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…

backyard garden on Argyle in Buffalo NY

Small backyard in Buffalo goes vertical to add gardening space

Kathy and Ed Burke moved to their home on Argyle Park in Buffalo about eight years ago. “We moved from a home with a huge garden, but it had become more of a chore than a joy,” Kathy said. Their current backyard is small, but flowering perennials in the sunny beds and colorful foliage in the shady beds make it feel joyful. The Burkes shared their gardens during Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden walk in the nation, on July…

asters in Amherst NY garden autumn

On 5th anniversary of October Storm, cooler temps on the way

Sunny and warm– even hot!– day after day. We’ve enjoyed splendid gardening weather this October in the Buffalo area. But this spate of summery weather isn’t all that unusual for October,  according to Aaron Mentkowski, meteorologist at WKBW Channel 7. This warm weather will end soon, as it does every fall. While our current weather isn’t setting any records, July’s weather did. Current weather similar to that preceding October Storm of 2006 Mentkowski noted that it was warm in the…

Have a seat in paradise Amherst NY

It’s autumn, and this Amherst garden is still blooming!

“We like to have our coffee out there,” said Ann M. Bednarek, referring to her beautiful garden that you can see in her photo at left. She named the photo, “Have a Seat in Paradise.” Ann and her husband Jack have lived in the duplex at 136 Fairgreen Dr., Amherst, since 2004. They have been adding to the backyard garden there every year. Many of their plants are perennials, which are still blooming. Ann enjoys the zinnias because they come…

South Buffalo side garden

Border garden provides privacy in South Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko A new border garden gives a South Buffalo backyard more privacy. The gardens at 222 Cumberland Ave. were on display Sunday, July 18 during the 10th annual South Buffalo Alive garden walk. Dave Testa, who lives in the corner property with Jack Tontillo, envisioned the kind of mixed border you might see at a big English house. “I hate the formality of straight lines,” he said, explaining the curved design he used. When choosing plants, “I…

Clarence garden fountain

Clarence homeowners build prize-winning gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Suzanne and Bob Wiepert built their “backyard oasis” by doing a little bit each year, starting in 2006. This year their gardens at 9525 Melinda won first place in Clarence Hollow in Bloom, a garden walk held Saturday, July 17 by the Clarence Garden Club. The Wieperts bought the house for its large backyard, just under an acre, which had big trees and boulders. From there, they built separate gardens and gave them names. At right…

Aftermath of October Storm 2006 in Eggertsville

Eggertsville gardener still dealing with aftereffects of October Storm

by Connie Oswald Stofko One garden in front of Cherie St. Pierre’s home at 3881 Bailey Ave., Eggertsville, is positioned near a large tree and used to be in deep shade. “I couldn’t grow a thing in this area,” she said. “The good thing about that terrible storm is that it took out a branch.” Without her saying anything more, those of us who experienced that storm know immediately that she is referring the October Storm of 2006. Thursday, Oct….