monarch on milkweed

New signs on garden walks, plus why you should try native plants

If you are going to share your landscape on any of our local garden walks, you can pick up a free sign to let visitors know that you use native plants in your landscape. And if you don’t use native plants, read on to see why you might want to add a few. Signs for gardens with native plants Native plants will be highlighted on garden walks this summer in a project organized by Gardens Buffalo Niagara and the WNY…

wild bergamot from Ken Parker

Gardening trend for 2019 in Western New York: native plants

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Expect to hear more about native plants in 2019. A new group called the Western New York Native Plants Collaborative wants you to use more native plants in your garden, and there are lots of reason why you’ll want to use them. The collaborative is working on an education campaign to get gardeners excited about native plants and to encourage growers and garden centers to offer more native plants. The WNY Native Plants Collaborative includes…

'Tiny Wine' ninebark

Order native plants by Feb. 11 through Friends of Reinstein Woods

Friends of Reinstein Woods is accepting orders for their native perennial plant sale through Saturday, Feb. 11. The sale will raise funds to support environmental education programs offered by Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve. “Native plants are an excellent choice for homeowners and gardeners,” said Brittany Rowan, Friends of Reinstein educator. “They are lower maintenance and use less resources like water and fertilizer than exotic varieties. Native plants can be used in all kinds of landscape features, from hummingbird and butterfly gardens…

butter and eggs or linaria vulgaris

Help a reader: What’s a good source for identifying native plants, weeds?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a question from a reader: Hi, I am looking for a book about native plants and weeds in Buffalo or Western New York. My friend likes to walk along the railroad tracks in Buffalo to look at the wildlife but he can’t identify some of the wild flowers and weeds growing along the tracks. Can you suggest a book I could purchase that would show different kinds of native wildflowers and weeds in this region?…

overall view of Bonnie Brooks' yard in Buffalo NY

Native plants and large greenhouse are attractions in this Parkside garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko The yard of Carrie Brooks, 773 Crescent Ave., Buffalo, is filled with plants, and many of them have a story. The forsythia came from a bouquet her daughter gave her. The branches stayed in the vase of water too long and rooted, so she planted them. After the bush has finished flowering, she allows a sweet pea vine to climb up and cover it with its own flowers. Japanese lanterns were used as the table decorations…

Native-Plant-Guide from Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper

Illustrated guide to native plants for WNY available for free from Riverkeeper

by Connie Oswald Stofko There are lots of reasons to use native plants in your garden. I like them because they’re low maintenance. Because they have adapted to our climate, they can survive hot, dry summers without me having to get out the hose. They can take cold, snowy winters without any fuss, too. Native plants attract birds and insects, which can help pollinate our plants. Native plants aren’t  invasive, as some non-native species can be. I think one of…

Watch local cooking challenge & learn to cook with native plants

Sumac, a native plant, is pretty this time of year with its large red, cone-shaped flowers. You can see these small trees in parks or in the wild, and they make a great landscape plant. But did you know sumac is edible? There are quite a few native plants you might want to start growing for food– If you know how to cook with them. In this article we’ll tell you about two events where you can get ideas on…

Rubus ordoratus by Ken Parker

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. 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…

Joe Pye Weed Chocolate in Buffalo rain garden

Here are some good native plants for your rain garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Native plants and flowers are strongly recommended for your rain garden because these plants have the greatest chance of growth and survival in Western New York. Using native plants also means low maintenance– you won’t need to water. Last week, we discussed building a rain garden and how rain gardens help keep our water clean. We showed you the rain garden at the Crane Branch Library in Buffalo, and we promised more information on  plants for…

Impatiens are dying; choose alternative shade plants instead

by Connie Oswald Stofko For decades, impatiens has been the go-to flower for the shade. But now that a blight is wiping out these wonderful flowers, you’ll have to rethink your plant choices for shady gardens. Some garden centers won’t sell impatiens at all this year, while others will grow a limited supply but will sell them without guarantees. Don’t expect to find impatiens at all next year. What should you plant instead? A couple of local events can help…