Shadrack garden visited by garden communicators

Open Gardens continue for three more weeks; get booklet or app now

Walk through lovely landscapes during Open Gardens in July. These are selected gardens that you can visit on Thursdays and Fridays at certain times and dates. The gardens are clustered in 12 geographic areas that you can visit over the course of five weeks. To get all the information, you need an Open Gardens guide. There are three ways to get the guide: Purchase one online here ($20 donation). Buy the Open Gardens smartphone app ($4.99). It has GPS, maps, photos and…

Japanese beetle

Check your plants now for Japanese beetles

“We are getting reports from some gardeners that Japanese beetles are showing up now,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. The Japanese beetle, which is native to Japan, is a highly destructive plant pest here. In Japan, natural predators keep the population in check. Hand picking works well in small gardens but must be repeated frequently, Farfaglia said. Neem oil is also an option for control. See more details in our previous article here. Also…

sprinkler in summer by Stofko

Deal with summer heat in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Remember that snow we got in May? We couldn’t wait for sunny, summer weather in Western New York. Well, it’s here– in full force! Let’s look at some ways you can keep your garden–and yourself– healthy and happy during this summer heat. Water your plants “Watering is number one on the list for this week,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. “In this heat, water loss from evaporation from the soil…

evening sun on gauzy tent in backyard in Buffalo

First garden walks of the season take place this weekend

by Connie Oswald Stofko Finally! We can visit wonderful landscapes on several garden walks this weekend. Please be good to the folks you may meet on the garden walks–your fellow visitors and the generous folks who are opening up their gardens to you– by always using safety etiquette. Keep six feet away from others. Wearing a mask is a good idea, too, even though you’re outside. Try not to touch things in the yards. Take a bottle of hand sanitizer…

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens entrance with sun and clouds

Botanical Gardens is reopening; early access to members July 8

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will reopen to the public on July 15, with early access to members on Wednesday, July 8. The reopening plan is organized into three phases: Phase One: Initial, many restrictions Phase Two: Modified, some restrictions lifted Phase Three: New Normal operations. Pre-purchased e-tickets are recommended for the foreseeable future.   Phase One Phase One of opening is planned to run for four weeks. The first week, starting Wednesday, July 8, is open to members only. Members will…

front garden on Parkside Garden Walk

Gardening fun is happening every day in July with ‘Garden Views’

Garden Walk Buffalo and the East Side Garden Walk are sharing gardens differently in 2020 with a program called Garden Views. Activities will happen every day in July and will include strolling by front yard gardens, seeing backyard gardens on video, hearing live gardening experts and hearing garden stories. Below is the schedule. As soon as we get times for the various activities, we will update this article and our Events page. Wednesdays/ONLINE: Garden Stories See weekly features from the Buffalo…

sage in bloom

Why did sage suddenly flower?

by Connie Oswald Stofko For years, I have enjoyed growing sage. The plants are reliable. No surprises. This year my sage did something new: it got blossoms. I thought maybe that happened because we had a hot day and it bolted. For answers, I turned to Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. They have a full line of 91 herbs. No, the sage plant didn’t bolt; it flowered, she said. The flowers…

brick sale at Botanical Gardens

Brick sale at Botanical Gardens can help you honor a loved one; get discount now

The outdoor Peace Garden at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will be the location of a new “Anniversary Alley,” commemorating the 120th anniversary of the Botanical Gardens. This is an opportunity for you to have a brick placed there in honor of someone special to you. Instead of the usual price of $150 per brick, you can participate in the anniversary price of $120. The sale runs through the end of July. The bricks can be inscribed in…

monarch on milkweed

New signs on garden walks, plus why you should try native plants

If you are going to share your landscape on any of our local garden walks, you can pick up a free sign to let visitors know that you use native plants in your landscape. And if you don’t use native plants, read on to see why you might want to add a few. Signs for gardens with native plants Native plants will be highlighted on garden walks this summer in a project organized by Gardens Buffalo Niagara and the WNY…

black bear courtesy Bugwood

Bears seen locally; don’t attract them to your garden

Earlier this month, a black bear was spotted in Cheektowaga, and before that, in Lancaster. “We have recently begun to see a rise in reported sightings of black bears in suburban and urban areas,” said Basil Seggos, commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).  There are steps gardeners can take to help make sure they’re not inviting bears into their gardens. Background on bears In June, black bear movement increases as the breeding season begins and yearlings…