perennial gardens Buffalo NY

Gardeners ditched the barbecue & created an oasis in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko When Kevin Lickers bought his West Side home in 2007, the small backyard had absolutely no gardens. “There was nothing here. I’m not kidding you. No flower beds,” he said while gazing at the colorful expanse of perennials that fill the yard now. What the yard did have was a big grill. “It was distracting, Lickers said, “and we don’t barbecue much.” He and his partner Ricardo Arce got rid of the large barbecue (they use…

seating area with grape vines in Kenmore NY

Broken fence became wall for charming outdoor room

by Connie Oswald Stofko A wooden fence used to separate this backyard from a parking lot. Unfortunately, plows clearing the lot shoved snow against the fence, and the snow won. Matt and Tashia Tribo of Kenmore replaced the collapsed fence with a cinder block wall and coated it with a veneer of stucco. The wall, which is as beautiful as it is functional, is part of a charming outdoor room. The Tribos’ garage and their neighbors’ garage act as the…

railroad in garden in Lewiston NY

See gardens, vendors & more in Lewiston GardenFest

by Connie Oswald Stofko “You pull into Lewiston and see all the flowers,” said Doreen Albee, second vice president of the Lewiston Garden Club. “It happens because of a dedicated group of 45 people.” The club’s big projects, such as the plantings at town buildings, are supported by the vendor portion of the Lewiston GardenFest. The Lewiston GardenFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20 on Center Street from 4th to…

native groundnut

Guide from DEC offers ideas for plants for your water feature

Whether you already have a backyard pond or are just now starting to think about building a water garden, check out the Guide to Water Gardening in New York State from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This guide includes visuals of some amazing recommended species and tips on avoiding harmful aquatic species. Here are some tips: Place your garden upland and away from waterbodies to prevent storms or flooding from washing away any plants or animals. Before planting,…

planting around bird bath

Make your landscape more interesting with 360-degree views

  by Connie Oswald Stofko One of the things I noticed in the North Tonawanda yard of Nancy and Charles Bachman was that at every turn, the view was different. It was difficult to take just a single photo of an area because there were so many interesting angles. I visited the Bachmans’ yard on the North Tonawanda Garden Walk in 2020. The Bachmans have a large yard, but you can use ideas from their landscape even if your yard…

gardens and waterfall in Elma

Huge water feature & plenty of perennials highlight Open Garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Everywhere you turn, there’s a great view in the backyard of Jerry and Karen Dwigun in Elma. And Karen Dwigun has lots of tips to help you make the most of your landscape. The Dwiguns shared their landscape during Open Gardens in July. Find the right spot for a perennial Plants that are marked “shade” still need some sun, Dwigun said. If you put a plant in a spot and it’s not doing well, move it….

water feature in garden in Hamburg NY

Four landscape design ideas that you may have never seen before

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you go on garden walks or visit Open Gardens, it’s nice to just gaze at the beautiful landscapes. It’s also helpful to get new, practical ideas you can use in your own yard. We’ll do both in this article, looking at views from the landscape of Sue and Russell Rich in Hamburg. When they moved in 25 years ago, there was almost nothing in the yard, but now they are surrounded by beautiful garden beds….

lily pads protect fish in pond from heron

Protect fish in ponds from heron, plus final 2019 garden walk

by Connie Oswald Stofko The pond in the photo the may look overgrown, but all that foliage serves a purpose: It stops herons from eating fish in the pond. In this article, you can also find details on the last garden walk for 2019: the Black Squirrel Home and Garden Walk in Niagara Falls. Stop herons from eating your fish Marcia Panzarella shared her Camden Ave. landscape last week during the Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens. She has a pond,…

looking into 'secret garden' in Amherst NY

Shade, color, water and sound create sanctuary on Amherst Garden Walk

by Connie Oswald Stofko “This is my sanctuary,” said Kathleen Pratt of Amherst. “The waterfall, the fish, the birds — it all brings me such peace.” I visited the home she shares with her husband John during last year’s Town of Amherst Garden Walk. This year, the Town of Amherst Garden Walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 6. You can see the dates for all of the garden walks here. Even though her yard…

path in garden at Plantasia 2019 by Chevalier and Luminated Landscapes

Get tips from Plantasia gardenscapes

by Connie Oswald Stofko Local landscapers created gardens at Plantasia this past weekend around the theme of “Plantasia in Paradise.” Various awards were announced at Preview Night on Wednesday. Throughout the rest of the show, visitors were invited to vote for their favorite landscaped garden. It was difficult for many people. I heard one after another say, “Oh, but they were all so good!” After all the votes were counted, Tripi’s Landscaping came out on top and received the People’s…