Gardening trend for 2019 in Western New York: native plants

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Expect to hear more about native plants in 2019. A new group called the Western New York Native Plants Collaborative wants you to use more native plants in your garden, and there are lots of reason why you’ll want to use them. The collaborative is working on an education campaign to get gardeners excited about native plants and to encourage growers and garden centers to offer more native plants. The WNY Native Plants Collaborative includes…

bee with pollen on flower

Last issue for 2018; look for more gardening tips for WNY starting Jan. 22

by Connie Oswald Stofko I’ve enjoyed being able to bring you great gardening articles in 2018. We’ve shared gardening tips, learned about new pests, viewed wonderful photos and videos, discussed plant choices, and kept up to date on garden walks and other events. I’ll be taking a break, then will return Jan. 22 with more articles for you as you plan for the coming season. Until then, you can go our website to check out past articles. You can use…

trees on creek in autumn in Amherst NY

DEC awards grants for trees & more in Western New York

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has awarded grants for tree and other projects in Western New York. Urban forestry grants Urban forestry grants are part of DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, which helps communities develop and implement comprehensive tree planting, management, maintenance, and education to create healthy forests while enhancing quality of life for residents. These programs promote clean air, clean water, energy savings and wildlife habitat creation. Find out more about the urban forestry…

flowers and vegetables in front yard

4 tips on using containers to create a gorgeous garden

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Previously I showed you my experiment with a container garden on my front lawn. That container garden wasn’t as successful as I had hoped, but I learned a lot and tried it again. This time it was successful and my neighbors told me they loved it, too! It didn’t look like much in May or June, but in July the plants filled out and it was gorgeous. We had a mild autumn, and the container…

monarch on butterfly weed

Monarchs making a comeback in WNY; see more in the POLLINATOR

by Connie Oswald Stofko The bad news is that the number of monarch butterflies has been decreasing in the past 20 years. Monarchs may be given protection under the Endangered Species Act in 2019. The good news is that the number of monarchs in Western New York appears to be on the upswing. You can find out more in the very first issue of the POLLINATOR, a new publication produced by the Pollinator Conservation Association. To subscribe to the POLLINATOR for free,…

snow and Autumn leaves in Amherst NY

New tool helps you understand climate change in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Find out how climate change is affecting your garden through a new online tool that provides county-level information on how the climate has changed since 1950 and what you can expect in the future. Called Climate Change in Your County, the tool was launched recently by the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions. It tracks average annual temperatures, high and low temperature trends, length of growing season and annual growing degree days. It also offers precipitation trends and…

photo illustration of soil

Spread the word: deadline is Dec. 7 for scholarships from PLANT WNY

Scholarships for college students and high school seniors are available from the PLANT WNY Foundation scholarships for spring 2019. The deadline has been extended to this Friday, Dec. 7. Applicants will be considered for one of three scholarships when applying with one application: The Mary Schichtel Memorial Scholarship, The George O. Adams and Kenneth E. Isaac Memorial Scholarship and The Fred Howarth Memorial Scholarship. See a pdf application here and find a fillable Word application here. In addition, the Toby Martino…

white glitter poinsettia in Amherst NY

Poinsettias are easy to maintain, so why doesn’t yours rebloom?

by Connie Oswald Stofko We know that it’s easy to care for poinsettia plants. They can last through January and into spring without much effort, and many gardeners successfully nurture their poinsettias through summer. So why can’t we get poinsettias to rebloom the following year? And since poinsettias are so easy to care for, why do we buy the plants? Why don’t we start from scratch and grow poinsettia plants ourselves? “It’s difficult,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of  Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses,…

Arbor Day poster 2018 from NYS DEC

Artwork sought for New York State Arbor Day poster; deadline is Dec. 31

  Each year the public is invited to submit photography and/or artwork to be considered for the New York State Arbor Day Poster. It’s a longtime tradition and posters have become collector’s items for many. There will be 100,000 posters printed for distribution to 3,500 New York State schools, at the New York State Fair and at other venues. The winning artist will be honored at the annual state Arbor Day celebration. The deadline is Dec. 31. To submit your…

red rose in early winter garden in Western New York

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…