log home in Grand Island NY

Gardens surround hand-built log home in Grand Island

In German, “garten” means “garden.” “It’s fate, I guess,” said Evelyn Garten. “I married a garden.” Her gardens surround a log home she and her husband built themselves, log by log, 54 years ago. She shared her gardens with the public  during the Grand Island Garden Tour on July 14. The event benefitted the preservation of Historic Trinity Church. She and her husband were renting a place in Buffalo 54 years ago when he was downtown and saw a small…

Murray Brothers staff at Front Yard Garden Competition in Buffalo NY

Front Yard Contest is under way near Riverside Park in Buffalo

The National Garden Festival’s neighborhood-transforming Front Yard Contest kicked off yesterday on Crowley Avenue in Buffalo, bordering the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Riverside Park. Professional landscapers, Master Gardeners and teams from the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy are donating their time and materials to give 15 homeowners free garden makeovers. This Front Yard Contest is part of third annual National Garden Festival. Organizers believe it is the only such civic-minded garden competition in the country. You can view the landscaping work in…

garden by pool in Parkside area of Buffalo NY

100-year-old house features large perennial border in long side yard

The weather was seasonably warm on Sunday, and that made the cool, blue pool below look even more appealing. Michael and Claudette Rivera of 268 Crescent, Buffalo, shared their lovely landscape during the 15th annual Parkside Garden Tour on June 24. Their home was built in 1913 by the Kelly family that established Hens and Kelly, a local upscale chain of department stores that operated from 1892 to 1982. Mike likes to use plants that go with the time period…

riparian habitat Buffalo NY

6 ways you can benefit from maintaining your waterfront habitat

If you own land on a lake, creek, river or other body of water, you may know that using native plants in the landscape can benefit the environment. But it can benefit you, too. You can learn more on how to care for your waterfront property at a series of workshops scheduled by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. The workshops will provide technical assistance on the topic of waterfront or riparian habitat restoration using native plant species. The first workshop will be…

balcony on Niagara near Hudson in Buffalo

Yes, you do have enough room to garden in Buffalo!

I often hear people say that they don’t have room to garden. They live in an apartment, they explain, and have only a small patio area. Or worse, they’re not even on the ground floor. Those things didn’t bother the folks with these second-floor balconies that I happened to spot in Buffalo this year. At left, this balcony on Niagara St. near Hudson has more flowers than your average suburban yard! The folks here could have settled for a single…

Birch tree in Buffalo NY area

Five tips on choosing the right tree for your Buffalo-area yard

You need to do a little planning when choosing a tree for your garden or yard. Unlike a smaller plant, you can’t move a tree each year trying to find the perfect location. You need to pick the right tree for your yard, and the right spot for your tree. We talked to Curt Leising, plant technician at Russell’s Tree and Shrub Farm, 9800 Transit Rd., East Amherst. While there are many factors to take into consideration when choosing a…

Murray Brothers staff at Front Yard Garden Competition in Buffalo NY

Front Yard Garden Competition under way near Cazenovia Park

by Connie Oswald Stofko Work is underway in the second annual Front Yard Competition held as part of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo. Members of the Western New York Nursery & Landscape Association will transform 15 yards facing the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo. We’ll take a look at one of those yards, 87 Newman Place, whose makeover is being done by Murray Brothers Nurseries in Orchard Park. The homeowners are Richard Speth and his wife…

front view 48 North Parade St Buffalo

Designer in Buffalo chooses garden colors to coordinate with house

by Connie Oswald Stofko Everything in this landscape– including the stone– is done in greens, whites and purples. “The homeowner left the design up to us,” said Sean Haentges, owner of S & R Greenleaf Landscaping. “We incorporated the design with the house.” The design at 48 North Parade St., Buffalo, was part of the Front Yard Competition, an event in the National Garden Festival in Buffalo in 2010. As we promised, throughout the winter we’re showing you designs from…

rain garden at Crane Library Buffalo

Rain gardens are low maintenance, help the environment

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you’re striving to protect our natural resources, or you just want to create a low-maintenance garden, a rain garden may be what you’re looking for. Pictured here is a rain garden that was created in June at the Crane Branch Library, 633 Elmwood at the corner of Highland, in Buffalo. As we explained in an article on rain barrels last week, the biggest pollution threat to Lake Erie and the Niagara River is sewage runoff….