bee on trefoil flower in Amherst NY

No Mow May: It’s a starting point in Buffalo & Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko No Mow May is gaining popularity locally and across the country. The idea is to help bees. When you take a break from mowing your lawn, you’re allowing plants in your lawn, such as dandelions, white clover, violets, trefoil and self-heal, to flower. Those flowers provide food for bees and other pollinators. The idea started in Britain. Following Britain’s success, Bee City USA, an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, partnered in 2020 with…

plants in winter in Amherst NY

What you need to know about plant hardiness zones in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you’re buying perennials (or trees and shrubs), you want plants that will survive the winter and come back the next year. What plants will work for you depends on where you live. The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard that helps you determine which plants are most likely to thrive in your location. You can look at the map to find your zone, or you can type in your street address. The…

front porch on Garden Walk Buffalo

Deadline approaches for Garden Walk Buffalo, East Side Garden Walk

Consider sharing your garden on Garden Walk Buffalo or the East Side Garden Walk. The deadline to register is May 15 for both garden walks. Your garden does not need to be perfect; no one’s ever is. There are no fancy garden criteria– no site visits, no judging, no entry fees. All you have to do is be proud of your little spot of earth. It does not need to be giant. It does not need to be professionally landscaped….

Heuchera 'Melting Fire'

New offerings in Mischler’s 69-cent perennial sale; sale starts April 22

by Connie Oswald A dark red heuchera called ‘Melting Fire’. A hollyhock that’s resistant to rust. A columbine with blossoms the color of ‘Tequila Sunrise’. Those are just a few of the new plants being offered in the 69-cent perennial sale starting Friday, April 22 at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Road, Williamsville.  Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The plants…

monarch flying off swamp milkweed

Why you should bother with Earth Day in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko The Buffalo River doesn’t start on fire any more. Rarely do you see litter tossed out of car windows. And you have most likely seen a local garden with one or more native plants in it. Those are just three changes that I’ve seen in Western New York since the first Earth Day in 1970. These changes didn’t come quickly. They didn’t happen easily. But they happened. They happened because people cared. And a person did…

prize from Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market in Buffalo NY

Find out who the lucky winners are in our prize drawing

by Connie Oswald Stofko Please help me congratulate the three lucky winners in our recent prize drawing held by They are: Elizabeth Girome of Angola Kathleen M. Bielec of Hamburg Shannon Feely of Buffalo The names were drawn at random. Everyone who was subscribed to by March 22 was entered into the drawing. Even readers who subscribed years ago were included in the drawing. I love my loyal readers, too! I want to thank all my new subscribers– and my…

hummingbird at honeysuckle

When to hang hummingbird feeder in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Hang your hummingbird feeder two weeks before hummingbirds are expected in Western New York. Get more details below as well as tips on attracting hummingbirds to your garden and When to expect hummingbirds in Western New York Hummingbirds will return to Western New York in about mid-May, said Penny Durnin of North Tonawanda, who for many years was moderator of the Hummingbird Forum. (That forum is no longer online.) Hummingbirds could arrive earlier if they get a…

dandelion with seeds blowing

Act now on weed seeds, lesser celandine, gypsy (spongy) moths & roses

by Connie Oswald Stofko Some gardening tasks have a small window of opportunity. Here are four things you should do in your garden now. Stop weeds before they pop out of the ground Pre-emergent herbicides stop weeds before they even pop out of the ground– they act on seeds at the germination stage. The optimal time to use pre-emergent herbicides is early in the spring, just before the forsythias bloom or while they are in bloom. Corn gluten meal is…

penstemon in Lewiston

Lewiston Gardenfest seeks vendors, gardeners

Lewiston GardenFest is recruiting vendors as well as residents interested in showcasing their gardens. The deadline for vendors is May 1 and the deadline for gardeners is May 15. Vendors Businesses and vendors who sell items related to gardening, horticulture and the outdoors, including nurseries, landscapers, garden artists, and others, are encouraged to apply. Vendor applications are due by May 1 and can be downloaded here. The application fee varies from $125 – $225 based on the size of the…

seedlings with seed on bottom

When should you start seeds inside for tender plants in WNY?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Tender plants, such as tomatoes, peppers and some flowers, need warm temperatures to thrive, so you want your seedlings to be ready to transplant ouside when the weather is warm. If you plant your seeds inside too early, the weather might still be too cold to transplant outdoors. When should you plant seeds inside to have the plants ready for your garden at the right time? It depends on what you are planting and where you…