It’s been a great year for gardening in WNY, and we’ll see you after a short break

gardens around pool with statue of boy reading in Amherst NY
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

This is our last issue for 2013, but we’ll be back with more great gardening tips for Western New York on Tuesday, Jan. 21. In the meantime, I’ll be posting any new events I receive on the Events page. I’ll also post to Facebook and Pinterest, so you can follow me there.

I think 2013 has been a great gardening year.

view from terrace in Hamburg NY
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

It wasn’t without its challenges, of course. We had some wild swings in temperature during the winter, a dry winter and spring that affected trees, then a wet period in early summer, but experts gave us tips on dealing with these conditions.

While experts provided great information, we were able to learn from fellow gardeners, too. So many gardeners generously opened their gardens to me and gave me great gardening tips that I could share with you. Many of them had their gardens on one of more than a dozen garden walks under the National Garden Festival.

In addition to the garden walks, the National Garden Festival had a dizzying list of activities that included open gardens, talks, bike tours and bus tours, including the new Beyond Flowers bus tour.

There were new developments at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, too. In January they opened the Wegmans Family Garden, where they offer great programming for kids. In the autumn they held a new Tree Festival. Throughout the year there were classes, including the popular horticulture series taught by local horticulturist David Clark, as well as amazing exhibits and shows.

Garden centers, garden clubs and other organization had presenters and workshops throughout the year– sales, too.  There were so many events that no one person could attend them all.

side garden in West Seneca NY
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

There was such a wide range of topics that we covered in articles this year. I learned so much.

I learned that the pretty wild flower I had considered digging up from my neighbor’s lawn and planting in my garden is lesser celandine, an invasive species that should instead be eradicated from your yard. That was a timely tip for me.

I got tips on how to get free plants from demolition sites –who knew you could even do that?

I learned what to plant instead of impatiens, that great flower for shade that is being killed by downy mildew; when to plant cool weather vegetables and cold-tolerant annuals; how to care for Christmas cactus; how to keep information on your garden organized, and what heirloom vegetables are.

I learned how to make things: a hypertufa planter; patio furniture from discarded pallets; a hand-tied bouquet of dried roses; a floral arrangement using flowers from my garden and a grow tunnel.

I want to give a shout out to the gardening businesses that support and allow me to offer this online magazine for free. Check them out in the Gardening Directory, see their pages under Garden Resources and click on their ads to the right of this article. When you shop with them, please let them know you heard about them through

Finally I want to thank all of my loyal readers. I have had the great fortune of meeting many of you in person when you subscribed at our table at events during the year, when you attended talks I gave or when you picked up sunchokes. Many of you have left comments with helpful information for fellow gardeners. And many of you have offered encouragement and suggestions for making this magazine even better.

You have all been an extraordinary gift to me. I am so grateful for your support.

I have lots of great stories planned for 2014. I’ll see you then!

4 Comments on “It’s been a great year for gardening in WNY, and we’ll see you after a short break

  1. Dear Connie-
    This is a lovely article. I enjoyed remembering 2013.Thank you for everything you do for the Western New York gardening community. Have a Joyous Christmas Holiday and a Blessed New Year!

  2. I will see you soon, but Merry Christmas to you and Phil. Enjoy your break. This was a great rundown of fun happenings this past summer, as well as the not so great summer weather.

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