blue spruce on Summer Street in Buffalo NY

Lush Buffalo garden with full-grown trees was planted on top of asphalt

A 20-foot blue spruce, along with a birch, crab apple, dogwood and Japanese maple, are part of what is essentially a giant container garden built on top of a narrow asphalt driveway in Buffalo. Ellie Dorritie of 415 Summer St. shared her gardens during Garden Walk Buffalo on July 30 and 31. More than 350 gardens were on display during the event, which is the largest garden tour in the nation. Dorritie’s back garden includes brick pathways, which you can…

Heimiller Greenhouses celebrates 30th anniversary

Not your grandma’s garden plants: Trend is toward new varieties

Gardeners in the Buffalo and Western New York area have  more plants to choose from than they did just a decade or two ago. The plants are genetically better, too. This is one of the big trends Ron Heimiller has seen in his career as president and head grower at  Heimiller Greenhouses in Newfane. The business is celebrating its 30 anniversary. Breeders searched the world for plants that might do well in the United States and bred them for color,…

'Daydream' and 'Tomato Soup' echinacea in Buffalo NY

Planting season isn’t over! Check garden centers for new arrivals

Many gardeners feel they must get their garden planted by Memorial Day weekend or they’ve missed some sort of deadline. They think that if they go to a garden center now, they’ll see nothing but shriveled-up specimens on a discount table. Surprise! It’s still planting season in Buffalo and Western New York, and garden centers are full of fresh, new perennials and trees that you can plant right now.  Plus, you get instant color and instant flowers because these fully…

night garden walk in Buffalo NY area

Ken-Ton gardeners share tips for nighttime lighting

“We sit out here every night with a glass of wine,” said Kathi Schwab, as she surveyed her backyard. Soft lighting showcased tall flowers and reflected off the calm water of their inground pool. “Oh, it’s heaven,” Kathi said. The Schwabs shared their yard during Ken-Ton’s first “Saturday Night Lights” garden walk held July 23.  Eighteen gardens participated in the evening walk. The nighttime event was part of the Ken-Ton Garden Tour, which held a daytime walk on both Saturday…

front yard in Niagara Falls NY 2011

Niagara Falls gardener shares tips on starting tomatoes from seed

First you notice the color, then you notice the fragrance when you visit the gardens surrounding the home of Barbara and Howard Sperry on Ashland Ave. in Niagara Falls. Sometimes Barbara likes to shake the lavender and other plants to better enjoy the aroma. The Sperrys shared their garden, along with many gardening tips, during the Historic Niagara Falls Garden Walk on Saturday, July 16. The event was presented by the Main Street Business and Professionals Association. Arts in the…

painted lawn in Lancaster NY

Painted lawn is eye-catching on Lancaster Garden Walk

The flowers in the garden beds are beautiful, but it’s the flowers painted on the lawn that get noticed first at the home of Karen and Bernie Farrell of 78 Brunswick, Lancaster. The flowers were painted by Karen, who has started her own business called Lawntastic, where she does custom painting on lawns. Their front yard was on display during the eighth annual Lancaster Garden Walk on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17. Karen got the idea for her…

looking into Rybczynski yard in South Buffalo NY

South Buffalo neighbors share backyard flower garden

Whoever happens to be out does the weeding in the garden shared by Kevin and Phyllis Baer of 132  Whitfield Ave. and their next-door neighbors, Paul and Maureen Rybczynski of 128 Whitfield Ave. in South Buffalo. The garden was on view during the 11th annual South Buffalo Alive Garden Walk on Sunday, July 17. The view above is looking into the Rybczynski yard, and below right is looking into the Baer yard. The garden continues down the length of the…

Vintage patio furniture is a highlight of Eggertsville garden

When Jim Tarantino moved 22 years ago into his home at 1069 Eggert Rd., Amherst, there wasn’t much of a garden. His major concern was erosion in the part of the backyard that slopes down to what is now Kadimah School of Buffalo. He built the retaining wall and planted whatever he could to hold down the soil, happily accepting cuttings from other gardeners. In the photo at left, these lovely plantings are actually outside his fence; his yard is to…

backyard in Cheektowaga NY

Cheektowaga man shares his love of gardening with inmates

When it comes to gardening, “We’re only limited by our imagination.” That’s what Tom Carlucci tells the inmates he teaches at Wyoming Correctional Facility. Carlucci shared his own garden with visitors during the ninth annual  Snyder-CleveHill Garden View. The event was held  Sunday, July 9 in the the Snyder and Cleveland Hill neighborhoods. The garden walk was sponsored by Univera Healthcare and the Harlem Kensington Cleveland Community Association. Carlucci is a vocational instructor in horticulture at the Wyoming Correctional Facility….

window box at Hamburg NY home

Every gardener is an artist, says Hamburg man

by Connie Oswald Stofko Jeff Leyonmark of Hamburg believes every gardener is an artist. In addition to gardening, they all seem to have other creative interests as well. They build or paint or cook. This artistic part of life is something that is important for Jeff to share with his children. “I want to bring art everywhere,” he said. He and his wife Wendy shared their garden with visitors on Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10, during Buzz Around…