Delaware Park Rose Garden was conceived in 1917 and remains to be the largest public rose garden in Western New York. It was installed after Frederick Law Olmsted designed the park system for Buffalo. The garden design is French and symmetrical, contrasting to the natural scenic vistas Delaware Park offers. Park visitors can get lost in the maze of roses while enjoying colorful waves of blooms. The central fountain is a favorite of little ones and furry friends, and a Pergola on the garden’s east end is the epic pedestal for wedding ceremonies.
Best time to visit: In the summer and early fall to enjoy the roses