Cheektowaga gardener stays organized with careful notes

Chet Okonczak can tell you the name of every plant in his garden, and if he’s not sure of a name, he can easily look it up. Organized in a three-ring photo album are hand-drawn maps of each plant in the six beds in his backyard at 38 Brentwood, Cheektowaga. On the same page are photos of that bed at various times of the year. In the pocket on the back of the page he keeps the plant tags so…

Plantasia to give us a taste of spring in Western New York

Get a taste of spring at Plantasia: Backyard Oasis. This is Western New York’s premier garden and landscape show and is presented by the Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association. The show will be held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 21 to 23, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 24 at the the Fairgrounds Event Center and Expo Hall, 5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg. Tickets are $9 general admission or…

Cash prizes offered in photo contest, & more items too good to miss

Cash prizes offered in Jamestown Audubon Society’s photo contest The Jamestown Audubon Society’s Nature Photography Contest offers prizes in three categories and two divisions. The youth division is for ages 8-18 or still in high school and the adult division  is for ages 18 and over or post-high school. Youth and adult winners in the categories of landscapes, plants, and wildlife will all receive a $100 cash prize as well as free photo finishing. “Every winner receives a cash prize,”…

glasses at Lockwood's in Hamburg NY

Use a nature theme to bridge from fall to winter decorating

When it comes to decorating, gardeners like to bring the outdoors inside, and using a nature theme actually makes it easier to transition from fall holidays to winter holidays. Pine cones are great transitional elements, said Mary Gurtler, designer at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. The wine glasses in the photo above are a great example of that. If I describe them as being painted in fall shades of yellow, brown and green, you can picture them on a…

turtlehead chelone from Lockwood's

Plant now for spectacular fall garden; here are 6 great options

Let me start out by saying that the gardening season isn’t over. You can have flowers and color in your Western New York garden in autumn. If your garden isn’t all you’d like it to be, you can plant things now! (Find out why fall is a great time to start a garden or add to your garden.) In this article, Sally Cunningham, CNLP, a well known gardening expert and consultant for Lockwood’s Greenhouses in Hamburg, shares suggestions for perennials,…

formal beds in front yard in West Seneca NY

Couple expresses differing gardening styles in West Seneca

Carl and Doris Swan bought a house with three acres of land on Center Road in West Seneca as an investment property. After 43 years, they’re still there. “I figured we weren’t going to stay long,” Carl said, “but we did.” Over the last 10 or 15 years, areas that formerly were used by the children and grandchildren for playing ball are becoming gardens, and the Swans have developed different gardening styles. The Swans showed their gardens during the first…

garden around patio in Williamsville NY

Williamsville yard that has sun & shade makes good use of containers

Container plantings add color to the garden surrounding the backyard patio of Mary Murrett, who shared her gardens at 178 Hirschfield, Williamsville, during the Village of Williamsville Garden Walk on June 30. She has fun designing her containers as she goes along. “I go nuts at the nursery,” Murrett said. “I take one of these, and one of these and one of these.” When she gets all her plants home, she sets a piece of plywood across a carpenter’s trestle…

old ladder holds garden plants in Buffalo NY

Potpourri: Gardening tips and news too good to miss

Sometimes I have bits of information that I think will interest readers, but each bit is too short for a whole article. I save them up until I have enough to offer you a potpourri of news. I hope you find something that interests you. Add height to your garden with an old ladder Maxine Osiewicz of Clarence had an old wooden ladder that was no longer safe to use. Instead of throwing it away, she secured it to her…

Jerusalem artichole or sunchoke flowers in Amherst NY

Celebrate Earth Day in your garden

Gardeners treasure the chance to get outdoors and work with plants. They feel the rhythms of the seasons. They’re in tune with nature and want to make their corner of the world a better place. Earth Day is coming up this Sunday, April 22, so this seems like a good time to review ways we gardeners can be more effective in helping the environment. Many of the tips on our list today are things we’ve talked about in previous articles,…

mini-greenhouse made from recycled plastic milk jug in Buffalo NY

Milk jug allows you to sow seeds outside in Buffalo area– now!

by Connie Oswald Stofko At a recent workshop at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, David Clark shared this ingenious way to plant hardy annual seeds right now in the Buffalo area– outside! I love this idea because I always get itchy to do some gardening at this time of year, but there’s generally not a lot to do outside. I’ve tried to start seeds inside at this time of year, but it doesn’t work. It’s simply too soon…