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…

shed flowers vegetable garden in Niagara Falls

Cool ideas from a garden on Niagara Falls garden walk include keyhole garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We want people to come back downtown,” said Ruth Cooper of 12th St., Niagara Falls. “It’s safe here.” That was the message of the Black Squirrel Garden Walk, held July 23 as part of Garden Walk of Niagara Falls, USA. (The Black Squirrel Garden Walk is named that for the black squirrels that you can see in Niagara Falls but aren’t common elsewhere in other parts of Western New York.) The event included a garden walk…

gardens around water feature in West Seneca NY

Noisy West Seneca yard becomes private paradise

  by Connie Oswald Stofko You could see– and hear–  the nearby convenience store from the backyard. But not anymore. Bernie Grosser and Jim Jankowski now have a private backyard paradise at their home on Tudor Place in West Seneca. I visited them during the fifth annual West Seneca Tour of Gardens held July 23 and 24. In addition to having a noisy store nearby, another challenge of this yard is that it is situated at the top of a…

building garden wall at Waterman's in Concord NY

Natural stone or concrete for garden wall? Two reasons why stone is easier

by Connie Oswald Stofko Natural stone not only adds charm to your landscape, it can be easier to work with than concrete, said Ethan Waterman, manager of Waterman’s Greenhouse, 12317 Vaughn St. (Route 240), East Concord (Springville). The first reason that it’s easier using natural stone for a garden wall is that a piece of natural stone is smaller and much lighter than a concrete block, he said. You don’t have to be a weight lifter to work with natural…

looking at mint plant in Amherst NY

You can take horticulture classes at discount price at NCCC

You can take college horticulture classes without being a full-time student or earning a degree, and the tuition is less. Niagara County Community College (NCCC) is opening a limited number of seats in horticulture classes through its community education department. “We were constantly getting requests from folks who want to be able to take our classes, but don’t want to earn a degree,” said Carolyn A. Stanko, an NCCC assistant professor who coordinates the college’s horticulture program. She is also a…