waterfall in Hamburg NY garden

Despite Snowvember storm, garden is ready for Buzz Around Hamburg

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can see a huge decorative ruler topped with a snowflake, which, in the winter, marks how much snow is on the ground in the backyard of Linda Washut and Kathleen Kelkenberg, 175 Highland Ave., Hamburg. It measures all the way up to four feet. “We got it at a garage sale,” Washut said. “We thought it was hilarious.” But during the Snowvember Storm of 2014 the ruler was buried. “We got seven feet of snow,”…

coleus Kingswood Torch at Buffalo Botanical Gardens

8 reasons why the Botanical Gardens uses coleus– & why you should, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko Coleus doesn’t get showy flowers, yet it’s the featured plant in the Celebration of Coleus and Color show that starts Saturday, June 13 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Even without an emphasis on flowers, this exhibit is a favorite among some visitors to the Botanical Gardens, said Jeff Thompson, director of horticulture. What’s the attraction of coleus? Today we’ll give you eight reasons why the Botanical Gardens showcases…

steps in Whittemore garden in Hamburg NY

A natural slope adds interest to colorful shade garden in Hamburg; garden walks are coming!

by Connie Oswald Stofko A natural slope combined with raised beds add interest to the Hamburg yard of Barb and Dave Whittemore. “There are seven steps to the top deck,” Dave pointed out. “We really have vistas with this. The elevations make a world of difference. That’s one thing I really enjoy.” A screened-in seating area is perched at the top of the garden looking down on the main part of the yard. “You can sit up there and see…

Trellis can support vines & shade lettuce; see 3 examples from Lockwood’s community garden

You can provide support for vining vegetables such as squash or cucumbers, while at the same time providing shade for lettuce, which likes cooler temperatures, with a simple trellis. I saw three different examples built by clever gardeners earlier this summer at the community garden at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. Anyone can rent a parcel in the community garden, which is a wonderfully sunny area. Parcels are $85 for 4 feet by 50 feet (200 square feet) and…

lush gardens and paths in West Seneca NY backyard

West Seneca gardener creates a getaway in her own backyard

by Connie Oswald Stofko “It’s serene,” said Mary Anne Bach as she gazed around her backyard. “I love coming here.” Sometimes if friends ask her if she wants to go out, her real answer is no. She’d rather spend her time off in her garden. You’ll be able to see why she enjoys her landscape so much when you visit the home she shares with her husband Jim at 52 Tim Tam Terrace during the West Seneca Tour of Gardens…

Clay, tree roots & shade: Get tips in this video

by Connie Oswald Stofko I love Western New York gardeners. I tried waiting out the rain Sunday, but it just kept getting worse, so around 1 p.m. I made my way out to the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, a garden walk that covers parts of Amherst and Cheektowaga. I stopped at the home of Terrie and Jerry Newman at 194 Lamarck Dr. The description on the map said they had struggled with clay soil, something that a lot of Western New…

seating area near escarpment in Lockport NY

Niagara Escarpment makes unique backdrop for Lockport gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko The backyard of Barbara and Anthony DiMino of Lockport  has one feature I’ve never seen in any other garden landscape. Because they’re situated on the Niagara Escarpment, their property ends at the top of a steep incline that shoots up three or four stories high at the back of the yard. You can see this unique landscape during the 10th Annual Lockport in Bloom Garden Tour  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Saturday, July 12 and…

New! Hosta show at Botanical Gardens to display & judge leaves

A new hosta show called Buffalo: The City of Light will be held by the Western New York Hosta Society from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 22 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. In this unique show, hundreds of single hosta leaves (not the flowers) will be displayed in vases and grouped by size and color. Judges will analyze each leaf for awards. Anyone may enter. Entries will be accepted from 8:30…

Coleus can add color & height to shady gardens; see spectacular displays at Botanical Gardens

  by Connie Oswald Stofko “The colors are breathtaking,” said Jeff Thompson, director of horticulture at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, talking about the coleus ‘Chocolate Covered Cherry’. “It will visually will stun you.” The colors in ‘Chocolate Covered Cherry’, which you can see in the first photo, are indeed mouth watering. A center the color of cherry candy is surrounded by a chocolatey brown. A thin border of  minty green traces around the edges. “The color combination is…

tip for planting containers from Buffalo Botanical Gardens

Tips on color and more from my sneak peek at Celebration of Coleus & Color

By Connie Oswald Stofko Because Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com is the proud sponsor of the upcoming Celebration of Coleus & Color exhibit at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, I was given a peek of what’s in store–It’s going to be spectacular! I got to see some of the containers being prepared for the show and Jeff Thompson, director of horticulture at the Botanical Gardens, shared tips you can use at home, too. Mark your calendar: The show will be held from…