dried hops flowers or cones

Tonawanda gardener shares the basics of growing hops

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may be a gardener who knows a lot about plants or a connoisseur who knows a lot about craft beers, but what do you know about hops? I learned a lot when I visited the gardens of Matt and Tashia Tribo on the Ken-Ton Garden Tour in July. Hops plants are easy to maintain; you don’t have to water them at all, Matt said. You do have to trim them back at the bottom so…

view from balcony in City of Tonawanda garden walk

Last garden walk of season; City of Tonawanda has day & night walks

by Connie Oswald Stofko The last garden walk of the season in Western New York is being held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6 and 7 in the City of Tonawanda with tours at night and during the day. The City of Tonawanda Friday Night Lights will be held from 8:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6. The City of Tonawanda Garden Walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7. The tours are free and self-guided. Maps can be picked…

formal gardens in Western New York in summer

See four-season garden in summer in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko You’ve seen it in winter, you’ve seen it in spring and now you get a peek at Tom Homme’s four-season landscape in summer. If you’d like to visit this Pendleton garden in person, you have one more chance this week. This is the last week of Open Gardens for 2021. Open Gardens take place Thursday and Friday. Like any other perennial garden, Homme’s garden changes throughout summer as one plant ends flowering and another comes into…

inside of famous shed in Buffalo NY

See the most famous shed in the world & more on Garden Walk Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Jim Charlier wanted to build a gardening shed. But where could he put a shed in his small Buffalo yard? His wife Leslie suggested taking down the jungle gym that their daughter Margaux didn’t use and put a shed there. “It was Leslie’s idea,” Charlier said, “then I took it to the nth degree.” This elaborate, quirky and practical shed is just one of the cool things you can see this weekend on Garden Walk Buffalo,…

garden beds by fence and pool in Snyder NY

Get inspired–and encouraged– by gorgeous Snyder garden with ups & downs

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you visit Dan Murak’s gardens on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, you may think he’s got a green thumb and succeeds with every plant, all the time. But starting in the front yard with the sick peach tree that he replaced last week, Murak is happy to tell you about the downs as well as the ups of his landscape. You can visit his landscape this weekend on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, one of six garden…

arbor at entrance to backyard

Arbors, sheds & other hardscapes can enhance your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Visitors to the gardens of Jerry and Marie Wysocki in Hamburg delight in the abundance of plant material. But hardscapes are integral parts of the gardens, too. Hardscapes are the constructed, non-plant features in a landscape, such as the arbor and path that lead you into the backyard. The Wysockis shared their landscape during Open Gardens in July. When you tour garden walks and Open Gardens, try to look past the brightly colored flowers and see…

red door in garden

Garden decor of a single color creates cohesive look

by Connie Oswald Stofko Buffalo-style gardens are known for displaying quirky objects as garden art, such as a gumball machine or a giant bird cage. Put an elegant spin on that idea with a monochromatic theme. Choose one color for the decorations in a section of your landscape. Using objects of the same material, such as glass, can also make the space more cohesive. Here are some examples from this summer’s Open Gardens….

gardens and waterfall in Elma

Huge water feature & plenty of perennials highlight Open Garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Everywhere you turn, there’s a great view in the backyard of Jerry and Karen Dwigun in Elma. And Karen Dwigun has lots of tips to help you make the most of your landscape. The Dwiguns shared their landscape during Open Gardens in July. Find the right spot for a perennial Plants that are marked “shade” still need some sun, Dwigun said. If you put a plant in a spot and it’s not doing well, move it….

blue bottles, painted allium and other garden ornaments

Labor Day is approaching, but don’t give up on your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s September, a time when some gardeners give up on their gardens. But not Patti Zander and Bob Van Hise, who shared their gardens during the City of Tonawanda Garden Walk on Aug. 22. “Oh, I would never give up on my gardens!” Zander said. “We just live for summer. As long as things are alive, we’re out here watering and deadheading.” They have three rain barrels to help keep them supplied with water. No garden…

Shadrack garden visited by garden communicators

Open Gardens continue for three more weeks; get booklet or app now

Walk through lovely landscapes during Open Gardens in July. These are selected gardens that you can visit on Thursdays and Fridays at certain times and dates. The gardens are clustered in 12 geographic areas that you can visit over the course of five weeks. To get all the information, you need an Open Gardens guide. There are three ways to get the guide: Purchase one online here ($20 donation). Buy the Open Gardens smartphone app ($4.99). It has GPS, maps, photos and…