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….

front garden on West Ferry in Buffalo

Lush gardens featured on West Ferry during Garden Walk Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Lynn and Alan Stout have lived at 801 West Ferry, Buffalo, for 20 years, and they have built their lavish gardens bit by bit. They shared their work with the public during Garden Walk Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday, July 24 and 25. About 350 gardens were displayed on Garden Walk Buffalo, making it one of the largest garden tours in the nation. Visitors to the Stouts’ home were treated to large, full gardens in both…

South Buffalo side garden

Border garden provides privacy in South Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko A new border garden gives a South Buffalo backyard more privacy. The gardens at 222 Cumberland Ave. were on display Sunday, July 18 during the 10th annual South Buffalo Alive garden walk. Dave Testa, who lives in the corner property with Jack Tontillo, envisioned the kind of mixed border you might see at a big English house. “I hate the formality of straight lines,” he said, explaining the curved design he used. When choosing plants, “I…

inside front garden Amherst

First garden walk held for Town of Amherst

by Connie Oswald Stofko The gardens of Lois Weinstein, master gardener, were among those displayed Saturday, July 17, in the first Amherst Garden Walk. Weinstein initiated the walk because while Eggertsville, Snyder and Williamsville are represented on garden walks, the rest of the Town of Amherst had no garden walk.  Her husband, Barry, who is town supervisor, encouraged the idea–as long as it didn’t cost the town any money.  (It didn’t.) There were 32 houses on the garden walk. Lois’s…

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…

front view home on Snyder-CleveHill Garden View

Once-overgrown gardens now flourish at Snyder home

by Connie Oswald Stofko This Snyder house was once so overgrown that ivy had infiltrated through a window and was growing into the gold shag carpeting inside the house. But now the home boasts a tidy formal garden in front and lush English cottage gardens in back. The home of Craig Coyne and Gary DiNezza at 31 Darwin Dr. was part of the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View in Amherst on Sunday, July 11. Though the property had been sorely neglected (there…

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…