North Tonawanda Botanical Garden shares tips on standing water & more

by Connie Oswald Stofko How can you deal with standing water in your yard? What can you plant to attract birds and butterflies? The North Tonawanda Botanical Garden Organization wants to share what they know about these topics and more. “Our ultimate focus is community education,” said Laura Pecoraro, secretary. The group, which became a nonprofit in July 2018, is in its fourth year of rehabilitating a long-neglected park. It’s located at 1825 Sweeney St., North Tonawanda, along the Tonawanda…

grass growing among perennial plants

How do you get grass out of your garden? Please tell us your tips!

by Connie Oswald Stofko A gardener recently asked me how he could get grass out of his garden beds. It’s so difficult, he said, because when you pull up on the grass, you may think you’ve got it all, but the root just keeps going and going. All I could do was commiserate. I have stones lining my garden beds in an attempt to keep the lawn on one side and the garden beds on the other, but it doesn’t…

waterfall and pond at night on Ken-Ton garden walk

Register for Ken-Ton Garden Tour; deadline is June 7

Register now to share your garden on the Ken-Ton Garden Tour. Gardeners in the Town of Tonawanda and Village of Kenmore can register online or download and print a paper application. Paper applications are also available in the Tonawanda Town Supervisor’s Office, 2919 Delaware Ave., Kenmore. All applications—whether online or by mail—must be received no later than Friday, June 7. Late entries will not be accepted. You may display your garden during one or more of the times listed below:…

How to dispose of invasive or dangerous plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko In response to a previous article on lesser celandine, an invasive plant that can take over your yard, a reader left a comment with this question: What to do with the dug ups??? Same problem I have when removing poison ivy. Where can you put it that it doesn’t cause more problems? The best way to dispose of invasive plants or dangerous plants is to carefully place them in a plastic bag and set the bag…

terraced front yard in Buffalo

Tip for sloped yard, plus get map early for Garden Walk Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko What do you do when your front lawn is hard to mow because it’s sloped at a steep angle? Turn it into a terraced garden! That’s what a gardener on Garden Walk Buffalo did. See more below. You can learn so much from the gardeners on Garden Walk Buffalo. The problem is that there are so many gardens and so little time. But you don’t have to wait until the weekend of the walk to get…

bies koreana 'Silver-Show'

Dwarf shrubs are highlights of Great Plant Sale at Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Three interesting dwarf shrubs are among the new offerings at the Great Plant Sale to be held this week in the Administration Building at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Also new this year is a checkout process that should speed things up. “No more tallying plants in line,” said Kristin Pochopin, director of Horticulture. “Everything will be bar coded and scanned!” And Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com will be a sponsor of the…

red lily leaf beetle by

Time to look for red lily leaf beetle

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now is the time to start checking your lilies for the red lily leaf beetle, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. A reader gave me a heads up a few days ago that she had spotted them on her fritillaria, an earlier springtime plant that the pests also damage. The red lily leaf beetle, which we first talked about in 2015, is a fairly new invasive species in Western New…

lesser celandine in Amherst NY

Lesser celandine: Take steps now to get rid of it!

by Connie Oswald Stofko We have talked about lesser celandine for several years, yet I see more and more of it in my neighborhood. If you see this pretty little plant in your yard, get rid of it! And tell your neighbors to get rid of it, too. If you don’t get rid of when you have just a few plants, it can take over your yard. Plus, it can get into wild areas and create havoc there. Lesser celandine…

rows of plants

Support our local businesses as you shop for plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you’re looking for plants, turn to your local garden centers. They often have interesting plants that you can’t get in the big box stores. More important, many of the garden centers are growers, too. They know about plants and have folks on staff who can answer your questions. For example, if you say you don’t want to spend a lot of time maintaining your garden, they’ll know to steer you to plants that don’t need…

looking into 'secret garden' in Amherst NY

Shade, color, water and sound create sanctuary on Amherst Garden Walk

by Connie Oswald Stofko “This is my sanctuary,” said Kathleen Pratt of Amherst. “The waterfall, the fish, the birds — it all brings me such peace.” I visited the home she shares with her husband John during last year’s Town of Amherst Garden Walk. This year, the Town of Amherst Garden Walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 6. You can see the dates for all of the garden walks here. Even though her yard…