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…

evening sun on gauzy tent in backyard in Buffalo

First garden walks of the season take place this weekend

by Connie Oswald Stofko Finally! We can visit wonderful landscapes on several garden walks this weekend. Please be good to the folks you may meet on the garden walks–your fellow visitors and the generous folks who are opening up their gardens to you– by always using safety etiquette. Keep six feet away from others. Wearing a mask is a good idea, too, even though you’re outside. Try not to touch things in the yards. Take a bottle of hand sanitizer…

front garden on Parkside Garden Walk

Gardening fun is happening every day in July with ‘Garden Views’

Garden Walk Buffalo and the East Side Garden Walk are sharing gardens differently in 2020 with a program called Garden Views. Activities will happen every day in July and will include strolling by front yard gardens, seeing backyard gardens on video, hearing live gardening experts and hearing garden stories. Below is the schedule. As soon as we get times for the various activities, we will update this article and our Events page. Wednesdays/ONLINE: Garden Stories See weekly features from the Buffalo…

detail of colorful arbor on Open Gardens

Open Gardens: Hear how one garden helped turn around a neighborhood

by Connie Oswald Stofko Cindy and Peter Loomis moved into their Cottage District home 19 years ago without seeing the front of the house. The tiny front yard was filled with a large hedge and two tall pine trees, which hid the house from the street. It wasn’t a neighborhood where people wanted to sit out front. The area was beginning to turn around, but there were still drug deals and prostitution, Cindy said. But Cindy likes light, so she…

lawn in yard using permaculture

This Grand Island landscape is suburban in front, natural in back

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s like visiting a home out in the country–depending on what side of the house you’re on. In front, the home of Denise and Don Freedman has a typical suburban landscape. In back, it’s more natural, with fruit trees, a rain garden and trees that were there when they bought the land. They’ve been using permaculture techniques before they ever heard that word. What does permaculture mean to them? “It’s using your land to your advantage,”…

lush front garden in Lockport NY

Vote for this local garden in national contest; deadline is June 5

by Connie Oswald Stofko The front yard garden of John Taylor of Lockport is in the running for the title of America’s Best Front Yard in an annual competition by Better Homes and Gardens. His garden was submitted by his wife, Mary Brennan-Taylor. “Much to my surprise and delight,  John is one of the top 10 finalists from an enormous field of candidates,” she said. You can vote for your favorite garden here. Taylor’s garden is Number 7. Voting is…

decorative fence with trellis and gate in Hamburg NY

See great landscapes like this on Open Gardens, garden walks starting in July!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s something to look forward to: Open Gardens and some garden walks this summer! You can see a list of which gardening events are open and which are canceled at the end of this article. There may still be changes, so to get the most up-to-date information, go to the calendar page of Gardens Buffalo Niagara. One of the garden walks that has been canceled is the The Hamburg Garden Walk, but organizers plan to offer…