See new landscape design at Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo during free event

What would Olmsted do now? That’s the question designers attempted to answer as they created a new landscape for the Richardson Olmsted Complex, a National Historic Landmark. The designers wanted to remain true to the original intent of acclaimed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted while addressing concerns of the 21st century. You can see the new landscape during an event for the public called South Lawn Celebration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 at the complex, 400…

roof planted with flowers in Tonawanda NY

Look up– There’s a flower garden on the roof!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Denis Uminski said he should put a sign in his backyard that says, “Look up!” Otherwise visitors can miss one of the newest and most interesting features of the landscape: a flower garden planted on the slanted roof of the Uminskis’ garage at 95 Columbia Blvd., Kenmore. He and his wife Mary Jane got the idea during a visit to Plantasia five years ago. They had the garden installed during the second week in June, so…

sand by bar and pond in barckyard in Buffalo NY

‘Beachside bar’ is relaxing spot in Riverside backyard

by Connie Oswald Stofko With water, fish, sand and a bar, it’s like a vacation resort in the backyard of Jim and Linda Whittaker, 56 Evelyn St., in the Riverside area of Buffalo. The Whittakers  shared their gardens Aug. 3 during the Black Rock and Riverside Tour of Gardens, which included the evening Starry Night Garden Tour. This was the final garden walk of the National Garden Festival in 2013. The bar essentials, including a refrigerator and a draft beer…

One project each year turns ‘wasteland’ into vacation spot

One project every year has turned a fixer-upper house with no garden into a relaxing getaway at 389 Berryman Dr., Snyder. I visited during the 11th annual Snyder-Cleve Hill Garden View, held Sunday, July 14. When Debbie Hanny moved in 13 years ago, “There was no garden. It was a wasteland.” The project in the first year was to install the fence in the front yard. This past fall, she and her partner Jerry Schultze put in the raised bed…

rustic village scene in Lancaster NY garden

Vignettes by gardener are backdrop to Lancaster mini-walks

Karen Deutschlander of 36 Stephens Ct., Lancaster, thinks that gardening is less about growing plants and more about decorating. That makes her gardens a welcoming backdrop to Art in the Gardens, the first of three mini-walks to be held by the Lancaster Garden Walk in conjunction with Lancaster’s Old Home Days. Art in the Gardens will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 30. Six artists will display their work in six gardens. Works of Conrad Borucki, a…

Known worldwide, U.S. landscape architect Griffin is unsung at home

Walter Burley Griffin is “probably one of the most important landscape architects you’ve never heard of,” said Christopher Vernon, associate professor in the School of Architecture, Landscape, and Visual Arts at the University of Western Australia. Griffin designed the landscape for the Martin House Complex here in Buffalo. He took on many other successful and prestigious projects as well, including designing the entire city of Canberra, the capital of Australia. Despite his accomplishments, Griffin doesn’t have the reputation in the…

Grow attractive fruit bushes & even trees– in containers!

You don’t need a lot of space to grow fruit bushes or even fruit trees. New varieties have been developed to be smaller, more compact and more attractive in the landscape, according to Fred Safford, who is in charge of trees and shrubs at Lockwood’s Greenhouses. Safford will discuss how you can grow your own fruit and berries at home in a class at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19 at Lockwood’s, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg. He will explain how to…

pond in Riverside area of Buffalo NY

Pond in Buffalo evolved from space that held garage for Model T Ford

How this pond was created is a long story that involves a garage built for a Model T Ford, two kids’ fascination with WWI and a couple who know how to rescue great items from the trash. The story starts in 1995 at the home of Michelle and Jim Schmitt at 253 Crowley Avenue in the Riverside area of Buffalo.They had an old garage that had been built for a Model T. It even held some Model T parts, including…

patio furniture from pallets in Western New York

Use trash to make vertical garden, plant tags– even furniture!

Items that normally might have been thrown away found new uses in a student exhibit in March at Plantasia, Western New York’s premier garden and landscape show. Aluminum cans became plant tags, coat hangers helped support vining plants and pallets became an A-frame vertical planter and an entire suite of patio furniture! The exhibit was created by students in the horticulture programs at Niagara County Community College (NCCC) and the adult education program at McKinley High School as well as…

Cherry blossom festival is budding in Buffalo’s Japanese Garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Just as they do in the United States, the cherry trees in Japan bloom first in the southern part of the country and later in the north. Visitors enjoy the spectacular views and accompanying celebrations, and some tourists follow the festivities from south to north during the cherry blossom season. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for tourists in this country to be able to do the same thing? Washington, D.C. already holds the huge National Cherry Blossom…