gardens and Irish flag at front of house in Tonawanda

‘Lazy gardener’ shares tips on how he created Irish pub in backyard

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s an Irish pub. It’s an outdoor living room. And it has gardens. That’s what you encounter when you visit Michael Ryan’s backyard on Englewood Ave., Tonawanda. It’s the party place for his family and friends. Visitors are amazed and assume he must spend lots of time maintaining his landscape, but he insists that he’s a lazy gardener who uses lots of short cuts. “It’s two weeks of work at the beginning of the season, then…

dichondra in window box in Amherst NY

Now is time to get annuals– along with advice you didn’t even know you needed!

by Connie Oswald Stofko It was well into June when I finally turned my attention to the window boxes on my front porch, which is the main point of interest in my plain front yard. It seemed like every other gardener in Western New York had their pots of annuals out already, and I felt like I was running behind. But what I learned was that waiting until June to go to your local garden center can work to your…

vegetables herbs and flowers in pot in West Seneca

Why you should plant veggies in containers, plus a shocking tip on caring for veggies!

by Connie Oswald Stofko First of all, there is still time to plant vegetables. The best time to plant vegetables is the first week in June until about June 10, said Jen Weber, retail manager at Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. The ground is warm, the nights are warm and the danger of frost has passed. So yes, you still have time to plant vegetables, but do it soon–The Fourth of July is too late, she said….

straw bale gardening

Save those straw bales; grow vegetable plants in them next spring

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you are using a straw bale in your autumn decorations, don’t throw it away! You can grow tomatoes and other vegetables in it next spring. I saw photos of the technique called straw bale gardening on the Vegetable Gardeners of WNY Facebook page. I was delighted that Gina and Tony Kruzel allowed me to visit their Kenmore home early in October to see what they had done. They decided to try straw bale gardening because…

osteopermum by Stofko

What you can do in your early autumn garden in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko That muggy weather we’ve had this past week made it feel more like July than September. But Labor Day is over and kids are headed back to school. That makes many people think the gardening season is over. No it’s not! Here are a few reminders of things you can do in the garden now and for the next few weeks. Start a new garden Many people think spring is the perfect time to start a…

red tire container garden in Buffalo NY

Vertical garden made from old gutters draws attention on last garden walk of year

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We just really like recycling,” said Carrie Madigan, who gardens with her mother Patty Connors at 180 Crowley Ave., Buffalo. “I don’t want to buy something super expensive if I can make it.” Visitors saw many examples of her creative gardening on a budget during the 11th annual Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens held Aug. 1. The Starry Night Garden Tour was held during the evening. It was the last garden walk of the…

window box in Snyder NY

Gardener has more than 300 varieties of plants in small Snyder yard

by Connie Oswald Stofko Dick Herr has a way with plants. He had a yucca plant in his garden, but dug it out 35 years ago. Last year– surprise!– it came back. Now it’s taller than ever and was in full bloom when I visited last week. You can see his gardens at 180 Hamilton Dr., Snyder, during the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 12. Maps can be picked up at Trillium’s Courtyard Florist,…

coleus Kingswood Torch at Buffalo Botanical Gardens

8 reasons why the Botanical Gardens uses coleus– & why you should, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko Coleus doesn’t get showy flowers, yet it’s the featured plant in the Celebration of Coleus and Color show that starts Saturday, June 13 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Even without an emphasis on flowers, this exhibit is a favorite among some visitors to the Botanical Gardens, said Jeff Thompson, director of horticulture. What’s the attraction of coleus? Today we’ll give you eight reasons why the Botanical Gardens showcases…

Eggplant Patio Baby from AAS

Grow tomatoes & eggplant in a small space, or try the hottest peppers in the world

by Connie Oswald Stofko People often tell me they have no room to garden, but if you have room for a pot or hanging basket, you have room to garden. Gardening in containers counts as gardening! Today the folks at Lockwood’s Greenhouses tell us about a smaller, compact version of eggplant that’s well suited to containers, as well as a cascading cherry tomato that you can grow in a hanging basket. Then they tell us about bhut jolokia, the hottest…

cut dead perennials in spring in Buffalo NY

17 reminders for your early spring garden in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko As I sat outside yesterday in shorts and bare feet, it felt as if summer was here to stay. But that’s how it feels every spring in Western New York, and every year our spring weather takes us on a roller coaster ride. The high was in the 70s yesterday, yet you know we’re still going to get freezing temperatures before summer really arrives. Some years we’ve had flakes of snow flying around in the air in May. I know…