Native Plants Day, tips for aphids & more stuff too good to miss

Native Plants Day set at Lockwood’s

Native Plants Day, part of the National Garden Festival, will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 7 at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg.

Rubus ordoratus by Ken Parker
Rubus ordoratus or purple-flowering raspberry. Photo by Ken Parker.

Topics include the significance of native plants, revitalizing neighborhoods by creating beautiful livable growing places, and the impact of individual decision-making on the quality of life in Western New York.

Speakers include:

  • Sally Cunningham, author, consultant and director of the National Garden Festival sees an opportunity to use native plants to protect or enhance natural habitat in the suburbs, city and rural areas. Her book, Great Garden Companions, presents an organic gardening system that favors beneficial insects and depends upon bio-diversity.
  • Tim Fulton, executive director of Groundwork Buffalo, is involved in reclaiming underutilized and neglected open space throughout the city.
  • Joy Kuebler, owner of Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect, PC,  focuses on the human experience in the landscape, integrating architecture and the outdoors to create unique, inspiring environments. Joy has designed over 18 schoolyards addressing the needs of academic curricula as well as play.
  • Daniel Oles, Promised Land CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), aims to produce healthy, affordable, chemical free food, eliminating the use of all herbicides, pesticides and synthetic-based fertilizers. Sustainable practices include the use of cover crops, composting, and crop rotation to improve the health of the soil.
  • Ken Parker, native plant specialist and Tree, Shrub & Perennials manager at Lockwood’s, has been actively growing, installing and promoting indigenous plants of North America since 1992.  He is a Seneca native and taken it upon himself to preserve a part of Native North American culture by promoting the use of native plants from a native perspective.  See our recent article, “Want something different? Grow native woodland plants.”
  • Joan Calder of California, speaker and author, will speak on gardening and preserving habitat for monarchs and other butterflies. Her new children’s book, Airplanes in the Garden – Monarch Butterflies Take Flight, will be available for signing after the program.

Pre-register at Individual programs are $10 each and the full program is $25. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Garden Festival. For more information, call (716) 649-4684 or email on purple coneflower in West Seneca NY


More tips on getting rid of aphids without hurting butterflies

In a recent article, we talked about the problem many gardeners are having this year with aphids and steps you can take.

Penny Durnin, who supplies us with great information on hummingbirds, has more tips for controlling aphids without harming butterflies and or hummingbirds that use those plants.

Use a hose and spray the plant full force. If it is in bloom, you may lose some blooms but it should bounce right back, she said.

Another trick, Durnin said, is to spray the plant with a liquid made from crushed garlic and citrus rinds (orange or grapefruit work well). Boil the citrus rinds. Cool the liquid and strain it into a spray bottle. Add some crushed garlic cloves or even garlic powder. Shake well and then spray the plants.  Try not to spray blooms.

This also works for plants affected by Japanese beetles, but does have to be reapplied, she said.



Judy Garland rose from Chet Okonczak in Cheektowaga

Send us your photo

Chet Okonczak from Cheektowaga sent us this photo of his floribunda rose ‘Judy Garland’ showing the color transitions during the flower’s life span. You can see more beautiful garden and nature photos on the Your Photos page.

If you would like to share a photo of your garden or another garden in Western New York, attach it to an e-mail and send it to me at (The email address will work with or without the hyphen.)

Please include some information about what we see in the photo to help me as I write the caption.



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