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….

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…

front view home on Snyder-CleveHill Garden View

Once-overgrown gardens now flourish at Snyder home

by Connie Oswald Stofko This Snyder house was once so overgrown that ivy had infiltrated through a window and was growing into the gold shag carpeting inside the house. But now the home boasts a tidy formal garden in front and lush English cottage gardens in back. The home of Craig Coyne and Gary DiNezza at 31 Darwin Dr. was part of the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View in Amherst on Sunday, July 11. Though the property had been sorely neglected (there…

garden replaces front lawn in Eggertsville

Grassless yards make Eggertsville property a mow-free zone

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can visit all of Cherie St. Pierre’s gardens in Eggertsville as part of the Open Gardens program of the National Garden Festival, but one is so different than the others that we had to give it an article of its own. While St. Pierre’s home and an adjoining property have traditional yards, her rental property across the street at 3887 Bailey has no grass in its front or backyard! She loves gardening, but the retired…

‘Perennial diva’ offers tips for summer gardens in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Not everything is hardy. The definition of a perennial is something that lives three or more years– if you don’t kill it.” Stephanie Cohen, known as the “perennial diva,” gave tips on summer gardening in the sometimes irreverent and often funny keynote address of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo (now Gardens Buffalo Niagara). The event was held Saturday, June 19 in the Nichols School in Buffalo. After the talk, Cohen signed copies of her books,…

Wild daisies are sweet garden flower for Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Have you ever considered growing wild daisies in your garden? Some people think of them as weeds, but they have a treasured spot in my garden. They’re hardy and easy to grow.  Whether we get a hot, dry summer or a cold, rainy summer, the daisy can take it in stride. They do like sun, but you may be able to grow them in shadier spots, too. (Correction: I had written that these are native plants,…