Learn the story of hosta ‘Niagara Falls’ from world-renowned hosta hybridizer

by Connie Oswald Stofko How the hosta ‘Niagara Falls’ was created is the fascinating story of an artist with a love for family and her country. Olga Petryszyn, the world renowned hosta hybridizer who bred ‘Niagara Falls’, will speak at the meeting of the Western New York Hosta Society on Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Aurora Senior Citizens Center, 101 King St. near Oakwood, East Aurora. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 2 p.m. The event…

coleus replaces impatiens in front yard on Garden Walk Buffalo 2013

Gardeners make substitutes for impatiens on Garden Walk Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko During last year’s Garden Walk Buffalo, mounds of impatiens were flowering robustly at 689 West Delavan, Buffalo.  But just a few weeks later, the impatiens were dropping their leaves. By September, the impatiens were gone, a victim of downy mildew.  This year, Luis Martinez and Jeff Wilson were among the gardeners who had to find different plants to use in shady areas. I visited them during Garden Walk Buffalo, held July 27 and 28. With 376…

Patriotic grouping features red, white & blue clematis

A patriotic grouping of red, white and blue clematis displays just a few of the many varieties of clematis that you’ll find in the huge gardens of Barb Rudnicki, 395 Reserve Rd., West Seneca. She will share her garden on the second annual West Seneca Garden Walk, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20. You can pick up maps at the Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Art Center, corner of Union Road & Clinton…

Peaceful backyard will join 30 other yards on Hamburg garden walk

“My favorite time is the morning and night,” said Marg Rust as she surveyed the garden beds in her backyard at 71 Rosedale, Hamburg. “That’s when you get the filtered sun reflected off the pond. It’s so peaceful. “It’s good for the psyche and the soul to surround yourself with things that are beautiful.” She pointed out a pond plant, which you can see in the first photo. The plant at the bottom left with a spikey ball at the…

Impatiens are dying; choose alternative shade plants instead

by Connie Oswald Stofko For decades, impatiens has been the go-to flower for the shade. But now that a blight is wiping out these wonderful flowers, you’ll have to rethink your plant choices for shady gardens. Some garden centers won’t sell impatiens at all this year, while others will grow a limited supply but will sell them without guarantees. Don’t expect to find impatiens at all next year. What should you plant instead? A couple of local events can help…

Northeast native flowers from National Garden Bureau

Perennial for 2013 is ‘wildflower,’ says National Garden Bureau

2013 has been named the Year of the Wildflower by the National Garden Bureau, the non-profit organization promoting gardening on behalf of the horticulture industry. Each year, the National Garden Bureau showcases a plant in each of three categories: vegetable/edible, annual and perennial. The showcased plants are supposed to be popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse and versatile. The wildflower (though it’s more of a category than a plant) certainly meets those criteria. We talked to representatives of Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484…

impatiens early signs downy mildew disease Margery Daughtrey

Disease that’s killing impatiens may return for years; no treatment exists

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you had problems with your impatiens this year, the good news is that you probably didn’t do anything wrong. The bad news is that your impatiens were probably killed by a fungus-like disease called downy mildew. The disease remains in the soil, so you should plan on planting something different in that spot next year. There is no treatment. “That’s the most challenging thing about it,” said Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with Cornell University…

backyard garden on Argyle in Buffalo NY

Small backyard in Buffalo goes vertical to add gardening space

Kathy and Ed Burke moved to their home on Argyle Park in Buffalo about eight years ago. “We moved from a home with a huge garden, but it had become more of a chore than a joy,” Kathy said. Their current backyard is small, but flowering perennials in the sunny beds and colorful foliage in the shady beds make it feel joyful. The Burkes shared their gardens during Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden walk in the nation, on July…

sunny garden bed with bed frame in Hamburg NY

Too shady for grass, Hamburg yard is filled with gardens, paths & curios

by Connie Oswald Stofko An iron headboard and foot board give another meaning to the term “garden bed” in this yard at 224 East Prospect Ave., Hamburg, where Kathleen Winter shared her gardens during Buzz Around Hambug on Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15. This part of Winter’s front yard is one of the few sunny spots on her property. Her side and back yards are under a canopy of tree branches, which is delightful during the hot weather…

log home in Grand Island NY

Gardens surround hand-built log home in Grand Island

In German, “garten” means “garden.” “It’s fate, I guess,” said Evelyn Garten. “I married a garden.” Her gardens surround a log home she and her husband built themselves, log by log, 54 years ago. She shared her gardens with the public  during the Grand Island Garden Tour on July 14. The event benefitted the preservation of Historic Trinity Church. She and her husband were renting a place in Buffalo 54 years ago when he was downtown and saw a small…