One year after Snowvember Storm, some WNY gardens still feeling effects

path to front door in Snowvember storm 2014
Here’s a view just after the 2014 Snowvember Storm at the home of Peter and Diane Clancy in South Buffalo. Notice the amount of snow on top of the car in the foreground at left. Compare this photo to the one below taken in July 2015. Photo courtesy Peter Clancy

by Connie Oswald Stofko

I was talking with some gardeners recently who began to commiserate about how poorly their roses did this year. Since mine did quite well, I was surprised to hear they had problems. Then I remembered where I was– South Buffalo, one of the areas hardest hit by the Snowvember Storm.

That lake-effect storm hit a year ago next week, Nov. 17-21, 2014. In just a few days, they got a whole winter’s worth of snow– seven feet! Those of us outside the area of the storm got only seven inches.

While we think of it as one storm, it was two separate snow events that occurred one after the other. You can learn more about how meteorologists successfully predicted the Snowvember Storm in a public presentation by Jason Franklin, the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service’s Buffalo Forecast Office, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 in room A209 in the Classroom Building at SUNY Buffalo State, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo.

Roses weren’t the only plants damaged in the storm. Gardeners lost large shrubs that were ripped apart by the weight of the snow. Tree limbs were brought down, and some trees may die in coming years due to the damage they sustained. But in general, perennials weren’t damaged.

Considering what the gardens and the gardeners went through during that scary storm, it was amazing to see how good the gardens in the affected areas looked on garden walks this year.

The photos in this article are from the home of Peter and Diane Clancy in South Buffalo, and you can see more images of their yard here.  You can also see views of gardens in Hamburg and in Lancaster taken this summer.

Let’s hope that this winter is less eventful.

front garden on South Buffao Alive
The Clancys had to shovel snow off their roof onto their garden beds. Despite losing some shrubs, the garden was still attractive the following summer. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
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