guests on front steps looking at garden

Owners add personal touches to established perennial garden in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko The established perennial garden in the front yard of 166 York St., Buffalo, was an added incentive for Nick and Marideth Heim to buy the home three years ago. That garden was one of more than 400 landscapes that were shared on Garden Walk Buffalo on July 25 and 26. Garden Walk Buffalo is the largest garden walk in the nation. Many of the streets were crowded with visitors, and free shuttles drove tourists among the…

wooden box holds annuals in Lockport

Containers decorated by gardener add charm to Lockport yard

by Connie Oswald Stofko The gardens of Pat Arnold are filled with many flowers, including 30 rose bushes, but if you pause to look more closely, you’ll notice other elements that add to the gardens’ beauty. You might call it Buffalo-style garden art, or you might dub it upcycling. “It’s artwork I do from odds and ends I pick up,” she said. “I just look for things that people put out at the curb, or things at Salvation Army or…

tea house in Lancaster NY

Feel transported across the world in backyard tea garden in Lancaster

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Everyone comes to see the back,” said Rich Groblewski as he gave me a tour last week of his landscape at 14 Lombardy St., Lancaster. It seems like a nice suburban yard with a new arbor (the old one was crushed under seven feet of snow in the Snowvember storm), a fire pit, small pond and flowering plants. But walk a little farther back and you’ll see a path lined with bright red railings. Follow the…

evening sun on gauzy tent in backyard in Buffalo

Create an elegant landscape on a budget with tips from Buffalo gardener

by Connie Oswald Stofko Pat Bobo has an elegant landscape filled with flowers, shrubs, fruits and vegetables, but she doesn’t spend a lot of money on plants. One example is the lush grape vine she picked up for a dollar. When she bought the plant, it was on its last legs, she said, but now it’s thriving. “I don’t like paying over $4 or $5 for a plant,” Bobo said. “I pride myself on getting things for a dollar or…

garden retaining wall made of books in Hamburg NY

Creative garden retaining wall is made of books; see other examples of walls

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now is a good time to install hardscapes in your yard—things like paths, trellises and retaining walls for raised beds and slopes. Here’s a creative idea for a retaining wall that I saw at Plantasia in March. It’s made out of old books. While this wall was in place for only a few days and was displayed inside a building where it never got rained on, I think it could work in the real world. The books wouldn’t…

fire extinguisher as garden art in Lancaster NY

Get inspired by another peek at garden art in Lancaster yard

by Connie Oswald Stofko I visited the garden of Karen Deutschlander of Lancaster last summer as she was preparing for the Lancaster Garden Walk, then I showed you how she uses vignettes in her garden. She has quite a collection of other garden art, too. On this first day of autumn, let’s take another peek at some of the art in her garden. I hope it inspires you to get creative in your garden, too. Note: Deutschlander brings in her art for…

frostfog courtesy Donna Brok Garden Walk Garden Talk

Frost is only weeks (days?) away in WNY; protect tender plants to prolong growing season

It’s just a matter of weeks (or perhaps days) before we get frost in Western New York. Although he doesn’t know of any parts of Western New York that have gotten frost yet, there was a frost advisory Sunday night for the Town of Andover in Allegany County, said Mark Holt, Agriculture-Horticulture community educator for Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties. That frost advisory prompted him to send along some tips on protecting tender plants from frost….

Lighting adds ambiance to Moroccan-themed garden in Tonawanda

by Connie Oswald Stofko Great lighting set the mood for a Moroccan-themed garden during the nighttime garden walk of the Ken-Ton Garden Tour held this past weekend. The event also included a daytime garden walk. Richard Levy of 122 Pickford Ave., Tonawanda, chose a Morrocan theme because his father’s family is from that part of the world. His grandparents were born in Istanbul. At left, a gazebo was draped with rich-looking colorful fabrics. He looked at 100 or 200 photos…

path in backyard near trellis in Parkside area Buffalo NY

Make it look like a garden & not just a collection of plants, plus how to avoid digging new beds

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Before, it just looked like a collection of plants,” said Elaine Clutterbuck of 728 Crescent Ave., Buffalo. “Now it looks like a garden.” What did the trick? Pathways. “I think the pathways are what made the garden,” she said, looking around her attractive backyard. “Before, it didn’t look like it had any unity.” I visited the gardens of Elaine and her husband Don during the Parkside Garden Tour on June 29 and learned so much. You…

terrace made with broken sidewalk in Hamburg NY

Garden walk preview: See how these Hamburg gardeners reuse scrap materials

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We never throw anything out,” said Ken Haberman of 39 West Ave., Hamburg. He and his wife Shirley have found ways to use scrap material in their gardens. When a driveway was put in, the extra topsoil became raised beds at the front of the house. Broken concrete was used to hold the soil in place and create a lovely terraced effect. When a chimney had to be torn down, they used the flues as tall…