Clay, tree roots & shade: Get tips in this video

title for video on Snyder-CleveHill Garden Viewby Connie Oswald Stofko

I love Western New York gardeners.

I tried waiting out the rain Sunday, but it just kept getting worse, so around 1 p.m. I made my way out to the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, a garden walk that covers parts of Amherst and Cheektowaga.

I stopped at the home of Terrie and Jerry Newman at 194 Lamarck Dr. The description on the map said they had struggled with clay soil, something that a lot of Western New York gardeners deal with. I hoped they might share their experiences with us. Terrie was happy to help.

Then I added: Oh, do you mind being videorecorded? In the pouring rain?

Terrie was a good sport and didn’t flinch. Her husband Jerry held a golf umbrella over me, which made things go much more smoothly. It’s hard to steady a camera and hold an umbrella at the same time.

The Newmans have lived in their house for 35 years, and their landscape has evolved from the time it was a playground for their children. Now they have lovely gardens, but the trees pose a double challenge with tree roots and shade. They have clay soil, too.

To deal with the problem, they’ve added soil and compost to build up the beds, they’ve created raised beds and they plant in containers. They also use a lot of stone, which is very attractive.

Bonus tip: Plant your tomatoes in the sun, even if your sunny spot is right by your back door.

Watch the video below to see more.

Upcoming Garden Walks for 2014

Ken-Ton Garden Tour daytime walk from  10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, July 19 & 20 and night lights tour from 8:30-11 p.m.  Friday & Saturday, July 18 & 19

Lancaster Garden Walk  night lights from 8:45 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 18 and daytime walk 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20

Williamsville Garden Walk 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 19

West Seneca Tour of Gardens 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20

South Buffalo Alive 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, July 20

Garden Walk Buffalo 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27

Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens on Saturday, August 2 from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for the daytime walk and  8-10 p.m. for the Starry Night Garden Tour


5 Comments on “Clay, tree roots & shade: Get tips in this video

  1. She did a very nice video, sounding like a pro. I do like the first image too. The green backdrop looks like a TV show.

  2. Connie your getting very professional,liked the clay soil video, the gardener needs hypertufa pots! Te he Annie B.

  3. LOL – I totally enjoyed that little clip. I have clay areas also. I have been successful with amending the soil with layers of newspaper topped with wood chips (trees put through the shredder from our church) then a good quality compost from a local supplier. He has what I like to call the “butcher’s special” that has a lot of bone meal to it. She is right…accept that you won’t be able to grow “everything”. That’s hard to do sometimes. I try a particular plant a good three times before I give up on it. Keep the video’s coming. They are helpful and entertaining as well.

  4. Cindy, thanks for those tips. Most gardeners that I’ve talked to, both amateur and professional, use the three-strikes-and-you’re-out rule for transplanting perennials. If you can’t find the proper growing conditions in your garden for a certain plant, it’s okay to give up on that plant. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad gardener. Thanks for the kind words!

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