witch-hazel flowers

Witch-hazel’s fragrant blooms add interest in autumn & winter

If you’re looking for a plant that blooms in your garden now, consider witch-hazel. American witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is a native shrub that produces fragrant blooms in late fall and early winter, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The streamer-like flowers are just starting to appear at this time of year, following the annual loss of the shrub’s leaves. The yellow flowers typically last into December. Since witch-hazel is one of the few plants blooming now,…

autumn leaves on grass

It’s leaf season! 9 tips for using autumn leaves in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko We enjoyed many weeks of beautiful autumn color in Western New York this year! Now it’s time for the leaves to fall. The bad news is that our recent strong winds brought down branches as well as leaves. I hope you didn’t sustain any damage. The good news is that the fallen leaves give us things to do in our landscapes at this time of year. And those leaves can be used in so many ways!…

rose hip with flowers in background

How to start roses from seed using rose hips in autumn

by David Clark, CNLP If you want to try to start roses from seed, autumn is the time to do it. However, because of cross-pollination, there is no guarantee that the plant you get from those seeds will flower true; that is, those seeds may not produce the same kind of flower that your original plant produced. On the other hand, you may find a new and exciting variety! What are rose hips? The rose hip is the fruit of…

yellow dahlia flower by Stofko

Dahlias: How to dig & store them for winter

Dahlias are beautiful flowers that you can enjoy year after year, but the tubers don’t fare well if you leave them in the garden over the winter. You should dig your dahlia tubers up before there’s a hard frost, according to information on dahlias from the National Garden Bureau, a non-profit organization for the gardening industry. A hard frost occurs when temperatures drop below 28. A good indication of when to dig your tubers up is when the plant starts…

White and pink amaryllis in bloom by Stofko

Forcing amaryllis: Were we doing it wrong?

by Connie Oswald Stofko A few years ago, David Clark, nationally and internationally known gardening educator, shared tips with us on potting and caring for an amaryllis. Now he has changed his methods. “It’s always good to learn new ways,” Clark said. “What a huge difference it made in the way my flowers grew.” Clark also gives us advice on what to do if the amaryllis gets red streaks on its leaves. You can learn more from Clark in the…

Should you cut back roses in autumn?

After reading a previous article about roses, a reader asked a follow-up question: “Hello! I was always told to cut back rose bushes in the fall. That’s wrong?” Here is the response from Bonnie Vitale, president of the Western New York Rose Society: Save the hard pruning for spring. In the fall, cut off any broken stems. Some gardeners like to cut their rose bushes down to a height of 18-24 inches in the fall to prevent wind and snow…

goat's beard

Try goat’s beard, a bold native plant, plus other tips from Master Gardeners

If you want a large, dramatic plant with showy flowers that also attracts lots of pollinators, go for goat’s beard. That’s the suggestion from Lyn Chimera in September’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, published by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. Goat’s beard (Aruncus dioicus), is hardy in zones 6-8, but needs moist shade in zones 7 and 8. It can get seven feet tall and four feet wide, so make sure you have enough room….

anemone September Charm In Amherst NY

Tips for creating a great autumn garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko As we move into autumn, how is your garden doing? Is it still interesting? If not, take steps now to have a better autumn garden next year. Get inspiration from some past articles: 4 big tips for creating a garden with year-round interest Create a beautiful autumn garden; see how Amherst gardener does it Look for ‘two-fers’ for your garden It’s autumn, and this Amherst garden is still blooming!…

monarch on flower of butterfly bush

There is still time to plant perennials, & they are on sale!

by Connie Oswald Stofko No, it’s not too late to plant perennials! In general, you should plant perennials by the middle of September, said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses. You want to give the plant enough time to establish roots before the ground freezes. Depending on the winter, you might be able to plant later, but you should be safe if you get your perennials in by the middle of September. Now is a good time…

sundrops flowers in Grand Island NY

Perennials provide waves of color; supplement with annuals

by Connie Oswald Stofko “My garden makes me happy,” said Mary Vescio. “I love all the colors, all the different plants that are flowering.” Vescio shared her landscape on the Grand Island Garden Walk on Sunday. See the list below for gardens you can visit this week. Vescio has found that perennials are easier than annuals to use in her garden because perennials come back every year. However, the flowers on the perennials don’t last all summer. To maintain some…