tulip tree

Use your garden to help the Buffalo-area watershed

by Connie Oswald Stofko In the  early 1900s, Margaret Wooster’s family farmed land in the Genesee Valley, south of Rochester.  When salt deposits were discovered underground, the family sold their land to a mining company. A mine shaft was sunk and family members went to work as salt miners for the company. Eventually the mine was sold to what became Azko Nobel and the mine became the largest salt mine in North America. Unfortunately, disaster struck in 1994. Residents of…

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…

rain garden at Crane Library Buffalo

Rain gardens are low maintenance, help the environment

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you’re striving to protect our natural resources, or you just want to create a low-maintenance garden, a rain garden may be what you’re looking for. Pictured here is a rain garden that was created in June at the Crane Branch Library, 633 Elmwood at the corner of Highland, in Buffalo. As we explained in an article on rain barrels last week, the biggest pollution threat to Lake Erie and the Niagara River is sewage runoff….

false Solomon's seal sale to benefit WNY Land Conservancy

Native plant sale to benefit WNY Land Conservancy

A sale of native plants and mums is being held to benefit the Western New York Land Conservancy. You must order by Sept. 4. Pickup is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Saturday, Sept. 11 at Orchard Glen Retirement Community, 6055 Armor Duells Rd., Orchard Park. Native plants are vigorous and hardy and, once established, require no irrigation or fertilization. They provide a habitat for butterflies, insects, hummingbirds and other small birds and animals we know and need. These native…

front view home on Snyder-CleveHill Garden View

Once-overgrown gardens now flourish at Snyder home

by Connie Oswald Stofko This Snyder house was once so overgrown that ivy had infiltrated through a window and was growing into the gold shag carpeting inside the house. But now the home boasts a tidy formal garden in front and lush English cottage gardens in back. The home of Craig Coyne and Gary DiNezza at 31 Darwin Dr. was part of the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View in Amherst on Sunday, July 11. Though the property had been sorely neglected (there…

‘Perennial diva’ offers tips for summer gardens in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Not everything is hardy. The definition of a perennial is something that lives three or more years– if you don’t kill it.” Stephanie Cohen, known as the “perennial diva,” gave tips on summer gardening in the sometimes irreverent and often funny keynote address of the National Garden Festival in Buffalo (now Gardens Buffalo Niagara). The event was held Saturday, June 19 in the Nichols School in Buffalo. After the talk, Cohen signed copies of her books,…

Wild daisies are sweet garden flower for Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Have you ever considered growing wild daisies in your garden? Some people think of them as weeds, but they have a treasured spot in my garden. They’re hardy and easy to grow.  Whether we get a hot, dry summer or a cold, rainy summer, the daisy can take it in stride. They do like sun, but you may be able to grow them in shadier spots, too. (Correction: I had written that these are native plants,…