Clarence garden fountain

Clarence homeowners build prize-winning gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Suzanne and Bob Wiepert built their “backyard oasis” by doing a little bit each year, starting in 2006. This year their gardens at 9525 Melinda won first place in Clarence Hollow in Bloom, a garden walk held Saturday, July 17 by the Clarence Garden Club. The Wieperts bought the house for its large backyard, just under an acre, which had big trees and boulders. From there, they built separate gardens and gave them names. At right…

back garden Grand Island

Grand Island homeowners suggest hiring professionals

by Connie Oswald Stofko Hire professionals for the overall design of your garden, then have fun adding to it. That’s the advice of Chuck and Nancy LaChiusa, whose gardens at 140 Fernwood in Grand Island were on the Grand Island Garden Tour July 17. They gave us a preview the day before the walk. The LaChiusas started off about six years ago with an annual garden, but turned to perennials to decrease the amount of maintenance. Sculptures also play a…

home on Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk

Buzz Around Hamburg showcases local gardens, arts, business district

by Connie Oswald Stofko More than 30 private gardens were open to the public during the Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk and Fair on Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11. Paul and Chrisanne Gaughan shared their gardens at 241 Union St. The front garden is an extension of the front porch.  Notice though, that the garden doesn’t follow the rectangular shape of the porch, but is designed with a curve, free-flowing line. The garden is full and lush,  using…

pool on Lockport garden walk

Pool is focal point of Lockport garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko The pool  is the focal point of the landscape in the backyard of Mark and Meghan Vavalle, whose home at 323 Lincoln Ave. was part of the Lockport in Bloom citywide garden tour on July 10 and 11. Mark estimates that they have 70 varieties of perennials in their garden. They’ve been working on their landscape for four years now. “It’s definitely a work in progress,” Meghan said. “There’s always something new to add.” At one…

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?…

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…