'Daydream' and 'Tomato Soup' echinacea in Buffalo NY

Planting season isn’t over! Check garden centers for new arrivals

Many gardeners feel they must get their garden planted by Memorial Day weekend or they’ve missed some sort of deadline. They think that if they go to a garden center now, they’ll see nothing but shriveled-up specimens on a discount table. Surprise! It’s still planting season in Buffalo and Western New York, and garden centers are full of fresh, new perennials and trees that you can plant right now.  Plus, you get instant color and instant flowers because these fully…

lush condo garden in Amherst NY

Condo resident in Amherst develops large, colorful garden

In the first year, Judy Horan planted eight pink geraniums. Now, just four years later, her garden encompasses the area from the front door of her Amherst condominium, around the corner to her deck. It continues beyond a huge evergreen where she has a small vegetable garden. Oh, and she has a garden on the other side of the driveway, too. “I was bored,” said Judy, who is retired. “But this is it. It’s not going to get any bigger.”…

symmetry in Buffalo NY by Richard Speth

Work is done in Buffalo front garden competition– Is that a hosta I see?

Last week, we left you this conundrum: A shady front yard at 87 Newman Place, Buffalo. Murray Brothers Nurseries, which has 350 varieties of shade-tolerant hostas,  ready to do a makeover. A homeowner who wants color– but no hostas! Work on the front yard was completed last week, and we won’t keep you in suspense a moment longer. Yes, the homeowners love their newly designed front gardens! And yes, the designer used hostas, but you have to look hard to find…

Murray Brothers staff at Front Yard Garden Competition in Buffalo NY

Front Yard Garden Competition under way near Cazenovia Park

by Connie Oswald Stofko Work is underway in the second annual Front Yard Competition held as part of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo. Members of the Western New York Nursery & Landscape Association will transform 15 yards facing the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo. We’ll take a look at one of those yards, 87 Newman Place, whose makeover is being done by Murray Brothers Nurseries in Orchard Park. The homeowners are Richard Speth and his wife…

garden gate from Kerry Ann Mendez

Your plants aren’t your children: advice for low-maintenance gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Kerry Ann Mendez, garden designer, author and consultant, will kick off the festivities for the National Garden Festival on Friday, June 24 with a talk on “Tips for Low-maintenance, High-impact Perennial Gardens.” You can also join her that day for a tour of the perennials and shrubs at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. (See details of the opening day activities at the end of this article.) Mendez has written two books. The Ultimate Flower…

lily of valley

Lily of valley is flower for May

by Connie Oswald Stofko Tiny yet powerfully fragrant, the lily of the valley (also called May bells)  is a favorite for spring gardens. It is the flower for birthdays in May and symbolizes sweetness, purity and return of happiness. The scientific name for the plant is Convallaria Majalis. Lily of the valley is easy to grow. It is a perennial, so it comes back every year. It spreads and keeps its green leaves all summer long, so it can be…

Swinging Linda coleus

Coleus provides color in sun or shade garden in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Coleus is  “probably one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden,” said Doug O’Reilly, horticulturist and head gardener at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. “That’s why I grow them.” A Coleus Show will be held from this Saturday, May 7 to Sunday, May 29 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Hours for the show are  10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults,…

Joe Pye Weed Chocolate in Buffalo rain garden

Here are some good native plants for your rain garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Native plants and flowers are strongly recommended for your rain garden because these plants have the greatest chance of growth and survival in Western New York. Using native plants also means low maintenance– you won’t need to water. Last week, we discussed building a rain garden and how rain gardens help keep our water clean. We showed you the rain garden at the Crane Branch Library in Buffalo, and we promised more information on  plants for…

front garden on West Ferry in Buffalo

Lush gardens featured on West Ferry during Garden Walk Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Lynn and Alan Stout have lived at 801 West Ferry, Buffalo, for 20 years, and they have built their lavish gardens bit by bit. They shared their work with the public during Garden Walk Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday, July 24 and 25. About 350 gardens were displayed on Garden Walk Buffalo, making it one of the largest garden tours in the nation. Visitors to the Stouts’ home were treated to large, full gardens in both…

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…