outdoor rooms in Black Rock Riverside Buffalo NY

Riverside gardener packs a lot into small yard

by Connie Oswald Stofko Three-quarters of the space in Sue Tronolone’s small backyard is taken up by the garage, driveway and above-ground pool, but you should see what she does with the space she has left. Tronolone shared her landscape on the Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens during both the daytime tour and the Starry Night Garden Tour. Both events were held on Aug. 6. It was the last garden walk of the season. The focal point of…

fall decorations at Goodman's

Decorate for fall by making a large still life; get fresh produce, too

Your perennials may be waning, but there are many ways you can have color and interest in your yard during autumn. One idea is to make a large still life. Start with some hay bales from Goodman’s Farm Market, 2227 Cayuga Drive Extension, Niagara Falls. Add other colorful items from Goodman’s that evoke the season, such as pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn. Arrange the items loosely on top of the bales or beside the bales, or group the items in…

red tire container garden in Buffalo NY

Vertical garden made from old gutters draws attention on last garden walk of year

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We just really like recycling,” said Carrie Madigan, who gardens with her mother Patty Connors at 180 Crowley Ave., Buffalo. “I don’t want to buy something super expensive if I can make it.” Visitors saw many examples of her creative gardening on a budget during the 11th annual Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens held Aug. 1. The Starry Night Garden Tour was held during the evening. It was the last garden walk of the…

Artwork made from old road signs to be discussed by artist at Jamestown Audubon

How old road signs are being converted into artwork that will be displayed at the entrance to the Audubon Nature Center will be discussed by the artist in a talk from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug, 13, at the center, 1600 Riverside Rd., one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, NY and Warren, PA. Amara Geffen, artist and Allegheny College professor, will present a lecture and workshop on “Community-based Art: From Sign Art to Public Art.” She will describe…

Plein Air Day at Mischler's Florist

Artists: Plein Air Day at Mischler’s set for July 11

Painters and other artists can get inspiration from the outdoor flowers during Plein Air Day 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 11 at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. The event is free and no registration is necessary. “En plein air”  is a French expression that means “in the open air” and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors. Artists can set up their easels and draw with natural sunlight on their subjects. Many…

garden retaining wall made of books in Hamburg NY

Creative garden retaining wall is made of books; see other examples of walls

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now is a good time to install hardscapes in your yard—things like paths, trellises and retaining walls for raised beds and slopes. Here’s a creative idea for a retaining wall that I saw at Plantasia in March. It’s made out of old books. While this wall was in place for only a few days and was displayed inside a building where it never got rained on, I think it could work in the real world. The books wouldn’t…

ice sculpture with ribbons in Western New York

Make the most of these low temperatures by creating molded ice centerpieces

by Connie Oswald Stofko The winter I heard about making colored spheres out of ice, I thought it was a great idea. But I waited an entire year before I could try it outside because the previous winter had been too mild. Temperatures would repeatedly bounce up above freezing. The forecast never seemed to call for enough below-freezing days in a row to make the effort worthwhile. Then last winter it was finally cold enough to experiment. I was able…

red windows and trellis at DiMino in Lockport

I want that: How to apply what you see on garden walks to your own yard

by Connie Oswald Stofko What is this garden showing me? That’s what gardening expert Sally Cunningham will help you learn in one of four talks she will present during the WNY Home & Garden Expo at the Fairgrounds, 5820 South Park Ave., Hamburg. The expo will be held 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb 19; noon to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22. I’ll…

Start seeds outside now using milk jug, other containers in ‘winter sowing’

by Connie Oswald Stofko This is actually an update of a tip from David Clark, the nationally known horticulture speaker who teaches at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Winter sowing is great because it gives us gardeners in Western New York something to do when it’s cold and snowy out. You plant hardy seeds in old milk jugs or other containers and set the containers outside now. The seeds will know when they should sprout in the spring….

Capen Garden Walk poster 2014

$100 prize offered for artwork for Capen Garden Walk 2015 posters; deadline is April 3

A competition will be held to select original artwork to use on the 2015 posters for the Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk. It is free to enter your artwork and a prize of $100 will be awarded. Anyone may enter. The University Heights Arts Association (UHAA ) will jury the competition. The theme for this year’s competition, “The Beauty in our Backyard,” invites interpretation of anything from a single flower to an entire backyard. Painting, photography, illustration, mixed media and…