Stone forms the bedrock of this inviting landscape in Lockport

wall of local stone in Lockport NY
This garden bed in the front yard of the Morello Family’s home was seen last year on the Lockport in Bloom garden walk. The large rectangular blocks of stone that ring the bed are from the Lockport home of Chuck Morello’s grandfather. In the back on the right, you get a peek of the patio made of Medina sandstone. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko


by Connie Oswald Stofko

A lot of history — and stone — make up the landscape of the Morello Family in Lockport.

I visited the family’s gardens on the Twilight Garden Tour of Lockport in Bloom in 2019. Lockport in Bloom is scheduled to be held this year on Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12. Watch our Events page and the Gardens Buffalo Niagara site for more details as they become available.

slabs on patio in Lockport
Large slabs of Medina stone make up the patio at the front of the house. Mature perennial gardens help screen the patio from the street. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

The Morellos’ house on Locust Street was built in the 1880s, said Selena Truax Morello, who lives there with her husband, Chuck, and children Angelo, 11, and Bode, 9.

At the time the house was built, quarrying stone was an important industry in Lockport, said Selena’s mother, Margaret Federspiel Truax, who is the City of Lockport historian. There were six quarries in Lockport that shipped stone to the growing City of Buffalo and as far away as New York City.

At the turn of the last century, one of the quarries made bricks, too, and the streets in Lockport were paved with bricks. Willow Street is still paved with brick.

“They had to lay the bricks in just right,” Margaret said. “That’s a skill that’s lost.”

stacked stone wall in Lockport
A wall made of stacked stone was already on the property when the Morellos moved in. This wall is also near the patio. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

There’s a personal connection to the local stone in the Morellos’ landscape. Large rectangular blocks of stone ring a garden bed in the front yard. Those blocks came from the home of Chuck’s grandfather, who had lived across from the Erie Canal.

The Morellos acquired other stone in different ways. They bought huge slabs of of Medina sandstone from friends and used them to build their front patio. A friend lent them heavy construction equipment to move the slabs, which were four to five inches thick and weigh about 200 pounds each.

Selena designed all the garden beds in the landscape.

“Gardening is a way to have peace of mind,” she said. “I can get my hands dirty. It’s therapy; a labor of love.

covered walkway in Lockport
From the patio, a covered walkway stretches across the front of the house and around the corner. The perennial bed continues along the front. Comfy seats are tucked here and there. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
Chairs under covered walkway
When you round the corner from the covered walkway, take a few steps down into the backyard. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
wall with garden and statues in Lockport
At the bottom of the steps into the backyard is another wall and garden. Selena Truax Morello enjoys using statues in her gardens. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
garden beds at Morello residence in Lockport
Selena Truax Morello designed the garden beds in her landscape. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

7 Comments on “Stone forms the bedrock of this inviting landscape in Lockport

  1. Doug, we are very fortunate that so many people in our area share their gardens on garden walks and Open Gardens. It’s a great way to get ideas!

  2. This is very nice to see and I certainly appreciate the stone, rustic look and the history. I am planning a backyard patio myself this year and will use a good amount of stone I have collected over the years as well. One of my goals is to cut down on the amount of lawn to mow and create more full flowering beds and walk thru paths. You’ve provided food for thought. Thank you!

  3. Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden! I love the fact that you know the history of so many of your stones; stones add so much beauty to gardens and knowing their history adds so much interest to the garden.

  4. Very nice Selena🥰 I am taking notes. We are working on a fresh garden landscape for the coming year in San Francisco🌲🌿🍃

  5. Selena, gardeners in Western New York appreciate when folks like you open up your gardens for them to visit. It’s a great way to get new ideas and to just enjoy the scenery!

  6. Thank you for this lovely article on our gardens. What an informative site you have for us WNY gardeners!

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