Menne garden at Plantasia 2018

Winning landscapes at Plantasia, plus you may be winner in my drawing

  by Connie Oswald Stofko During the summer, we spend more time outside, even after the sun goes down. Visitors to Plantasia got ideas for gardens in general and more specifically for viewing them at dusk with this year’s theme, “Cityscapes into the Night.” Garden lighting was a big feature of the displays. Street signs, traffic lights, a fire hydrant and a manhole cover added to the feeling of being in a big city. Plantasia is the garden and landscape show…

large garden around tree in Grand Island NY

After years of adding gardens, couple finds it’s OK to cut back

  by Connie Oswald Stofko After about 20 years of adding trees and garden beds to their Grand Island landscape, Pat and Gary Scott are slowing down and even reducing the size of some beds. “We have to tone it down a little because it’s a lot of work,” Pat said. “If the gardens get too big, it’s overwhelming.” I visited the Scotts on last year’s Grand Island Garden Walk. This year the Grand Island Garden Walk will be held from 10…

path to lovely vegetable garden in Lancaster

Gorgeous vegetable garden is focus of Lancaster landscape

  by Connie Oswald Stofko In the past, people would hide their vegetable gardens in a back corner of the yard. That’s changing, and more and more people boldly display their veggies in garden beds among their ornamental plants. One problem is that vegetables often need even more protection from critters than ornamental plants do. Jane Bednarczyk protects her vegetable plants, and she does it in a way that’s not only attractive, it’s a focal point of the yard. Bednarczyk…

air conditioner hidden by plants

Three ways to hide ugly items in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko What I want you to notice about these photos are actually the things you can’t see. In the first photo, you don’t see an air conditioner. Instead you see a garden. This was in the yard of Pat Noonan of Hamburg, who shared her landscape on the Hamburg Garden Walk in 2017. I stood right in front of this garden and didn’t know there was an air conditioner there until it was pointed out to me….

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…

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.,…

landscape by A Growing Business at Plantasia in Hamburg

People’s Choice Award announced at Plantasia; see photos

by Connie Oswald Stofko One of the great things about Plantasia is that no matter what the weather is like outside– snowy, windy, cold, rainy or gloomy– it’s always spring inside, thanks to the great landscapes on display. It’s a great way to get ideas for your own landscapes. The People’s Choice Awards, voted on by visitors to Plantasia, were announced on Sunday. First place went to the landscape created by Chevalier Outdoor Living and Buffalo Treehouse. Second place went…

path through garden in Buffalo NY

Trellises, arbors & pergolas add support & pizzazz to your garden

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Trellises, arbors & pergolas can be practical— they provide support for a plant— but they can do so much more. They can become focal points and gateways, and they can give you something pleasing to look at when the plants they hold have gone dormant. So what is the difference among these three garden structures? A trellis is often a latticework. An arbor creates a tunnel-like passageway or a shady area– another meaning of arbor…

patio with walkway from A Growing Business

6 tips for working with landscapers– #1: Get on list quick for spring work

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Don’t wait until April to call a landscaper if you’re hoping to have your landscape done in May,” said said Claire Brown, CNLP, president and designer at A Growing Business, 11554 Wyandale Rd., Springville. That’s her first tip on what a gardener should do when working with a landscaper. The earlier you call, the better. “It would be awesome if people called in fall before the snow gets deep,” Brown said. That way, she explained, the…

patio with a view

Building a path or patio: Is this a project for you?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Last month, we talked about a project most home gardeners can do, building a garden wall, and we discussed the advantages of using natural stone instead of concrete. A reader asked if we would do something about building flat areas. To recap: In the previous article, we talked about building a garden wall that’s 6 to 12 inches high. It’s a little easier using natural stone than concrete because you can skip some of the preparation…