detail of colorful arbor on Open Gardens

Open Gardens: Hear how one garden helped turn around a neighborhood

by Connie Oswald Stofko Cindy and Peter Loomis moved into their Cottage District home 19 years ago without seeing the front of the house. The tiny front yard was filled with a large hedge and two tall pine trees, which hid the house from the street. It wasn’t a neighborhood where people wanted to sit out front. The area was beginning to turn around, but there were still drug deals and prostitution, Cindy said. But Cindy likes light, so she…

lawn in yard using permaculture

This Grand Island landscape is suburban in front, natural in back

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s like visiting a home out in the country–depending on what side of the house you’re on. In front, the home of Denise and Don Freedman has a typical suburban landscape. In back, it’s more natural, with fruit trees, a rain garden and trees that were there when they bought the land. They’ve been using permaculture techniques before they ever heard that word. What does permaculture mean to them? “It’s using your land to your advantage,”…

lush front garden in Lockport NY

Vote for this local garden in national contest; deadline is June 5

by Connie Oswald Stofko The front yard garden of John Taylor of Lockport is in the running for the title of America’s Best Front Yard in an annual competition by Better Homes and Gardens. His garden was submitted by his wife, Mary Brennan-Taylor. “Much to my surprise and delight,  John is one of the top 10 finalists from an enormous field of candidates,” she said. You can vote for your favorite garden here. Taylor’s garden is Number 7. Voting is…

decorative fence with trellis and gate in Hamburg NY

See great landscapes like this on Open Gardens, garden walks starting in July!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s something to look forward to: Open Gardens and some garden walks this summer! You can see a list of which gardening events are open and which are canceled at the end of this article. There may still be changes, so to get the most up-to-date information, go to the calendar page of Gardens Buffalo Niagara. One of the garden walks that has been canceled is the The Hamburg Garden Walk, but organizers plan to offer…

sand by bar and pond in barckyard in Buffalo NY

You may be able to visit Northwest Buffalo garden walk in person!

by Connie Oswald Stofko If all goes well, you will be able to visit gardens in person during the 2020 Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens (formerly Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens) on Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18. Gardeners who want to share their gardens on the tour have three choices: They can sign up for the traditional tour, which will be held if it is safe to do so. There will be night tours and a…

grassless front yard

New program will replace Garden Walk Buffalo this year

by Connie Oswald Stofko Garden Walk Buffalo won’t be held as a two-day walking tour this year. Instead, a new program called Buffalo Garden Views will feature a variety of activities throughout July suited for these difficult times.  Gardeners from the Buffalo Niagara region–and around the world–can experience these activities from home on social media. And there will be some in-person activities, too, such as touring front-yard gardens. We know that Buffalo has gorgeous front yards. What you might not…

deck in backyard in South Buffalo

Secluded deck provides sanctuary in South Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Today I want to share some photos from the landscape of Sally and Paul Tucker of South Buffalo to give you inspiration for your own gardens. I visited them last July during South Buffalo Alive. Before we talk about the Tuckers’ yard, I know you are wondering what is happening with garden walks this year. My understanding is that two of the garden walks that take place early in the season, Lewiston GardenFest and Springville Garden…

water feature in garden in Hamburg NY

Four landscape design ideas that you may have never seen before

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you go on garden walks or visit Open Gardens, it’s nice to just gaze at the beautiful landscapes. It’s also helpful to get new, practical ideas you can use in your own yard. We’ll do both in this article, looking at views from the landscape of Sue and Russell Rich in Hamburg. When they moved in 25 years ago, there was almost nothing in the yard, but now they are surrounded by beautiful garden beds….

wall of local stone in Lockport NY

Stone forms the bedrock of this inviting landscape in Lockport

__________ by Connie Oswald Stofko A lot of history — and stone — make up the landscape of the Morello Family in Lockport. I visited the family’s gardens on the Twilight Garden Tour of Lockport in Bloom in 2019. Lockport in Bloom is scheduled to be held this year on Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12. Watch our Events page and the Gardens Buffalo Niagara site for more details as they become available. The Morellos’ house on Locust Street…

Lunenfeld grant on Willowlawn

Feb. 29 is deadline for Lunenfeld Grants; 2019 recipients announced

Marvin Lunenfeld Beautification Grants, which are awarded to groups within the geographic area of Garden Walk Buffalo, have been awarded for 2019. Applications are available for 2020. Even if you don’t live in that area, mark you calendar for this year’s Garden Walk Buffalo. And did you know you can get a map for that walk mailed to you? 2019 grant recipients The Marvin Lunenfeld Beautification Grants are awarded to block clubs and community groups to help beautify Buffalo through…