Five tips for your early winter garden in Western New York

  by Connie Oswald Stofko According to the calendar, we still have another month until the official start of winter, but I think gardeners will agree that winter has arrived in Western New York. Here are five tips for your early winter garden. Go outside and walk around in your garden While your garden probably doesn’t look as spectacular as is it did in July, you might find some lovely surprises, like the the red rose above that I spotted…

Fester corpse flower Buffalo Erie County Botanical Gardens

See Fester, the corpse flower, unfurl in time-lapse video

by Connie Oswald Stofko It was a great year for corpse flowers at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Not one, but two of these plants bloomed in June. That’s amazing because the corpse flower or Amorphophallus titanum blooms just once in six to ten years! Morty bloomed in early June, which was just four years after it first bloomed in Buffalo. Fester, which started out as the smallest of the three corpse flower corms (bulbs) that the Botanical Gardens acquired in…

lake effect snow fall leaves Amherst NY

Lake effect snow: What can you do? Volunteer to report it!

  by Connie Oswald Stofko As I write this, some of us can see the grass on our lawns while other folks in Western New York have had to shovel. That’s the wonder of lake effect snow. The bands of lake effect snow (or rain) can be very narrow, so one small area can get dumped on while folks nearby get nothing. And that’s why meterologists need your help. Weather reporting stations can be 15 miles apart, while a band…

flower on Joe-Pye weed

Botany lesson & more in this month’s WNY Gardening Matters

  Get a quick botany lesson in this month’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. Here are a few things you will learn in the article about the Asteraceae family: The plants in the Asteraceae family usually have composite flowers, anything from a few flowers to thousands of flowers grouped together to form a single flower head. The flower head (inflorescence) has a starlike form. That’s how the Asteraceae family got its…

Garden Walk Buffalo poster 2018

Garden Walk Buffalo needs artwork for 25th anniversary poster

Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden walk in the United States, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2019 and needs artwork for the anniversary poster.  Entries are due Jan. 31. This is an opportunity to share your artwork with hundreds of local gardeners and thousands of visitors. Artwork should communicate: • Descriptives: gardens, flowers, creativity, neighborhood • 25th Anniversary: You may choose to incorporate the number “25” into your artwork if applicable. It is not a requirement to do so, but…

container gardening on wheelchair ramp

You can do container gardening anywhere– even on a wheelchair ramp!

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Don’t have a big yard? You can do container gardening anywhere–even on a wheelchair ramp! Growing flowers or vegetables in pots is called container gardening. Container gardening counts as real gardening! I’ve seen it done in small spaces on balconies, decks and porches. I saw a clever example of container gardening done on a wheelchair ramp at the home of Dorothy Gambino during the Samuel Capen Garden Walk in July. Gambino chose the vegetables she wanted– tomatoes…

flowers on sunchoke in Amherst NY 2013

Plant sunchokes in pots; now is time to plant

by Connie Oswald Stofko I’ve been growing sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes) for several years now. These cool plants can grow 10 feet tall in one season. They get small yellow flowers. Not only that, you can eat the root! See more here. They’re very easy to grow– perhaps too easy. They spread a lot. Even if you try to harvest all of the tubers, it’s easy to miss a piece. The next year, you find you have sunchokes growing…

See award-winning specimens & learn about growing at Orchid Show

The annual fall Orchid Show  will be held by the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society and the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10 and 11 at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.  Dozens of orchids, including award-winning orchids, will be dispersed throughout the Botanical Gardens for visitors to enjoy. Informal educational presentations will be held both days on growing orchids and other aspects of indoor orchid gardening. You can…

broom leaves on perennial bed in Western New York

How to mulch ground cover, plus 4 more tips for autumn leaves in WNY

  by Lyn Chimera of Lessons From Nature  Many people dread raking up autumn leaves, but you should look forward to it. Leaves are a free resource for your landscape, a bonus from nature. Don’t throw them away! Here are five tips on using autumn leaves in different parts of your landscape. Leaves on the lawn If there is a light covering of leaves on your lawn, you can mow right over them and leave the chopped-up leaves on the lawn. They…

Halloween bat

Bats are great for your landscape; poster will promote bat habitats

by Connie Oswald Stofko Don’t believe what you see portrayed in Halloween decorations. Bats aren’t scary– They’re amazing! To encourage people to welcome bats into their landscapes, “Habitats for Bats” will be the theme of the 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Education. Posters must be submitted by Dec. 21 to your local DEC regional office to allow time for judging and printing of the artwork. See…