Japanese beetle in Buffalo NY area

Buffalo area gardeners can take steps to prevent pest invasions

by Connie Oswald Stofko Buffalo-area gardeners are familiar with the Japanese beetle. These bugs are pretty, but so damaging to our gardens. As you might guess from the name, Japanese beetles come from Japan, where they’re not much of a nuisance because their natural enemies keep them in check. In our area, grubs damage lawns by feeding on grass roots. The adult beetles attack the foliage, flowers or fruits of more than 300 different ornamental and agricultural plants. Unfortunately, Japanese…

blue spruce on Summer Street in Buffalo NY

Lush Buffalo garden with full-grown trees was planted on top of asphalt

A 20-foot blue spruce, along with a birch, crab apple, dogwood and Japanese maple, are part of what is essentially a giant container garden built on top of a narrow asphalt driveway in Buffalo. Ellie Dorritie of 415 Summer St. shared her gardens during Garden Walk Buffalo on July 30 and 31. More than 350 gardens were on display during the event, which is the largest garden tour in the nation. Dorritie’s back garden includes brick pathways, which you can…

front yard in Niagara Falls NY 2011

Niagara Falls gardener shares tips on starting tomatoes from seed

First you notice the color, then you notice the fragrance when you visit the gardens surrounding the home of Barbara and Howard Sperry on Ashland Ave. in Niagara Falls. Sometimes Barbara likes to shake the lavender and other plants to better enjoy the aroma. The Sperrys shared their garden, along with many gardening tips, during the Historic Niagara Falls Garden Walk on Saturday, July 16. The event was presented by the Main Street Business and Professionals Association. Arts in the…

front yard at 570 Locust St

Country boy and city girl get best of both worlds in Lockport

by Connie Oswald Stofko A huge front yard is outdone in size by the even larger backyard at the home of chiropractor Dr. Kenneth Kurbs and his wife Michelle at 570 Locust St., Lockport. The property is just under two acres. “To get a lot this size in the city is very unusual,” Kenneth said. “I’m a country boy and my wife is a city girl, so we got the best of both worlds.” The Kurbses shared their gardens during…

emerald ash borer

Emerald ash borer detected here: what you should do

by Connie Oswald Stofko In January, we told you that the emerald ash borer had been detected in regions surrounding the Buffalo area. Now the beetle has been detected in the Olmsted Parks in Buffalo. By the time the beetle has been detected, it has probably been living in the area for three to five years, said Jeremy P. Sayers, board-certified arborist and president of The Tree Doctor. During that time, it has been spreading exponentially and infesting ash trees….

QueenMoonstone rose in Western New York

June’s birthday flower is the rose, called the world’s favorite flower

by Connie Oswald Stofko Feel fortunate if your birthday is in June. Your birthday flower is the rose, which is called the world’s favorite flower, according to an exhibit last summer at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Roses were in such high demand during the 17th century that royalty used roses and rose water as legal tender to purchase other items or to pay debts. Luckily, today even we common folk can buy roses as cut flowers or…

statue with bleeding heart flower in Lancaster NY garden

Statue collection decorates gardens, ponds at home in Lancaster

by Connie Oswald Stofko When Janice Hetrick sees a statue that reminds her of one of her kids, she buys it for her gardens. Janice has six children, but the statues outnumber the kids 36 to 1. Her collection includes more than 220 statues, which are displayed in a number of gardens and around a couple ponds at her home on Schwartz Rd. in a rural part of Lancaster. She and her husband, Jeff, have just finished putting the ornaments…


‘Wicked Bugs’ author to speak at Clearfield Library May 25

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may have heard Amy Stewart speak last year during the National Garden Festival in Buffalo on her book, Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities. If you did, you already know what an engaging speaker she is. If you missed her last year, hurry and register for her talk tomorrow on her newest book, Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army and other Diabolical Insects. The talk will take…

David Clark rose class in Hamburg NY

Learn about growing and tending roses in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko Growing roses in the Buffalo area isn’t as hard as some people think. In the video below, David Clark, professional horticulturist, gives quick tips on selecting roses, caring for roses and managing pests. Want more in-depth information? Clark will give a class on the topic at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14, 2011 at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. The cost for the class is $12. For reservations, call 649-4684 or visit the shop….

Queen Anne's Lace in Buffalo NY

Native plant or invasive species in the Buffalo area?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I was going to plant Queen Anne’s lace in my garden.  I used to love picking these pretty wildflowers in the fields when I was growing up in Cheektowaga.  And hey, planting native species is good for the environment, right? One problem: Queen Anne’s lace grows wild, but it’s not a native species. “We’re at the point where the most common stuff is non-native,” said Paul Fuhrmann of Ecology & Environment and the New York State…