South Buffalo side garden

Border garden provides privacy in South Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko A new border garden gives a South Buffalo backyard more privacy. The gardens at 222 Cumberland Ave. were on display Sunday, July 18 during the 10th annual South Buffalo Alive garden walk. Dave Testa, who lives in the corner property with Jack Tontillo, envisioned the kind of mixed border you might see at a big English house. “I hate the formality of straight lines,” he said, explaining the curved design he used. When choosing plants, “I…

Lancaster front

Lush perennial borders accent Lancaster home

by Connie Oswald Stofko When the Hagemans started gardening nine years ago, they had nothing but bushes. Now perennial beds fill both their front yard and backyard. “Every year my husband says he’s not going to make me another border, and every year he makes me another border,” Debbie Hageman said. She and her husband Cliff shared their garden at 73 Grant St. with visitors  during the 7th Annual Lancaster Garden Walk on Saturday and Sunday, July 17 and 18….

inside front garden Amherst

First garden walk held for Town of Amherst

by Connie Oswald Stofko The gardens of Lois Weinstein, master gardener, were among those displayed Saturday, July 17, in the first Amherst Garden Walk. Weinstein initiated the walk because while Eggertsville, Snyder and Williamsville are represented on garden walks, the rest of the Town of Amherst had no garden walk.  Her husband, Barry, who is town supervisor, encouraged the idea–as long as it didn’t cost the town any money.  (It didn’t.) There were 32 houses on the garden walk. Lois’s…

Clarence garden fountain

Clarence homeowners build prize-winning gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Suzanne and Bob Wiepert built their “backyard oasis” by doing a little bit each year, starting in 2006. This year their gardens at 9525 Melinda won first place in Clarence Hollow in Bloom, a garden walk held Saturday, July 17 by the Clarence Garden Club. The Wieperts bought the house for its large backyard, just under an acre, which had big trees and boulders. From there, they built separate gardens and gave them names. At right…

back garden Grand Island

Grand Island homeowners suggest hiring professionals

by Connie Oswald Stofko Hire professionals for the overall design of your garden, then have fun adding to it. That’s the advice of Chuck and Nancy LaChiusa, whose gardens at 140 Fernwood in Grand Island were on the Grand Island Garden Tour July 17. They gave us a preview the day before the walk. The LaChiusas started off about six years ago with an annual garden, but turned to perennials to decrease the amount of maintenance. Sculptures also play a…

home on Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk

Buzz Around Hamburg showcases local gardens, arts, business district

by Connie Oswald Stofko More than 30 private gardens were open to the public during the Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk and Fair on Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11. Paul and Chrisanne Gaughan shared their gardens at 241 Union St. The front garden is an extension of the front porch.  Notice though, that the garden doesn’t follow the rectangular shape of the porch, but is designed with a curve, free-flowing line. The garden is full and lush,  using…

pool on Lockport garden walk

Pool is focal point of Lockport garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko The pool  is the focal point of the landscape in the backyard of Mark and Meghan Vavalle, whose home at 323 Lincoln Ave. was part of the Lockport in Bloom citywide garden tour on July 10 and 11. Mark estimates that they have 70 varieties of perennials in their garden. They’ve been working on their landscape for four years now. “It’s definitely a work in progress,” Meghan said. “There’s always something new to add.” At one…

front garden Orchard Parkway Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls garden uses biblical theme

by Connie Oswald Stofko The garden of Geri and Dominic Mitro of 701 Orchard Parkway, featured on the third annual Orchard Parkway Garden Walk in Niagara Falls, expresses their gratitude to God. “After praying for three years to find our new home in 2004, we felt so blessed we wanted to glorify the Lord with our landscape,” they wrote in the garden walk brochure. LED lights are strung around the cross in the garden surrounding their front porch, which you…

cutleaf weeping peashrub organic gardening

Try vinegar and boiling water in your organic garden

Adventures in Organic Gardening by Laura Sileo-Lepkyj In my previous column, I promised I would tell you what exactly is industrial strength acetic acid, and why I was lugging around boiling water on a 90-degree day. In answer to the first part: Industrial strength acetic acid is, simply put, high-power vinegar and is used in manufacturing and chemical labs. In answer to the latter: because I had a momentary lapse in judgment. Why would a gardener be interested acetic acid?…

Prepare your own garden for visitors

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you’ve signed up to exhibit your garden on one of the 17 garden walks that are part of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo, or whether you’re expecting company, you want it to look its best. Sally Cunningham, project coordinator for the the National Garden Festival in Buffalo (now Gardens Buffalo Niagara), shares some tips.  She is a horticulturist, author and garden consultant. You can catch her weekly on WIVB-TV (Channel 4) on Sunday Mornings, 8…