5 reasons to buy tree & shrub seedlings; sales are open now

by Connie Oswald Stofko Sales of tree and shrub seedlings are again being held in Western New York through counties and through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Here are 5 reasons why you should consider buying tree or shrub seedlings: Tree & shrub seedling sales The sales have different ordering deadlines. The organizers suggest you order early to make sure the items you want are still in stock. The county sales generally have you pick up…

looking at mint plant in Amherst NY

Garden Talks begin in Batavia & on line

The Genesee County Master Gardeners will hold monthly Garden Talks starting in February. Garden Talk programs start at noon and can be 30 to 60 minutes long, depending on the topic. They will be held on Thursdays. This free series is open to all, but registration is required. You can attend in person at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office, 420 East Main St., Batavia, or online via Zoom. To attend in person, contact Mandy at 585-343-3040, ext. 101 or amm532@cornell.edu. For a Zoom…

wood sorrel in Amherst NY

Weed or volunteer in WNY: wood sorrel

by Connie Oswald Here’s another article on the theme: What is this plant and do I want it in my garden? This pretty plant looks like clover with yellow flowers. It added itself to several of my pots. I hoped it was clover and would add nitrogen to my soil. Unfortunately, it isn’t clover. It’s wood sorrel. “It can be aggressive,” said Lyn Chimera of Lessons from Nature. Because it can spread easily, “if it’s in the lawn, I wouldn’t…

tree trunk with snow and missing a branch in Williamsville NY

Winter damage to shrubs & trees, plus more from Master Gardeners

“Helping Woody Plants Survive Heavy Snowfalls” by Carol Ann Harlos is the topic of an article in the most recent edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. You can find more tips on dealing with damaged trees and shrubs in this previous article with David Clark. For information on how to prune, see the article on page 34 of the December 2020 edition of NYS Conservationist Magazine. _____ Also in…

marigolds in Buffalo Niagara area

Here are my gardening resolutions for 2023–what are yours?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Landscapes are constantly changing. What you did last year may not be what will work for you this year. Trees and shrubs get bigger, making your landscape shadier. Or trees and large shrubs are damaged or destroyed during storms such as this year’s November storm or the Snowvember Storm of 2014. The effects may last for years. I had an arborvitae that was damaged during the 2006 October Storm when a maple tree fell into our…

art work by Mike O at Yartworks in Cheektowaga New York

Buy, order or make art for your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Buy it from an artist. Commission something that fits in with the theme of your garden. Or make it yourself. As you’re planning next year’s garden, consider integrating art into your landscape. Buy garden art Beth and Brian Kreutzer of Cheektowaga, who share their landscape on Open Gardens, happily display a metal sculpture by Mike O of Yartworks titled “Mousetrap.” “I bought it at one of the first Buffalo Style Garden Art Sales,” Beth said. They…

highbush cranberry

For autumn interest, choose attractive shrubs that help WNY’s environment

by Connie Oswald Stofko How did your landscape look this autumn? Did you have lovely autumn perennials? Trees bursting with fall-colored leaves? How about shrubs? Chances are you don’t have shrubs with autumn interest, and if you do, it’s a popular shrub that is problematic. As you make your plans for next year, consider choosing a native shrub that is interesting in autumn in Western New York. Stunning, but problematic: burning bush I’ve got to admit, burning bush (Euonymus alatus),…

gift bag that is compostable

Make gift bags you can compost in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Have you accumulated extra paper bags since the ban on plastic bags at stores went into effect in New York State? I have. And I’ve done it on purpose. The other day I stopped into a store and bought one small item. It wasn’t raining out; I could have easily carried the item to my car with no help from a bag. But when the cashier asked me if I wanted a bag for just a…

bare trees and leaves on tree in autumn in Amherst New York

Tasks you can do in your late-autumn garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yes, Western New York has seen winter weather already, but the calendar says it’s still autumn. With a few days of milder weather in the forecast, get outside and do those late-season tasks while you can. Harvest herbs & cold weather veggies If you have any herbs or cold-weather vegetables, such as parsley, onions and peas, still growing, don’t let them go to waste. Harvest them now while they’re not hidden under a blanket of snow….

arborvitae bent in snow in Hamburg New York

How to deal with snow damage in your WNY garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko “What a crazy thing this was!” said David Clark, who got about 80 inches of snow at his Hamburg home during the recent snow storm. The amount of snow dropped in Western New York varied. Buffalo’s Southtowns area was hit hardest while areas in the Northtowns got a foot or two. The snowfall varied in other WNY counties as well, with some parts getting just a few inches. If your landscape felt the brunt of the…