roof planted with flowers in Tonawanda NY

Look up– There’s a flower garden on the roof!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Denis Uminski said he should put a sign in his backyard that says, “Look up!” Otherwise visitors can miss one of the newest and most interesting features of the landscape: a flower garden planted on the slanted roof of the Uminskis’ garage at 95 Columbia Blvd., Kenmore. He and his wife Mary Jane got the idea during a visit to Plantasia five years ago. They had the garden installed during the second week in June, so…

Four spectacular ways to use succulents in your garden or home

by Connie Oswald Stofko The wonderful shows at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens can give you lots of great ideas that you can use in your own garden or home. Here are four spectacular looks from last year’s succulent show that you could adapt for your own home. Get more ideas at this year’s succulent show to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Saturday, Sept. 7 to Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Botanical Gardens,…

gardens around inground pool with waterfall in Amherst NY

Amherst backyard with lavish gardens was setting for wedding

by Connie Oswald Stofko Pam Weinrieb  loved her home at 445 Lebrun Rd., Amherst, but she didn’t like how it looked in the front. So for years she concentrated her gardening efforts on the front. When her son decided to get married and wanted the 2011 ceremony in her backyard, she turned her attention to the backyard. The result is a 1.3-acre lot filled with lavish gardens. I visited during the Amherst Garden Walk, held July 20. Above you can…

front garden in Buffalo NY

Gardener goes old school with organic gardening in Buffalo

“We’re from New York City,” said Shawn King. “It’s all concrete there. When we got here and saw all this land, we just started planting.” She and her husband, Lew-Jean, have lived for 27 years at 166 Lasalle Ave., Buffalo. I visited them on July 13 during the Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk. “We’ve always had a garden,” Shawn said. “The love of gardening was instilled in me by my grandmother.” In the front yard, a neat arrangement of flowers…

front garden on Chilton in Niagara Falls NY

Flower pots– 44 of them– accent gardens in Niagara Falls

Sandy Barlow of 702 Chilton, Niagara Falls, has a two-pronged approach to her landscape: perennials in the beds and annuals in pots. Pots line the wide front steps leading up to the porch. They’re set on the porch railing, on tables and on the ground. In the front and backyards, she has 44 pots of annuals in all. “I counted them this year and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my Lord!’” Barlow said. “It comes to a bit of an expense. The…

pretty backyard is pesticide free in Buffalo NY

Pesticide-free yard in Parkside is kid-friendly & pretty, too

You may be used to seeing small yellow signs warning you to keep your children and pets off a neighbor’s lawn because it had recently been sprayed with a pesticide. A different kind of yellow sign is displayed in the front yard at 82 West Humboldt, Buffalo: “Pesticide Free. This area safe for children, pets and other living things.” “To me, it’s worth avoiding pesticides,” Dan Cadzow said. “You track it inside on your shoes and the kids play on…

fairy gardens in South Buffalo NY

Fairy garden– or fairy village– to be seen on South Buffalo garden walk

by Connie Oswald Stofko Lyn Rezabek of Julius St., South Buffalo, got into fairy gardens about four years ago. Her husband Bill suggested creating a raised bed for her fairy landscape. Over the years, her collection of fairy items has grown, and they added three more raised beds. Now they have something of a fairy village. You can see her fairy garden on South Buffalo Alive, a garden walk that will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday,…

Container garden contest in Lewiston offers inspiring designs

Looking at objects in a different way– in this case upside down– can help you create unusual container gardens. Bonnie Bagwell flipped a glass light shade and used it as the base for this eye-catching container garden. Bagwell won first place for her design in the traditional category of the container garden competition at the Lewiston GardenFest, which was held Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23. The event also included a vendor fair, garden walk and speakers. The event…

Grow attractive fruit bushes & even trees– in containers!

You don’t need a lot of space to grow fruit bushes or even fruit trees. New varieties have been developed to be smaller, more compact and more attractive in the landscape, according to Fred Safford, who is in charge of trees and shrubs at Lockwood’s Greenhouses. Safford will discuss how you can grow your own fruit and berries at home in a class at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19 at Lockwood’s, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg. He will explain how to…

Sunchokes are available now, update on celery & more

Surprise– I have sunchokes to share Normally I don’t share sunchokes until fall when the tubers are ready to harvest. But I happen to have a few plants popping up in a spot where I’ve decided to plant something else this year, so they all have to find new homes. I am offering the plants for free, but I don’t want to mail them. If you’d like one, you must arrange to pick it up at my house– I’m in…