air conditioner hidden by plants

Three ways to hide ugly items in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko What I want you to notice about these photos are actually the things you can’t see. In the first photo, you don’t see an air conditioner. Instead you see a garden. This was in the yard of Pat Noonan of Hamburg, who shared her landscape on the Hamburg Garden Walk in 2017. I stood right in front of this garden and didn’t know there was an air conditioner there until it was pointed out to me….

fountain in backyard in West Seneca

Keep garden fountains filled by using a faucet adapter

by Connie Oswald Stofko Do you like to keep the water in your fountains splashing on high? Bernie Grosser and Jim Jankowski of West Seneca do. The sound is soothing, especially since there is a noisy convenience store nearby. If some water splashes out of the fountain, it it helps to water the nearby plants. The problem that the West Seneca residents had was that the water level in the fountains would get low, and they had to keep refilling…

garden on Amherst Garden Walk

Phlox and oriental lilies add fragrance, color, height & drama to garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko “My favorite flowers are phlox and oriental lilies because they’re fragrant,” said Ed Dinki, “and I love the color. Asiatic lilies are nice, but they’re not too fragrant.” You can get tips like that and see some amazing gardens when you dare to stray from the clusters of gardens at the center of a garden walk map and take a few minutes to visit some of the outliers. The Amherst Garden Walk, which took place July…

small waterfall in front yard in Buffalo NY

Eclectic garden changes throughout the seasons

by Connie Oswald Stofko “It’s not meant to look perfect or manicured,” Dr. Kenton Bruce Anderson said of his front yard at 44 Montrose Ave., Buffalo. “It’s meant to be carefree, but look as if somebody takes care of it.” You can see this fun garden on the Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16. The walk will also feature a night tour called Capen by Night from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m….


Sunny field has evolved to shady haven in Amherst

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Gardens are never done,” said Gary Leising of 2695 Sweet Home Road, Amherst. “You always come up with new ideas. There are always things you want to do and things you want to change.” When Leising and his wife Linda moved into their newly built home in 1984, the landscape was just a field. That mostly sunny landscape has turned into a mostly shady landscape with two dozen trees, established garden beds and a large koi…

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…

A lot of garden is packed into small Buffalo yard– ponds, falls, hot tub & many plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko The description of this yard on the Garden Walk Buffalo map summed it up perfectly: A lot of garden crammed into a tiny space. Bruce and Renée Adams of 533 Auburn, Buffalo, have a backyard that is about 36 feet wide but only 20 feet deep, yet they manage to squeeze in two ponds, a stream, a patio table and chairs, a hot tub and lots and lots of plants. I visited their home during the…

Lighting adds ambiance to Moroccan-themed garden in Tonawanda

by Connie Oswald Stofko Great lighting set the mood for a Moroccan-themed garden during the nighttime garden walk of the Ken-Ton Garden Tour held this past weekend. The event also included a daytime garden walk. Richard Levy of 122 Pickford Ave., Tonawanda, chose a Morrocan theme because his father’s family is from that part of the world. His grandparents were born in Istanbul. At left, a gazebo was draped with rich-looking colorful fabrics. He looked at 100 or 200 photos…

Graycliff Landscape

5 tips from Graycliff’s landscape restoration you can use in your own garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Over the years, many changes were made to the landscape at Graycliff Estate, 6472 Old Lake Shore Rd., Derby. The historic landmark was designed by the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright as a summer home for Isabelle R. Martin and her husband, Darwin D. Martin, a wealthy Buffalo businessman. To bring Graycliff back to Wright’s original vision, the landscape has been restored to look as it did when it was completed in 1931. Reine Hauser, executive…

Bring fish in for winter or leave in pond? Arbordale offers tips

In Western New York, should you bring your fish inside for the winter or leave them in your pond? That’s one of the questions Jeff Salmon, president of Arbordale Nurseries & Landscaping, will discuss during presentations on closing your pond for the winter. A free class will be held at Arbodale, 480 Dodge Rd.,  Getzville. The class is about 45 minutes long and will cover what to do with pond equipment, fish care, cleaning, plant care and more. It is…