child next to large poinsettia at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Twice-as-tall poinsettias now available at Mischler’s

by Connie Oswald Stofko Most poinsettias are 18 inches tall, but Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses offers poinsettias that are about three feet tall–twice as tall as other poinsettias. One recent shopper called them “magnificent,” said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s. While they’re unusual, these poinsettias are, oddly enough, traditional, too. They aren’t a different variety of poinsettia; they’re just grown differently. Typically, poinsettias are pinched back (which means cutting back some stems), Yadon explained. That encourages the plant to branch…

Tasks you can do in your late-autumn garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yes, Western New York has seen winter weather already, but the calendar says it’s still autumn. With a few days of milder weather in the forecast, get outside and do those late-season tasks while you can. Harvest herbs & cold weather veggies If you have any herbs or cold-weather vegetables, such as parsley, onions and peas, still growing, don’t let them go to waste. Harvest them now while they’re not hidden under a blanket of snow….

arborvitae bent in snow in Hamburg New York

How to deal with snow damage in your WNY garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko “What a crazy thing this was!” said David Clark, who got about 80 inches of snow at his Hamburg home during the recent snow storm. The amount of snow dropped in Western New York varied. Buffalo’s Southtowns area was hit hardest while areas in the Northtowns got a foot or two. The snowfall varied in other WNY counties as well, with some parts getting just a few inches. If your landscape felt the brunt of the…

brown marmorated stink bug Buffalo area

Fewer brown marmorated stinkbugs in WNY? It seems likely!

by Connie Oswald Stofko I didn’t see many brown marmorated stinkbugs in October, which is the time when they are usually trying to get into our houses. Other Western New York gardeners have told me they have seen fewer–or even none–this fall. Could the population of brown marmorated stinkbugs be declining in Western New York? “It does seem to be that way,” said Liam Somers, state entomologist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Brown marmorated stinkbugs in…

purple daylily in Amherst New York

Gardeners have a lot to be thankful for in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko I hope you are warm, well and safe. And I hope that, no matter where you live in Western New York, you find things to be thankful for. I am thankful for everything gardeners do to help others, whether they quietly share plants and seeds with a neighbor, volunteer as a Master Gardener, give produce to food pantries, organize a garden walk or add a native plant to their garden or balcony. The gardening environment in…

evergreens in pots in Williamsville NY garden

Tips for winter garden: keep pots from cracking; evergreens are a must

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now that it’s autumn, have you turned your back on your gardens, or will your landscape give you pleasure even throughout winter? Keep your autumn and winter gardens appealing with these two tips from Jay Jinge Hu, who shared his Williamsville landscape on Open Gardens for the first time this year. Keep ceramic & cement pots from breaking in winter I have always advised gardeners to bring their concrete or ceramic pots inside for the winter….

fats grease oil

Should you compost fats & grease? If not, where should they go?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Thanksgiving is coming up next week, with more winter celebrations to follow. You may be cooking a lot–and cleaning up a lot. What should you do with the grease on the pots and pans? Let’s look at the choices. You may be surprised. Compost It’s generally recommended not to use fats, oils and grease in your compost because they can create odor problems and attract rodents. Some people say you can add small amounts of fats,…

houseplants at Mischler's Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville NY

Houseplant Weekend at Mischler’s: sale, plant prognosis, free gift & more

Get 33 percent off all houseplants, find out what’s wrong with houseplants you already have, transplant your houseplants with no mess, get a behind-the-scenes tour and receive a gift during Houseplant Weekend at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. Sale All houseplants will be 33 percent off. “We already have inexpensive plants,” said Luke Schiavone, houseplant specialist at…

soil with trowel in Amherst NY

Autumn is the time to repair garden soil in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Is there something wrong with your soil? How can you find out? And what can you do to fix the problem? You’ll find answers this previous article about garden soil in Western New York. Even if you read that article before, you might want to revisit it again. The testing lab that I refer to in that article, formerly Agro-One, has changed its name to Dairy One, and their website has new information. I have updated…

orchids courtesy Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Orchid Show this weekend at Botanical Gardens

Along with the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will host the popular Orchid Show on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12 and 13  at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Times are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Note: The Botanical Gardens will close at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 and Sunday, Nov. 13 to allow all the exhibitors and vendors to set up and and tear down…