'Daydream' and 'Tomato Soup' echinacea in Buffalo NY

Planting season isn’t over! Check garden centers for new arrivals

Many gardeners feel they must get their garden planted by Memorial Day weekend or they’ve missed some sort of deadline. They think that if they go to a garden center now, they’ll see nothing but shriveled-up specimens on a discount table. Surprise! It’s still planting season in Buffalo and Western New York, and garden centers are full of fresh, new perennials and trees that you can plant right now.  Plus, you get instant color and instant flowers because these fully…

painted lawn in Lancaster NY

Painted lawn is eye-catching on Lancaster Garden Walk

The flowers in the garden beds are beautiful, but it’s the flowers painted on the lawn that get noticed first at the home of Karen and Bernie Farrell of 78 Brunswick, Lancaster. The flowers were painted by Karen, who has started her own business called Lawntastic, where she does custom painting on lawns. Their front yard was on display during the eighth annual Lancaster Garden Walk on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17. Karen got the idea for her…

Vintage patio furniture is a highlight of Eggertsville garden

When Jim Tarantino moved 22 years ago into his home at 1069 Eggert Rd., Amherst, there wasn’t much of a garden. His major concern was erosion in the part of the backyard that slopes down to what is now Kadimah School of Buffalo. He built the retaining wall and planted whatever he could to hold down the soil, happily accepting cuttings from other gardeners. In the photo at left, these lovely plantings are actually outside his fence; his yard is to…

symmetry in Buffalo NY by Richard Speth

Work is done in Buffalo front garden competition– Is that a hosta I see?

Last week, we left you this conundrum: A shady front yard at 87 Newman Place, Buffalo. Murray Brothers Nurseries, which has 350 varieties of shade-tolerant hostas,  ready to do a makeover. A homeowner who wants color– but no hostas! Work on the front yard was completed last week, and we won’t keep you in suspense a moment longer. Yes, the homeowners love their newly designed front gardens! And yes, the designer used hostas, but you have to look hard to find…

backyard in Cheektowaga NY

Cheektowaga man shares his love of gardening with inmates

When it comes to gardening, “We’re only limited by our imagination.” That’s what Tom Carlucci tells the inmates he teaches at Wyoming Correctional Facility. Carlucci shared his own garden with visitors during the ninth annual  Snyder-CleveHill Garden View. The event was held  Sunday, July 9 in the the Snyder and Cleveland Hill neighborhoods. The garden walk was sponsored by Univera Healthcare and the Harlem Kensington Cleveland Community Association. Carlucci is a vocational instructor in horticulture at the Wyoming Correctional Facility….

garden gate from Kerry Ann Mendez

Your plants aren’t your children: advice for low-maintenance gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Kerry Ann Mendez, garden designer, author and consultant, will kick off the festivities for the National Garden Festival on Friday, June 24 with a talk on “Tips for Low-maintenance, High-impact Perennial Gardens.” You can also join her that day for a tour of the perennials and shrubs at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. (See details of the opening day activities at the end of this article.) Mendez has written two books. The Ultimate Flower…

Joe Pye Weed Chocolate in Buffalo rain garden

Here are some good native plants for your rain garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Native plants and flowers are strongly recommended for your rain garden because these plants have the greatest chance of growth and survival in Western New York. Using native plants also means low maintenance– you won’t need to water. Last week, we discussed building a rain garden and how rain gardens help keep our water clean. We showed you the rain garden at the Crane Branch Library in Buffalo, and we promised more information on  plants for…

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…

front view home on Snyder-CleveHill Garden View

Once-overgrown gardens now flourish at Snyder home

by Connie Oswald Stofko This Snyder house was once so overgrown that ivy had infiltrated through a window and was growing into the gold shag carpeting inside the house. But now the home boasts a tidy formal garden in front and lush English cottage gardens in back. The home of Craig Coyne and Gary DiNezza at 31 Darwin Dr. was part of the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View in Amherst on Sunday, July 11. Though the property had been sorely neglected (there…