front yard on Black Squirrel Garden Walk

Black Squirrel Garden Walk shows off a neighborhood on the upswing

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We’re making people fall in love with their own city again,” said Jim Bragg, one of the organizers of the Black Squirrel Garden Walk in the Memorial Park neighborhood of Niagara Falls. “Every yard has a story.” The 1970s and ’80s hit the neighborhood hard, Bragg said. “There’s a perception that all of this should be bulldozed,” Bragg said, but the neighborhood is not as bad as people think. “It’s on its way up.” Efforts by neighborhood…

peninsula garden on Parkside Garden Tour

House renovations can rip up gardens: 8 tips for preventing & dealing with damage

by Connie Oswald Stofko Looking at her yard when it was torn up during construction work, Pamela Rose was at first horrified. Then she stopped and thought, “What’s the opportunity here?” Turning a calamity into an opportunity is one of the tips she shared with gardeners on how to deal with household construction that damages your landscape during the Parkside Garden Tour on Sunday, June 25. You can also see the property on Open Gardens. She and her husband Joel…

garden in Pendleton with items from flea market

Pendleton Petal-Pushers have three gardens open Saturday, July 15

This year three gardens in Pendleton will be open to the public, and the organizers hope for a full-fledged garden walk next year. The event is dubbed the Pendleton Petal-Pushers Open Gardens and will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 15. If your garden is in the Pendleton area and you’d like to participate in next year’s garden walk, contact Tom Homme Jr. at Tgardenjr@aol.com or 716-210-3091. The three gardens that will be shown this year…

seating area with southwestern feel

Scattered seating areas means there’s always a place to sit in the shade

  by Connie Oswald Stofko No matter how hot it gets, you can always find a shady spot to sit in the yard of Sharon and Bob Rowitsch of Springville. They have made a point to create seating areas throughout their half-acre landscape. You can see their gardens during the Scene Garden Walk, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 8 in Springville. Pick up maps at Fiddler’s Green Park, Franklin and S. Buffalo St.,…

Secret Garden Tour in Jamestown, New York

Garden walks that are new— or new to you— are set this summer

Three garden walks that you might not have heard of before are part of the lineup of our local garden walks this summer. Two of the garden walks are listed for the first time on Gardens Buffalo Niagara (formerly the National Garden Festival), the group that organizes the garden walks, Open Gardens, bus tours and other amazing garden events. One of the new garden walks is a small walk that raising funds for a comfort care home in Attica. There…

fairy beach from Williamsville Garden Walk

Tiny gardens, tiny parade & new green projects to be featured on Williamsville Garden Walk

by Connie Oswald Stofko A Tiny Garden Contest, Tiny Parade, signature gift bags and a raffle will be part of this year’s Williamsville Garden Walk, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 15. The garden walk headquarters will be at the Welcome Tent in front of Village Hall, 5565 Main St., Williamsville. Free parking is available in the municipal lot at rear. When you stop by, you’ll get more than just a map, said Deb…

pink lady at Lewiston GardenFest

Plant up a container & mark your calendar for Lewiston GardenFest

A container garden contest is just one of the activities that will be part of the Lewiston GardenFest to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18 along Center Street in Lewiston. (Just keep driving along Center Street and you’ll see it.) The festival will include more than 50 vendors selling flowers, plants and garden essentials. There will also be speakers, demonstrations, a free garden walk and more throughout the weekend. The event…

garden on Amherst Garden Walk

Registration deadlines coming up for several garden walks

by Connie Oswald Stofko The deadlines to register to share your garden are coming up for several garden walks. Don’t be afraid of signing up to share your landscape. Yes, garden walks have lavish gardens, but they also have small gardens, evolving gardens, quirky gardens, vegetable gardens, low-maintenance gardens, organic gardens, gardens around kids’ swing sets, gardens on balconies — that’s what makes it fun! The gardens reflect many different lifestyles and personalities and spaces. Here are deadlines for some…

path and statue on stack of pavers in Buffalo

Sign up by May 15 for Garden Walk Buffalo; deadline extended for art vendors

The deadline is May 15 for gardeners to sign up for Garden Walk Buffalo. The deadline for vendors to sign up for the Buffalo-style Garden Art Sale has been extended to May 15. In other news, Gardens Buffalo Niagara, the group that organizes the garden walks, Open Gardens and other events, is looking for an executive director. Applications for that part-time contractor position are due by May 15. Register your garden for Garden Walk Buffalo Gardeners from the Peace Bridge to…

shed flowers vegetable garden in Niagara Falls

Cool ideas from a garden on Niagara Falls garden walk include keyhole garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We want people to come back downtown,” said Ruth Cooper of 12th St., Niagara Falls. “It’s safe here.” That was the message of the Black Squirrel Garden Walk, held July 23 as part of Garden Walk of Niagara Falls, USA. (The Black Squirrel Garden Walk is named that for the black squirrels that you can see in Niagara Falls but aren’t common elsewhere in other parts of Western New York.) The event included a garden walk…