path to front door in Snowvember storm 2014

One year after Snowvember Storm, some WNY gardens still feeling effects

by Connie Oswald Stofko I was talking with some gardeners recently who began to commiserate about how poorly their roses did this year. Since mine did quite well, I was surprised to hear they had problems. Then I remembered where I was– South Buffalo, one of the areas hardest hit by the Snowvember Storm. That lake-effect storm hit a year ago next week, Nov. 17-21, 2014. In just a few days, they got a whole winter’s worth of snow– seven…

front garden on South Buffao Alive

Gardens bounced back from Snowvember Storm in time for South Buffalo Alive

by Connie Oswald Stofko I heard something on South Buffalo Alive that I’ve never heard from a gardener on a garden walk before. “Right now everything is just about perfect,” Peter Clancy said as he surveyed his yard at 39 Edgewood, Buffalo, on July 19. Often gardeners will tell me about the spectacular flowers that finished blooming the week before, or they will tell me how much better the garden will look in a few days when a different flower…

waterfall in Hamburg NY garden

Despite Snowvember storm, garden is ready for Buzz Around Hamburg

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can see a huge decorative ruler topped with a snowflake, which, in the winter, marks how much snow is on the ground in the backyard of Linda Washut and Kathleen Kelkenberg, 175 Highland Ave., Hamburg. It measures all the way up to four feet. “We got it at a garage sale,” Washut said. “We thought it was hilarious.” But during the Snowvember Storm of 2014 the ruler was buried. “We got seven feet of snow,”…

snow plow stuck Snowvember 2014 from David Clark Hamburg NY

What does WNY’s Snowvember storm mean for your garden?

by Connie Oswald Stofko First, let me say that I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are safe. Since this is a gardening magazine, we’ll talk about what the Snowvember storm means for your garden, but I do want to let you know that I understand how serious this storm was. It was dangerous. People were injured and people died. There was property damage, too. Even if you got through it unscathed, it was scary. My thoughts and prayers…

overall garden in snow by Connie Oswald Stofko

How to make your garden look great in winter

by Connie Oswald Stofko Is your garden exciting in winter? Do you enjoy gazing at all its beautiful features? Or are you one of those people who didn’t even know it’s possible to have a garden that looks great in winter? Today we’ll take a look at a Pendleton garden has been featured on Open Gardens. It’s amazing in the summer, but it sparkles in winter, too! Tom and Darcie Homme had lived in Lockport before they moved 11 years…

collage on climate change

How gardeners can understand & adapt to climate change

by Connie Oswald Stofko What does climate change mean for your garden? As the climate continues to change, how will you, as a gardener, keep up with the changes? This is Climate Week, and in this article we’ll bring you some resources to help you understand climate change and adapt as a gardener. Ebook on climate change for gardeners What do you see when you look at your garden? A flower here, a tree there, a butterfly over yonder? Your…

lake effect snow fall leaves Amherst NY

Lake effect snow: What can you do? Volunteer to report it!

  by Connie Oswald Stofko As I write this, some of us can see the grass on our lawns while other folks in Western New York have had to shovel. That’s the wonder of lake effect snow. The bands of lake effect snow (or rain) can be very narrow, so one small area can get dumped on while folks nearby get nothing. And that’s why meterologists need your help. Weather reporting stations can be 15 miles apart, while a band…

bee on aster

Autumn weather has been beautiful in WNY– Will we pay for it?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Until this week, it felt more like summer than autumn in Western New York. Last week I was wearing shorts, then yesterday I snuggled into a winter jacket. There was scattered frost overnight last night in Western New York. But as they say,  if you don’t like the weather in Buffalo, wait 10 minutes. Tomorrow, Wednesday, it should be back into the 70s. All of this is normal for Western New York, said Judy Levan, Warning…

snow in Amherst garden

Which was better for our gardens– this winter or last winter?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Last winter was bitterly cold, but there was a lot of snow cover to protect perennials. This winter has seen some swings in temperature, which can be bad for perennials. I thought our gardens might have liked last winter better than this winter. Not so, say my gardening experts. “Definitely this year is better, hands down,” said Teresa Buchanan, Teresa Buchanan, general manager at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. Note that she’s in the South…

Proven Winners garden in autumn at Buffalo Erie County Botanical Gardens

Record-breaking temperatures marked 2015: A look back at the year in gardening

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yesterday I turned off the heat and opened the windows– and the temperature in my house went up a degree! Yesterday’s high of 71 set a record for Dec. 14. The previous record for that date, set in 1901, was only 64. Another record is our lack of measurable snow so far this season. The previous record was set in 1899, when we went until Dec. 3 with no snow to speak of. Here it is…