Buffalo in Bloom to begin, more volunteers needed

If you live in the City of Buffalo, keep your front yard mowed and weeded during July and you might be rewarded through Buffalo in Bloom. And whether you live in the city or suburbs, you can help by becoming a volunteer scout and choosing yards that deserve an award. Here’s how it works. Volunteer scouts, working in a team of two to four people, are assigned a several-block section of the City of Buffalo. They scout their area between…

Parkside garden has evolved from play area to outdoor living room

by Connie Oswald Stofko Patience. That’s what you need if you want a yard and gardens like those at 84 Woodward, Buffalo, the home of  Melissa and Bill Maldovan. The Maldovans’ gardens were decades in the making. The couple shared their lovely landscape with visitors during the 14th annual Parkside Garden Tour on Sunday, June 26. Both husband and wife have gardening backgrounds. Melissa has taken horticulture classes and Bill did landscaping in high school and college. When their three…

Container plantings add to charm of Lewiston garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Right now there’s not a lot of color with the perennials,” said Marlene Craft. She remedies that situation by making great use of clever container plantings. “I can move things around and get color where I need it,” she explained. Above, the large watering can is filled with licorice (light green) and coleus (red). The yellow plant in the small can is creeping jenny or goldilocks.  Marlene also uses bird cages, carpenters’ tool boxes and other…

Glen Falls in Williamsville NY

Williamsville house came with natural water feature: Glen Falls

by Connie Oswald Stofko Marilyn Dempsey told her husband that she wanted to build a pond in their backyard. “I already bought you this,” Dennis told his wife, pointing to Glen Falls, located just behind their yard. The natural beauty of the majestic falls certainly would have eclipsed any man-made water feature they might have created. The Dempseys shared their view of the falls as well as their lovely gardens during the eighth annual Village of Willamsville Garden Walk on…

emerald ash borer

Emerald ash borer detected here: what you should do

by Connie Oswald Stofko In January, we told you that the emerald ash borer had been detected in regions surrounding the Buffalo area. Now the beetle has been detected in the Olmsted Parks in Buffalo. By the time the beetle has been detected, it has probably been living in the area for three to five years, said Jeremy P. Sayers, board-certified arborist and president of The Tree Doctor. During that time, it has been spreading exponentially and infesting ash trees….

statue with bleeding heart flower in Lancaster NY garden

Statue collection decorates gardens, ponds at home in Lancaster

by Connie Oswald Stofko When Janice Hetrick sees a statue that reminds her of one of her kids, she buys it for her gardens. Janice has six children, but the statues outnumber the kids 36 to 1. Her collection includes more than 220 statues, which are displayed in a number of gardens and around a couple ponds at her home on Schwartz Rd. in a rural part of Lancaster. She and her husband, Jeff, have just finished putting the ornaments…

composting with worms in Buffalo Ny

Turn garbage into compost for your garden with red wriggler worms

by Connie Oswald Stofko I saw some amazingly beautiful compost a couple weeks ago in an Earth Day demonstration at Buffalo ReUse. The compost was dark brown and crumbly and pure, with almost no soil mixed in. The secret to this compost is red wriggler worms. They eat garbage and turn it into compost. “They eat their weight in garbage every day,” explained Kevin Hayes, executive director at Buffalo ReUse. “They’re voracious.” The earth worms that you find in your…

Queen Anne's Lace in Buffalo NY

Native plant or invasive species in the Buffalo area?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I was going to plant Queen Anne’s lace in my garden.  I used to love picking these pretty wildflowers in the fields when I was growing up in Cheektowaga.  And hey, planting native species is good for the environment, right? One problem: Queen Anne’s lace grows wild, but it’s not a native species. “We’re at the point where the most common stuff is non-native,” said Paul Fuhrmann of Ecology & Environment and the New York State…

sparrows in juniper in Buffalo-Niagara area

Keep Earth Day in mind as you set your gardening goals

by Mike Van Der Puy On the border of my lot stands a mature evergreen bush that holds little aesthetic appeal for me. At six feet high and about eight feet in diameter, it does function to some degree as a windbreak. Its primary function, however, is serving as the equivalent of Starbucks to many sparrows. They come here for daily chitchat, protection from the weather and protection from that hawk watching from the nearby maple. The sparrows have not…

Spicy scented sweet peas are the flower for April

by Ruth Syron The sweet pea is a charming cool weather flower that is the April birth flower. It has a wonderful spicy, sweet scent that is delicate, yet substantial enough not to be missed. The sweet pea symbolizes “thank you for a lovely time.”  I think this meaning fits the scent of the sweet pea because experiencing the aroma is a fleeting pleasure, hard to describe, but you feel thankful that you have enjoyed it.  The sweet pea also…