grow tunnel in Buffalo NY

Grow tunnel lets you grow veggies during winter in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The temperature was in the teens this past weekend, but the vegetables in the grow tunnel at City Honors School in Buffalo are still going strong. In this video, Caesandra Seawell, garden manager, shows us how the grow tunnel can extend the gardening season, allowing us to grow vegetables in autumn and winter in Western New York. She describes how the grow tunnel was constructed, and it seems pretty easy. There have been some developments since…

Halloween pumpkin decoration made from old fence

Halloween fun: Be creative in your WNY garden all year long

I visited the yard of Jim “Wak” Nowicki during Garden Walk Buffalo in July. He had lots of interesting elements in his summer garden, including live fish in bowls suspended from tree branches, which we’ll talk about more toward the end of this article. But he doesn’t relegate his creativity to the summer months. He took a few moments out of the tour of his summer gardens to give me a sneak peek at his Halloween decorations that were stored…

Four spectacular ways to use succulents in your garden or home

by Connie Oswald Stofko The wonderful shows at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens can give you lots of great ideas that you can use in your own garden or home. Here are four spectacular looks from last year’s succulent show that you could adapt for your own home. Get more ideas at this year’s succulent show to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Saturday, Sept. 7 to Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Botanical Gardens,…

gardens around inground pool with waterfall in Amherst NY

Amherst backyard with lavish gardens was setting for wedding

by Connie Oswald Stofko Pam Weinrieb  loved her home at 445 Lebrun Rd., Amherst, but she didn’t like how it looked in the front. So for years she concentrated her gardening efforts on the front. When her son decided to get married and wanted the 2011 ceremony in her backyard, she turned her attention to the backyard. The result is a 1.3-acre lot filled with lavish gardens. I visited during the Amherst Garden Walk, held July 20. Above you can…

cactus in bathtub in Tonawanda NY

There’s a 9-foot cactus in a bathtub– & that’s just the beginning

A double-tub wringer washer, a bucket for a milking machine and a pan from a salad bar are some of the items that have been found new uses in the garden of Terry and Debbie Calway on Hampton Parkway in Tonawanda. The Calways’ garden was among the more than 50 gardens open to visitors during the Ken-Ton Garden Tour on July 21 and 22. In the photo at left, a huge coffee machine on the Calways’ front porch becomes a…

front garden on Chilton in Niagara Falls NY

Flower pots– 44 of them– accent gardens in Niagara Falls

Sandy Barlow of 702 Chilton, Niagara Falls, has a two-pronged approach to her landscape: perennials in the beds and annuals in pots. Pots line the wide front steps leading up to the porch. They’re set on the porch railing, on tables and on the ground. In the front and backyards, she has 44 pots of annuals in all. “I counted them this year and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my Lord!’” Barlow said. “It comes to a bit of an expense. The…

Follow Buffalo artist’s example to create outdoor living space

If you’re one of us, the few holdouts who don’t have air conditioning, or if you just like the look in the photo above, try painting your window screens. Several beautiful creations, including the one seen above, were done by artist Bruce Marzahn, but the technique could be used by anyone. I saw the screens and other creations by Marzahn last year at his properties at 165 and 167 Prospect Ave., Buffalo, during Garden Walk Buffalo. Garden Walk Buffalo is…

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…

Perennial garden in Amherst NY

Objects picked from trash add beauty to Amherst garden

Suzi Redino estimates that only 5 to 10 percent of the furniture and decorations in her yard were purchased. The rest were picked out of the garbage. Literally. Suzi specializes in trash to treasure in her interior design business, Cherry Tree Design. Her husband Rick’s family business is a junk yard, R & R Salvage. Almost every day he brings something home to her, and many of the items find their way into her yard. “That’s from the junkyard,” she…