Nick Fratello of Black Rock in Buffalo

Nick Fratello, 11, offers tips on attracting birds to your garden

“I’ve been into birds for a really, really long time; probably six years,” said Nick Fratello, 11. That’s why he prepared an exhibit on garden plants that attract birds, which he displayed at a booth at headquarters for the Black Rock and Riverside Tour of Gardens on Aug. 7. He also handed out tip sheets. His tip sheet begins with hummingbirds. While there are hummingbirds in Western New York, the only kind you’re likely to find here is the ruby-throated…

gardeners conserve Great Lakes

Gardeners can play a role in conserving Great Lakes

Clean water is a precious commodity, and as a gardener, you can play a role in conserving in the Great Lakes. That was the message of Larry Brooks, who does communications for Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, in a Gardening Mondays talk downtown at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Living on the shores of the Niagara River and Lake Erie, it seems that water is one thing we shouldn’t have to worry about.  After all, one-fifth of the available fresh…

watering garden in Western New York

With Western New York’s dry weather, measure your watering by the inch

Because we’ve had a few showers lately, Western New Yorkers think their gardens have gotten enough rain. Unfortunately, “Our gardens are actually facing near drought conditions,” said Ken Re, who is in sales and is the director of marketing for Russell’s Tree and Shrub Farm in East Amherst. “In this dry weather you should be watering regularly–-every other day if you can,” he said. “If you don’t water enough, your plants are placed under stress but may not show the…

water feature in Tonawanda NY

Water features highlight garden on Ken-Ton Garden Tour

A waterfall, pond and giant water wheel beguiled visitors to the backyard of John and Joanne Perrello at 2674 Colvin Blvd., Town of Tonawanda, during the Ken-Ton Garden Tour on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7 and 8. While they grew vegetables for about 30 years, the Perrellos started the water features just three years ago, beginning with the waterfall, which you can see in the background of the first photo. They put in the pond, which you can see in…

Carlos and Susan Gartin of Buffalo

Gracious patio garden graces once-abandoned lot in Buffalo

What was once an abandoned lot is now a lovely backyard patio for Susan and Carlos Gartin. They shared their creation during the Black Rock and Riverside Tour of Gardens on Saturday, Aug. 7. The lot is on East St., just behind their home at 169 Dearborn St.  It had been a dumping ground for asphalt, concrete and bricks, and the weeds grew seven feet high, Carlos said. The Gartins bought it in August 2009. Now flower beds are tucked…

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…

sculpture garden Elmwood Ave. Buffalo

Buffalo sculptor shares tips on cheap gardening

Gardening doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. “I didn’t spend one cent on this garden,” said Dave Derner, who created a backyard retreat at 1088 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, where he lives above Half & Half Trading Co. He got plants that nurseries or co-ops were going to throw out. Friends gave him plants as well. Many of the plants flourished. “I just put things in and let them grow,” Derner said. “It’s amazing how things just want to grow.”…

soap is way to repel deer

Deer eating your garden? Tips offered by East Aurora Garden Club

Commercial products, homemade mixtures and soap on a rope were among the methods to repel deer shared by Chris Hartmann, a member of the East Aurora Garden Club, in an educational exhibit called “Deer at the Corner of the House.” The exhibit was part of the Poetry & Posies standard flower show held by the East Aurora Garden Club Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and Aug. 1. Soap on a rope, hair and Mylar Hanging strongly scented soap near your…

visitors to East Aurora Garden Club flower show

Get great ideas for container plantings

by Connie Oswald Stofko Container plantings are so versatile. If your outdoor space is limited to an apartment balcony, a container can serve as your entire garden. Containers can also decorate porches and patios, or fill in bare spots in a larger garden.  They can be created in any style. Visitors got lots of great ideas for container plantings at the Poetry & Posies standard flower show of the East Aurora Garden Club on Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and…

view of right side 36 N Parade Buffalo

Winners announced in Front Yard Competition

by Connie Oswald Stofko The voting is done, and the front yard of the large Victorian at 28/36 North Parade in Buffalo won the first place People’s Choice Award for large gardens in the Front Yard Competition of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo. It was designed by The English Gardener, Ltd. Professional landscapers donated their time and materials to transform 19 front yards as part of the Front Yard Competition, the first event of its kind in the country….