Create a no-bending, no-kneeling garden like this one in Buffalo

big planter on deck in Buffalo NY
A tomato was planted in the large white container simply because there was no other spot for it, but that plant seems to be doing better than any of the others, Yager said. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
pots on steps in Buffalo NY
If you have wide steps, you have room to grow vegetables. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko


by Connie Oswald Stofko

JoAnn Yager has a small garden along the fence in her backyard, but the plants there struggle.

“They never grew,” she said, “and it was too hard bending and weeding.”

This year she tried something new. Her reward is that she is surrounded by flowers and herbs and vegetables, plus she eliminated all that bending and kneeling.

Her trick? She used containers on her back deck.

Yager shared her tips during the Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens in Buffalo on Aug. 2. It included the Starry Night Garden Tour. This was the last garden walk of the season.

Yager loves that she doesn’t have to bend to harvest vegetables or to deadhead flowers. She can even sit while she plants up her containers.

JoAnn Yager in Buffalo NY
JoAnn Yager gets help from her grandchildren, including Della Sieteski. Mint is planted beneath the window. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

Her plants are doing much better than they have in the garden. Yager thinks that what did the trick is that she is growing plants in good potting soil instead of the heavy clay she has in her yard. Sun may make a difference, too. When I visited, the garden was in shade, but there was plenty of light on the deck.

Mint, which spreads readily and can get out of control, is contained in a window box. An added benefit is that she can enjoy the minty aroma when she’s inside.

cabbage butterfly in Buffalo NY
Pollinators, including cabbage butterflies and bees, are attracted to the lavender and other flowers in Yager’s container garden. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

Her plantings originally started as an herb garden, but she has expanded it to include flowers and vegetables. She started many of the plants from seed including cucumbers, beets, lettuce and tomatoes.

Yager enjoys her garden so much, she can’t wait to get home from her job as an occupational therapist.

“This is my therapy,” she said.

Here are some stories from Black Rock and Riverside in previous years:

2013 ‘Beachside bar’ is relaxing spot in Riverside backyard

2012 Buffalo gardener gets apples and peaches from potted plants

2012 Front Yard Contest is under way near Riverside Park in Buffalo

2012 From boring to wow! Take a tour of front yard makeover

2012 Decorate your Buffalo garden for Valentine’s Day with these lights

2011 Black Rock and Riverside shine during nighttime garden walk

2010 Gracious patio garden graces once-abandoned lot in Buffalo

2010 Nick Fratello, 11, offers tips on attracting birds to your garden

view from deck looking to backyard in Buffalo NY
Sitting on the deck, you have a view of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko




3 Comments on “Create a no-bending, no-kneeling garden like this one in Buffalo

  1. Love this idea and really like the blue and red planters on the steps. What are they made of and where did they come from?

  2. Missed Blackrock this year. Making an accessible garden is always a good idea. One never knows when bending and reaching may become difficult at any age.

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