lawn in yard using permaculture

This Grand Island landscape is suburban in front, natural in back

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s like visiting a home out in the country–depending on what side of the house you’re on. In front, the home of Denise and Don Freedman has a typical suburban landscape. In back, it’s more natural, with fruit trees, a rain garden and trees that were there when they bought the land. They’ve been using permaculture techniques before they ever heard that word. What does permaculture mean to them? “It’s using your land to your advantage,”…

decorative fence with trellis and gate in Hamburg NY

See great landscapes like this on Open Gardens, garden walks starting in July!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s something to look forward to: Open Gardens and some garden walks this summer! You can see a list of which gardening events are open and which are canceled at the end of this article. There may still be changes, so to get the most up-to-date information, go to the calendar page of Gardens Buffalo Niagara. One of the garden walks that has been canceled is the The Hamburg Garden Walk, but organizers plan to offer…

deck in backyard in South Buffalo

Secluded deck provides sanctuary in South Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Today I want to share some photos from the landscape of Sally and Paul Tucker of South Buffalo to give you inspiration for your own gardens. I visited them last July during South Buffalo Alive. Before we talk about the Tuckers’ yard, I know you are wondering what is happening with garden walks this year. My understanding is that two of the garden walks that take place early in the season, Lewiston GardenFest and Springville Garden…

water feature in garden in Hamburg NY

Four landscape design ideas that you may have never seen before

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you go on garden walks or visit Open Gardens, it’s nice to just gaze at the beautiful landscapes. It’s also helpful to get new, practical ideas you can use in your own yard. We’ll do both in this article, looking at views from the landscape of Sue and Russell Rich in Hamburg. When they moved in 25 years ago, there was almost nothing in the yard, but now they are surrounded by beautiful garden beds….

wall of local stone in Lockport NY

Stone forms the bedrock of this inviting landscape in Lockport

__________ by Connie Oswald Stofko A lot of history — and stone — make up the landscape of the Morello Family in Lockport. I visited the family’s gardens on the Twilight Garden Tour of Lockport in Bloom in 2019. Lockport in Bloom is scheduled to be held this year on Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12. Watch our Events page and the Gardens Buffalo Niagara site for more details as they become available. The Morellos’ house on Locust Street…

anemone September Charm In Amherst NY

Tips for creating a great autumn garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko As we move into autumn, how is your garden doing? Is it still interesting? If not, take steps now to have a better autumn garden next year. Get inspiration from some past articles: 4 big tips for creating a garden with year-round interest Create a beautiful autumn garden; see how Amherst gardener does it Look for ‘two-fers’ for your garden It’s autumn, and this Amherst garden is still blooming!…

urn with plants at Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House

Bring the outdoors in: ideas from Wright’s Martin House

by Connie Oswald Stofko Bringing nature indoors was an aim of Frank Lloyd Wright, the famed architect who designed the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo. Wright wanted the Martin family to be able to enjoy nature even when they were inside. Rather than being an afterthought, the landscape was an integral part of the architectural design. That landscape, designed more than 100 years ago, has now been brought back to life. “We tried to re-create what had been here by…

play area in small Buffalo yard

Landscape makes a comeback after fire

by Connie Oswald Stofko “You rebuild, and rebuild better,” said Krista Palgutt, whose landscape was damaged when their neighbor’s garage burned down. The back of the Palgutts’ house was charred. The patio, which they had just installed the previous year, had to be redone because the plastic furniture melted onto the patio. “But all the perennials came back,” Palgutt said, “except for the old growth hydrangeas.” No one was hurt in the fire, and I saw how their landscape made…

metal garden chairs facing in different directions

Garden seating: Get inspiration on Open Gardens, garden walks

by Connie Oswald Stofko Garden seating makes your yard appealing in so many ways. It invites you and your visitors to gather and relax. It can provide you with a warm spot in the sun or a cool refuge in the shade. And a seating area can be the place where you enjoy the wonderful vista you have created. In this article, we’ll look at garden seating in the Amherst landscape of Connie Krueger, which you can visit during Open…

terraced front yard in Buffalo

Tip for sloped yard, plus get map early for Garden Walk Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko What do you do when your front lawn is hard to mow because it’s sloped at a steep angle? Turn it into a terraced garden! That’s what a gardener on Garden Walk Buffalo did. See more below. You can learn so much from the gardeners on Garden Walk Buffalo. The problem is that there are so many gardens and so little time. But you don’t have to wait until the weekend of the walk to get…