pergola in garden in Amherst NY

More from the seven-garden guy in Amherst

by Connie Oswald Stofko You don’t have to know everything about gardening to enjoy a wonderful garden. “If you ask me the name of the plant, I have no idea,” said Jim Bardot, who has seven magnificent gardens in his front yard in Amherst. If you’re a gardener who doesn’t like to keep track of plant names, don’t let that hold you back. Get inspiration from what Bardot has accomplished. See an overview of his front yard here and see…

perennial gardens Buffalo NY

Gardeners ditched the barbecue & created an oasis in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko When Kevin Lickers bought his West Side home in 2007, the small backyard had absolutely no gardens. “There was nothing here. I’m not kidding you. No flower beds,” he said while gazing at the colorful expanse of perennials that fill the yard now. What the yard did have was a big grill. “It was distracting, Lickers said, “and we don’t barbecue much.” He and his partner Ricardo Arce got rid of the large barbecue (they use…

statues of face, dragon and Chinese warrior in Amherst NY garden

Statues & negative space can add a lot to your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko “I find a statue, then think, ‘What can I plant around it to accent it?’” said Jim Bardot. The statue that was the inspiration for this garden is the Chinese head, situated in the very center. “It sat by itself in the backyard for years,” Bardot said. “I placed it here, I placed it there, then I brought it out front and found other things to go with it.” This Asian garden is one of the…

seven gardens in front yard in Amherst NY

Why hide your gardens? Amherst gardener has seven in front yard

by Connie Oswald Stofko Jim Bardot used to relegate gardening to his backyard until he realized: “I’m the only one who sees it. What’s the fun of that?” Now his gardens—seven of them—are displayed in his large front yard for the world to enjoy. “Why hide it?” said Bardot, who lives on busy French Road in Amherst. “It’s a thrill when somebody stops because they see me out there. One person said, ‘Thank you. For years I’ve been watching it…

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…