fence in Orchard Park NY

Make your garden more welcoming with fences

by Connie Oswald Stofko Fences are usually used to keep things in, like pets, or to keep things out, like rabbits and deer. But fences can also make your landscape more welcoming. Here are two examples from the large Orchard Park landscape of Pat Gurney, who I visited last year during Open Gardens. (See her tips on using annuals and perennials here.) The photo at the beginning of this article shows a long fence between a sunny area and a…

pergola in garden in Amherst NY

More from the seven-garden guy in Amherst

by Connie Oswald Stofko You don’t have to know everything about gardening to enjoy a wonderful garden. “If you ask me the name of the plant, I have no idea,” said Jim Bardot, who has seven magnificent gardens in his front yard in Amherst. If you’re a gardener who doesn’t like to keep track of plant names, don’t let that hold you back. Get inspiration from what Bardot has accomplished. See an overview of his front yard here and see…

fallen autumn leaves in Amherst NY

Reminder: How to use all those great autumn leaves in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Those autumn leaves are gold for your garden. Here are some of the ways you can use them. Help your lawn When you mow your grass, chop up the leaves as you go. Those bits of chopped leaves are good for your lawn– they return nutrients to the soil. See this short video from Cornell School of Integrated Plant Science. Compost leaves Adding leaves to your compost pile will help your kitchen scraps break down more…

inside of famous shed in Buffalo NY

See the most famous shed in the world & more on Garden Walk Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Jim Charlier wanted to build a gardening shed. But where could he put a shed in his small Buffalo yard? His wife Leslie suggested taking down the jungle gym that their daughter Margaux didn’t use and put a shed there. “It was Leslie’s idea,” Charlier said, “then I took it to the nth degree.” This elaborate, quirky and practical shed is just one of the cool things you can see this weekend on Garden Walk Buffalo,…

garden beds by fence and pool in Snyder NY

Get inspired–and encouraged– by gorgeous Snyder garden with ups & downs

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you visit Dan Murak’s gardens on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, you may think he’s got a green thumb and succeeds with every plant, all the time. But starting in the front yard with the sick peach tree that he replaced last week, Murak is happy to tell you about the downs as well as the ups of his landscape. You can visit his landscape this weekend on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, one of six garden…

maypole trellis on East Side Garden Walk in Buffalo

Coming back: Garden Walk Buffalo and East Side Garden Walk

Garden Walk Buffalo and East Side Garden Walk are coming back for in-person visits! Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden tour in the United States, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 24 and 25. The East Side Garden Walk, one of the newer garden walks in Western New York, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 17. If you want to share your garden on either of these walks,…

hill with gardens in South Buffalo

Turn a problem slope into a garden asset

by Connie Oswald Stofko A slope or hill in your yard can pose a problem. What do you do with it? How you make it part of your landscape? See how these Western New York gardeners turned their trouble spots into assets….

arbor at entrance to backyard

Arbors, sheds & other hardscapes can enhance your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Visitors to the gardens of Jerry and Marie Wysocki in Hamburg delight in the abundance of plant material. But hardscapes are integral parts of the gardens, too. Hardscapes are the constructed, non-plant features in a landscape, such as the arbor and path that lead you into the backyard. The Wysockis shared their landscape during Open Gardens in July. When you tour garden walks and Open Gardens, try to look past the brightly colored flowers and see…

path in garden at Plantasia 2019 by Chevalier and Luminated Landscapes

Get tips from Plantasia gardenscapes

by Connie Oswald Stofko Local landscapers created gardens at Plantasia this past weekend around the theme of “Plantasia in Paradise.” Various awards were announced at Preview Night on Wednesday. Throughout the rest of the show, visitors were invited to vote for their favorite landscaped garden. It was difficult for many people. I heard one after another say, “Oh, but they were all so good!” After all the votes were counted, Tripi’s Landscaping came out on top and received the People’s…

lush gardens and paths in West Seneca NY backyard

Paths can make your garden more beautiful & easier to use

by Connie Oswald Stofko When we think about our gardens, we usually think about plants, plants and more plants. But if you want a beautiful garden, think about paths. Garden paths can get you from one spot in your yard to another without getting muddy feet, but they can do so much more. In a large yard, paths can divide the wide-open spaces into smaller, welcoming areas. In any garden, paths can define your landscape and add focal points. They…