overview-Leising-yard-in-Amherst-NY

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…

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…

sand by bar and pond in barckyard in Buffalo NY

‘Beachside bar’ is relaxing spot in Riverside backyard

by Connie Oswald Stofko With water, fish, sand and a bar, it’s like a vacation resort in the backyard of Jim and Linda Whittaker, 56 Evelyn St., in the Riverside area of Buffalo. The Whittakers  shared their gardens Aug. 3 during the Black Rock and Riverside Tour of Gardens, which included the evening Starry Night Garden Tour. This was the final garden walk of the National Garden Festival in 2013. The bar essentials, including a refrigerator and a draft beer…

gardens around inground pool with waterfall in Amherst NY

Amherst backyard with lavish gardens was setting for wedding

by Connie Oswald Stofko Pam Weinrieb  loved her home at 445 Lebrun Rd., Amherst, but she didn’t like how it looked in the front. So for years she concentrated her gardening efforts on the front. When her son decided to get married and wanted the 2011 ceremony in her backyard, she turned her attention to the backyard. The result is a 1.3-acre lot filled with lavish gardens. I visited during the Amherst Garden Walk, held July 20. Above you can…

One project each year turns ‘wasteland’ into vacation spot

One project every year has turned a fixer-upper house with no garden into a relaxing getaway at 389 Berryman Dr., Snyder. I visited during the 11th annual Snyder-Cleve Hill Garden View, held Sunday, July 14. When Debbie Hanny moved in 13 years ago, “There was no garden. It was a wasteland.” The project in the first year was to install the fence in the front yard. This past fall, she and her partner Jerry Schultze put in the raised bed…

brick walkway in Locport NY

Brick paths, stone waterfall are highlights of Lockport yard

Handmade hardscapes are the highlights of the yard of John Taylor and Mary  Brennan-Taylor of 480 Pine St., Lockport. You can see their yard this weekend during Lockport in Bloom, a citywide garden tour to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14. The event will also feature Twilight in the Garden from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday only and a vendor fair 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Maps will…