We’ll see you in 2015 after a short break; let’s look back on 2014

veggies in flower garden
The garden walks were a highlight of 2014. This is a view from the Lancaster Garden Walk. Photo copyright Connie Oswald Stofko
mini greenhouse from plastic bottle in Western New York
Moisture condenses inside this mini-greenhouse made by cutting the bottom off a clear plastic bottle. It helps you keep plants warm in cooler weather. We shared lots of tips and hints that work in Western New York. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

This is my last issue for 2014, but I will return Jan. 13 with more gardening tips and hints on Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com.

In the meantime, I’ll continue updating the Events page, so you’re welcome to check back to find out about all the great gardening activities in Western New York.

This past year had its ups and downs for Western New York gardeners. It started with a bitter winter, but at least all that snow we got helped to protect our gardens. We contented ourselves with indoor gardening using cyclamen and succulents. We started planning for spring by introducing you to permaculture and edible landscapes.

It was wet and cold into April, so in May we gave you some tips on pushing the season.

We shared videos, including one on a breath-taking tulip garden. We kept you alerted to weeds and pests, including an update on downy mildew, which kills impatiens.

Finally warm weather arrived and the garden walks began. In a piece of good news, we learned that the National Garden Festival, which had been looking for ways to become sustainable, would be absorbed by Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden walk in the United States. That should provide some stability to all the events we’ve come to love through the National Garden Festival.

There were lots of other events, too, the first official Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival and a Celebration of Coleus & Color, which was sponsored by Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com. And who could forget Morty, the corpse flower with a scent of rotting garbage, that bloomed this summer? There were also classes, workshops, talks and sales.

What we will all remember most about the autumn is the Snowvember storm, an unrelenting lake-effect storm.

That snow melted and we gave you tips for the holidays, such as caring for poinsettias and finding wreaths in creative shapes.

We started planning for next spring by telling you about the illustrated guide to native plants for WNY available for free from Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.

It was a great year for me because I got to interact with so many enthusiastic gardeners. I love meeting you when I have a table at an event or bump into you as I’m photographing gardens. And many of you leave helpful comments and share your knowledge. All of that is what makes this endeavor so much fun.

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

I have lots of great stories planned for 2015. I’ll see you then!

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