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front garden Orchard Parkway Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls garden uses biblical theme

by Connie Oswald Stofko The garden of Geri and Dominic Mitro of 701 Orchard Parkway, featured on the third annual Orchard Parkway Garden Walk in Niagara Falls, expresses their gratitude to God. “After praying for three years to find our new home in 2004, we felt so blessed we wanted to glorify the Lord with our landscape,” they wrote in the garden walk brochure. LED lights are strung around the cross in the garden surrounding their front porch, which you…

cutleaf weeping peashrub organic gardening

Try vinegar and boiling water in your organic garden

Adventures in Organic Gardening by Laura Sileo-Lepkyj In my previous column, I promised I would tell you what exactly is industrial strength acetic acid, and why I was lugging around boiling water on a 90-degree day. In answer to the first part: Industrial strength acetic acid is, simply put, high-power vinegar and is used in manufacturing and chemical labs. In answer to the latter: because I had a momentary lapse in judgment. Why would a gardener be interested acetic acid?…

16 N Parade Buffalo work begins on front yard competition

East Side block receiving gardening makeover in competition

by Connie Oswald Stofko Professional landscapers are donating their time and materials to transform 19 front yards in Buffalo as part of the Front Yard Competition, the first event of its kind in the country. The event was kicked off with a press conference this morning. Work will continue until Saturday,  July 10–  then comes the best part! You get to vote for your favorite yard from July 11 to July 18. Physical ballots will be available outside each home…

Prepare your own garden for visitors

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you’ve signed up to exhibit your garden on one of the 17 garden walks that are part of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo, or whether you’re expecting company, you want it to look its best. Sally Cunningham, project coordinator for the the National Garden Festival in Buffalo (now Gardens Buffalo Niagara), shares some tips.  She is a horticulturist, author and garden consultant. You can catch her weekly on WIVB-TV (Channel 4) on Sunday Mornings, 8…

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…

Aftermath of October Storm 2006 in Eggertsville

Eggertsville gardener still dealing with aftereffects of October Storm

by Connie Oswald Stofko One garden in front of Cherie St. Pierre’s home at 3881 Bailey Ave., Eggertsville, is positioned near a large tree and used to be in deep shade. “I couldn’t grow a thing in this area,” she said. “The good thing about that terrible storm is that it took out a branch.” Without her saying anything more, those of us who experienced that storm know immediately that she is referring the October Storm of 2006. Thursday, Oct….

organic gardening column

Join me as I dive into organic gardening

by Laura Sileo-Lepkyj I started my adventures in organic gardening almost by accident when I decided to enter my garden in the Amherst garden walk this spring. As I was filling out the application, I had a dilemma: what boxes should I check to describe the various features of my garden? Sculptures? Nope. Native Plants? Not so much. Pond? Nada. Arbors/Pergolas? Seriously? I was getting worried. What did I have to offer that makes my garden unique? Then there appeared…

trellis Parkside Garden Tour Buffalo

Victorian gardens accent Buffalo house from 1896

“Busy” is the word Patricia Lang uses to describe the Victorian style of gardening. “They overdid everything back then,” she explained. That elaborate decorating style is displayed in Lang’s gardens at 145 Crescent, which were part of the 13th annual Parkside Garden Tour held Sunday, June 27 in Buffalo. She started out preferring simpler designs, but “bloom where you are planted,” she said with a shrug. Her 1896 home is ornate, so she created her gardens to match. The Victorian…

waterfall Williamsville Garden Walk

Foliage garden displayed at Williamsville Garden Walk

There are many elements to the landscaping at the Williamsville home of Susan Holt: a long stone wall, a winding gravel path leading to a secluded shade garden, a waterfall as the focal point of a lush back yard. The vegetation is full, abundant, interesting and colorful. What you won’t see is many flowers.  Some of the few blooms are on the flowering dogwood, the white flowers on the bush in the first photo. “I intentionally have a foliage garden,”…

visitors at 2010 Lewiston GardenFest

Container plantings accent large front porch in Lewiston

by Connie Oswald Stofko Clouds and drizzle couldn’t dampen the spirits of visitors in the opening hours of the 2010 Lewiston GardenFest, which was held Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27. visited the garden of Dominic and Susan Hofert at 400 Plain St. The new homeowners are working toward a formal garden that’s still friendly and has lots of curb appeal. The gardens that wrap around the large front porch are beautiful and well planned, with shrubs and…

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