backyard in Cheektowaga NY

Cheektowaga man shares his love of gardening with inmates

When it comes to gardening, “We’re only limited by our imagination.” That’s what Tom Carlucci tells the inmates he teaches at Wyoming Correctional Facility. Carlucci shared his own garden with visitors during the ninth annual  Snyder-CleveHill Garden View. The event was held  Sunday, July 9 in the the Snyder and Cleveland Hill neighborhoods. The garden walk was sponsored by Univera Healthcare and the Harlem Kensington Cleveland Community Association. Carlucci is a vocational instructor in horticulture at the Wyoming Correctional Facility….

window box at Hamburg NY home

Every gardener is an artist, says Hamburg man

by Connie Oswald Stofko Jeff Leyonmark of Hamburg believes every gardener is an artist. In addition to gardening, they all seem to have other creative interests as well. They build or paint or cook. This artistic part of life is something that is important for Jeff to share with his children. “I want to bring art everywhere,” he said. He and his wife Wendy shared their garden with visitors on Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10, during Buzz Around…

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,…

Spicy scented sweet peas are the flower for April

by Ruth Syron The sweet pea is a charming cool weather flower that is the April birth flower. It has a wonderful spicy, sweet scent that is delicate, yet substantial enough not to be missed. The sweet pea symbolizes “thank you for a lovely time.”  I think this meaning fits the scent of the sweet pea because experiencing the aroma is a fleeting pleasure, hard to describe, but you feel thankful that you have enjoyed it.  The sweet pea also…

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…

Rosa Dream Come True organic gardening in Western New York

The (relative) pampering of roses

Rosa Dream Come True Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj I generally practice a survival-of-the-fittest approach to gardening, but I admit to pampering my roses a bit. I figure they deserve it for the joy they bring me. Few other flowers make me literally tear up from their beauty. I planted my roses last spring. I have mostly English roses because I love the heavy fragrance and voluptuously full blossoms. The exceptions are my Grandiflora “Dream Come True” and…

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….