container gardening on wheelchair ramp

You can do container gardening anywhere– even on a wheelchair ramp!

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Don’t have a big yard? You can do container gardening anywhere–even on a wheelchair ramp! Growing flowers or vegetables in pots is called container gardening. Container gardening counts as real gardening! I’ve seen it done in small spaces on balconies, decks and porches. I saw a clever example of container gardening done on a wheelchair ramp at the home of Dorothy Gambino during the Samuel Capen Garden Walk in July. Gambino chose the vegetables she wanted– tomatoes…

grassless front yard

Groundcovers are important in grassless front & backyards

by Connie Oswald Stofko Valerie and Anthony Hotchkiss of 42 15th St., Buffalo, have shared their gardens on Garden Walk Buffalo for eight years, but if you haven’t seen them in awhile, it’s worth going back. The couple got help from a landscaper, and what you see is all new in the last three years. Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden walk in the country, took place July 30 and 31. It featured more than 400 gardens. It was the…

guests on front steps looking at garden

Owners add personal touches to established perennial garden in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko The established perennial garden in the front yard of 166 York St., Buffalo, was an added incentive for Nick and Marideth Heim to buy the home three years ago. That garden was one of more than 400 landscapes that were shared on Garden Walk Buffalo on July 25 and 26. Garden Walk Buffalo is the largest garden walk in the nation. Many of the streets were crowded with visitors, and free shuttles drove tourists among the…

tea house in Lancaster NY

Feel transported across the world in backyard tea garden in Lancaster

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Everyone comes to see the back,” said Rich Groblewski as he gave me a tour last week of his landscape at 14 Lombardy St., Lancaster. It seems like a nice suburban yard with a new arbor (the old one was crushed under seven feet of snow in the Snowvember storm), a fire pit, small pond and flowering plants. But walk a little farther back and you’ll see a path lined with bright red railings. Follow the…

hellstrip with flowers in Buffalo NY view from sidewalk

Tips for planting an unused space: the ‘hellstrip’ between street & sidewalk

by Connie Oswald Stofko People call it the “hellstrip.” It’s that section between the sidewalk and street where people generally grow nothing but grass. It’s where the plows deposit the heavy, salty snow from the street. Garbage cans get tossed there. Dogs do their business there. What in the world could you grow there? Flowers and herbs. That’s what Elaine Clutterbuck of Buffalo grows in the three-season garden she has established in her hellstrip. This past summer her garden was…

There’s a 9-foot cactus in a bathtub– & that’s just the beginning

A double-tub wringer washer, a bucket for a milking machine and a pan from a salad bar are some of the items that have been found new uses in the garden of Terry and Debbie Calway on Hampton Parkway in Tonawanda. The Calways’ garden was among the more than 50 gardens open to visitors during the Ken-Ton Garden Tour on July 21 and 22. In the photo at left, a huge coffee machine on the Calways’ front porch becomes a…

Serenity of a forest found in City of Buffalo backyard

by Connie Oswald Stofko Many people struggle with shady yards, wishing they could grow the plants they see in sunnier gardens. Jeff Lokken is different. He embraces his canopy of trees. The result is a forest-like retreat from the noise of the city. We visited Lokken last year during Garden Walk Buffalo at the home he shares with Rebecca Bish at 170 Prospect Ave., Buffalo. This year Garden Walk Buffalo will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday…

front view Guerico garden in Buffalo NY

4 big tips for creating a garden with year-round interest

by Connie Oswald Stofko In the Buffalo area, when we talk about creating year-round garden interest, what we really mean is: How do I make my garden look good in autumn and winter? From May to August, it’s easy to have beautiful landscaping, flowers and lots of color. All the garden walks are scheduled during that period, so we can find plenty of inspiration for summer gardens. But what if we’d like our gardens to be pretty now and throughout the…

seating at night in Ken Ton NY

Get a nighttime view of garden that packs many flowers in small space

“It’s like an extension of your house, an outdoor room,”  Russ Polvino said of his fabric gazebo. “I love to sit out here and listen to music.” I visited during the Saturday Night Lights portion of the Ken-Ton Garden Tour held July 21 and 22, and visitors could see his gardens during the  day as well. Polvino shares the home at 1237 Tonawanda St., Tonawanda, with Doug Dedman. The gazebo at the back of the house really does feel like an…

Goldthwait garden in Lancaster NY

Family has Certified Wildlife Habitat in their Lancaster yard

Feeding wildlife started with feeding her own family, explained Molly Goldthwait of 78 Woodlawn, Lancaster. She and her husband Leon used to buy organic produce, but that got too expensive to do when they had their children, Beatrice, 10, and Henry, 7. By creating organic gardens for their own food, they created a supportive environment for wildlife. The Goldthwait Family shared their yard during the Lancaster Garden Walk on July 21 and 22. To qualify for the Certified Wildlife Habitat…