How to Do a Garden Walk Poster – Lewiston GardenFest


Garden Walk season is starting in Western New York, where over one thousand gardens are open to the public. I exclusively work with the first one of the season, but have worked with a few others as well.

What prompted this post, was I realized I never posted the 2012 Lewiston GardenFest Poster. It was my favorite of the last three years. To top it off, I could not locate it on any of my three computers. I have been purging files/folders and thought it was a goner.

It is not like I need it for anything now, but I like to keep a record of the file to use for copy and logos for future years. My main tip on creating a garden walk poster for your event…KEEP A COPY EACH YEAR. All the layers in the Photoshop file will save time next time you produce your art. See the similarities between the poster above and the one for 2013? Time saver.

Another tip? Get out and photograph the flowers that will be blooming for your event next year. It is important to use blooms that garden walkers will see in the open gardens, so plan ahead by photographing now.

Obviously, I cannot tell you how to make these posters, but I can tell you how to get the word out when you make your own. My posters are a little more complicated to create than most could do, but you can take your art (photos, logos, copy) to places like Kinkos or OfficeMax and they can assemble a poster for you.


Advertising your garden walk is the most important thing you can do to make for a successful event.

Have signs you can place in front yards and along roadsides. You want the event out there. Our group was on cable TV for a 30 minute talk show. It is valuable to use every form of media, like the web and radio also.

Our group made cards and posters to leave at businesses like grocery stores and home improvement stores, garden nurseries, and institutions such as the post office and library.  Doctor’s offices, real estate offices, and anywhere there is a large, changing clientele. Places where people sit and wait are very good places to put your advertisements.

You have seen some of my ads which are quite eye-catching. I use lots of color and high contrast. I use a large graphic element that pops off the page.


You want the advertisement to stand out among the hoards of other events being publicized.


Many posters are done on a white background and that becomes just one of the herd. Add high contrast and you stand out. Add an electric color and you can’t be missed.

I have not done fashion illustrating/advertising for a very long time, but I did win a number of national recognitions and a few awards for my work. My ads were published on the cover of a national trade monthly on more than one occasion and beat out the biggest named department stores in the country for the cover shot. I do miss this type of art because it really was a high to be in there with the big fish.

I do my ads and posters for the Garden Walks for free, and they generally take little time to produce. The painted lily, above, and balloons, below, took the longest to do. The balloon poster was the most fun to produce. The balloons were created from scratch in Photoshop.


Garden Walks are fun, family events and I try to add humor where I can to catch the eye of the kids.


Since I do these in Photoshop, it is not very work intensive to create a few options. Usually there is a committee that grants approval and this gives them a choice.


See same art, different colored backgrounds. Even a change from pond to grassed yard.

2010GardenWalkPosterOP 2013OpenGardens

If your event has multiple events occurring, like the Lewiston GardenFest has vendors, garden talks, a container garden contest, and many floral societies, some with demonstrations, make sure you have a way to focus on those individual events also. Lewiston gets thousands of visitors each year and they want to know where and when the fun stuff happens.

And since you are advertising the event, make sure you consider parking. You don’t want frustrated garden walkers. Ask area businesses and churches to allow parking in their lots if they are not open the day of your event.

Today starts the Lewiston GardenFest (see the second poster for 2013), and it goes until Sunday. Make sure and get to this fine event for a lot of family fun. I am away and will miss it this year, but I guarantee you a great time!


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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34 Responses to How to Do a Garden Walk Poster – Lewiston GardenFest

  1. Thanks so now if our Club ever gets enough interest and we do one I being the Secretary will know the ins and outs! Thanks so much! I want to head to NY 🙂

    • When your club does decide to create a garden walk or open gardens, contact me through email (on my about page) if you have any questions. Our event is the second largest in our area next to the grand, Garden Walk Buffalo, so I do have a lot of experience that might be useful. I get involved in many of the committee duties because of my contacts and job, so I have experience in many facets of organizing a walk. I may do posts on organizing and getting sponsorship, etc. later as I post photos from walks around our area. I get searches on my site constantly for how to create a garden walk, so I figured I might as well share some useful tips.

      • Thanks so much I am about to do a post on our Garden Club’s effort in town we have but 5 members hard to find good help these days. 3 work full time, one home with two children under 5 and me the old injured trucker who adore plants and her town 🙂

        I will be sure to let you know thanks so much again.

  2. Your posters are lovely and the Lewistown Gardenfest is certainly lucky to have you.

  3. Beautiful posters, Donna!!! Very nicely done!!

  4. gauchoman2002 says:

    Very impressive posters. They’re lovely enough that I’d probably leave them up on my wall year after year.

  5. Patty says:

    Somehow I am not all that surprised your previous life included fashion illustrating and advertising, especially when considering your posters and magazine covers. Awards too ? I am certainly impressed. Great posters – I really like both for 2013 – they catch the eye!

    • Thank you, Patty. I did advertising without having gone to school for it. I just took a chance I could do it having fine arts training. It paid for college in undergrad architecture until I got a full ride scholarship for graduate school.

  6. These are beyond fabulous!! Margie

  7. Those are striking posters. I’ve been getting some cold feet about our open garden since announcing it. I think we’ll make a very simple flyer to put on the lamp post by our driveway for all the dog walkers and other people who walk by our house. Plus we’ll send out a note to a neighborhood list serve. I do like the idea of including pictures of what will be in bloom when the open garden happens. Fortunately we have a digital record of that in Dropbox.

    • I hope my post did not frighten you by how many people would show up. If I did this in my own garden, I might get hundreds (or more) of people here. I have a lot of contacts in the industry, belong to many garden organizations, and being in a city, the residents might just come for the free lemonade, iced tea and fruit bar I set out one year. I had so many people in this garden, people could not see it. That is the way it is in the Buffalo gardens. They get so crowded it is hard to take photos. Don’t advertise free lemonade or you might get a herd! Like you plan, do it as an open neighborhood garden and keep it manageable. Call in the newspaper the day of the event for a little puff piece to publish the next day. It is good for next year if you go bigger and get more neighbors involved.

  8. Very impressive work! I think the posters are very effective! Wonderful that you volunteer your talents for this event! It is interesting that it is free to the public. My experience is that most of these walks are fundraisers and require the purchase of a ticket. Your posters would look great framed!

    • Thanks Karin. They are a non-profit but do get money from renting the vendor booths, sponsorship, and donation. Each year, they in turn donate money to provide college scholarships, pay for community signs (in public parks), purchase flowers for town parks, or help seed a small non-profit. All walks in our area (17) are free. A few walks and festivals like us raise money for other reasons, but not from ticket sales. My posters are printed, framed and raffled this year. Tickets are purchased for a chance. Last year they gave them away unframed for a donation. Many gave between $10 and twenty dollars for them.It really was a good money maker. I never made them good enough for sale, but may do a painting next year and sell the original. Garden Walk Buffalo sells their poster for $5 on their website. They also have the original watercolor for sale for $300. Each walk makes money, but again from different ways.

  9. I am so glad to see your work…such diversity and talent…I really like the balloons. Great advice too!

  10. Lee Tea says:

    Eye-catching and effective commercial artwork – and this article itself is quite a unique and effective way to get the word out about your walk! Some sort of marketing genius… 😉

  11. Alistair says:

    I am very impressed and wonder if there is anything that you can’t do.

  12. Graziella says:

    Nice work! Personally I prefer the white background, it’s cleaner and easy on the eye, but among other posters you’re right, you don’t want it easy, you want to make a statement and get noticed.

    • Like a billboard, a poster should be seen from a great distance (relatively speaking to the viewer), but unlike a billboard, the body text can be “unreadable” to some extent since it is not meant to be read on the move. A strong graphic or highly contrasted image is meant to draw in the reader, as is the header or what the poster is about. I agree white text on a black background is difficult to read for some folks. WP recently changed to this on their sidebar menu to make the admin design more ‘contemporary’. It takes getting used to.

  13. Bom says:

    Cool posters! I stay away from photoshop as much as I can. Most of the post-processing I do is cropping and auto levels. This makes me double, triple impressed at what you come up with. I like the balloon and artwork posters.

  14. A.M.B. says:

    Great posters! I don’t have an eye for graphic design, but I wish I did!

  15. Beautiful (and very professional) examples for us, Donna. I’d be hard pressed to pick my favorite, but the red rose in that one poster is so real looking that I feel I could touch the individual petals!

  16. Fossillady says:

    The posters are just beautiful Donna!

  17. Fergiemoto says:

    Lovely posters! Very nicely done!

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